PHOENIX, Arizona (Saturday, January 27) – Phoenix Rising FC fell, 1-0, to Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers at Phoenix Rising FC Stadium in its first preseason match of the year today.
Just six days into its preseason, the result is promising for Phoenix, which won the league just 76 days ago. Head Coach Danny Stone’s lineup featured more than 10 trialists and Phoenix Rising FC Academy players.
The lone goal Rising allowed came in just the fifth minute, when a turnover in the back was pushed forward up the left side. Portland’s Anthony Alves collected the pass and immediately smacked a hard shot over the shoulder of Hunter Sulte, who was filling in at goalkeeper for Phoenix while Rocco Rios Novo is away on international duty and Patrick Rakovsky recovers from a knock he picked up in training.
Phoenix earned a free kick just outside the corner of the area in the 11th minute. Erickson sent in the cross and JP Scearce got a head to the ball, but the play was stopped short for offsides.
Erickson and Gabi Torres combined on Rising’s left side in the 21st minute. The play produced a long shot attempt from Torres that Portland goalkeeper Max Crepeau handled easily.
Rising Head Coach Danny Stone made wholesale changes in the 34th minute, bringing on 10 field players to relieve the team in just its sixth day of preseason training.
The mix of trialists and academy players earned a free kick in a similar position as the first team in the 42nd minute. The ensuring shot was aimed at the post to Crepeau’s right side but sailed high and wide of its mark.
After the break, Stone brought on Pape Mar Boye, Mo Traore, Edguardo Rito, Jose Hernandez, Juan Carlos Azocar, Emil Cuello and Fede Varela, mixed with a group of trialists.
Portland nearly made it 2-0 in the 64th minute with a nice through ball played in-behind, but Phoenix’s goalkeeper (Dallas, trialist) came off his line to take away the angle before blocking the attempt from a Timbers forward.
At the opposite end, Juan Carlos Azocar ripped a low shot towards the near post in the 70th minute, but once again, Crepeau was in position to make the save and smother the rebound.
Rising nearly pulled level in the 78th minute when a line-drive cross was sent into the area, but the header that followed skipped just wide of the post to Crepeau’s right side.
Portland had a free kick opportunity from just outside the box in the 80th minute but the attempt went directly to the goalkeeper, who was called upon a moment later to make a third save on a breakaway attempt. Once again, he (Dallas, trialist) was up to the task, stepping off his line to block away the attempt with his chest and preserve the 1-0 scoreline.
POR – Anthony Alves 5
POR- Dario Zaparic (caution) 23
Phoenix Rising FC – Hunter Sulte, Isaiah Kaakoush, Nicholas Paige, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Eddie Munjoma, JP Scearce, Panos Armenakas, Renzo Zambrano, Gabi Torres, Erickson Gallardo, Remi Cabral.
Second Half Lineup: Dallas (Trialist), Chris (Trialist), Pape Mar Boye, Mo Traore, Edguardo Rito, Jose Hernandez, Martin (Trialist), Juan Carlos Azocar, Emil Cuello, Fede Varela, Mark (Trialist).
Portland Timbers FC – Max Crepeau, Kamal Miller, Dario Zuparic, Jaden Jones-Riley, Zac McGraw, Marvin Loria, Diego Chara, Eryk Williamson, Anthony Alves, Santiago Moreno, Felipe Mora.