Match Preview Presented by Northern Arizona University
Phoenix Rising FC travels to Tampa Bay to face the Rowdies on Saturday, May 6 at 4:30 p.m. local. That match will be broadcast live over the air on 3TV and channel 44 as well as streamed on ESPN+ and the Arizona’s Family App in Arizona.
Rising (2-1-4) is coming off its best performance of the season, a 3-1 win against Loudoun United, while Tampa (2-4-2) ended a run of losses with a 1-0 win on the road in Detroit.
Former Phoenix striker JJ Williams nearly picked up a goal in the 28th minute of that match, but his header rang off the far post to keep the game scoreless until the Rowdies were awarded a penalty kick for a handball in the box. That spot kick was converted in the 79th minute by Charlie Dennis. The goal was Dennis’ first of the year, tying him with four others for the team lead in scoring. Dennis also ranks fifth in the league in chances created with 15.
“This is a tough match for us,” said Rising Head Coach Juan Guerra. “I know a lot of people are thinking Tampa is struggling this year, but I feel like the week a team believes that will be the week the Rowdies wake up. We need to approach this week with responsibility. We need to understand where we are going and the organization we are facing.”
Rising is unbeaten in its last five league matches and 2-0-1 against the East this season, but Guerra is using the team’s first win at home as an opportunity to step on the accelerator.
“This week has been very positive for us,” said Guerra. “We utilized the momentum this week in order to push more and squeeze every inch of talent, intensity and character we have in the group.
This will be a month that really allows us an opportunity to throw a hard punch at the table. No disrespect to any organization but we had to travel a lot early this season. We faced important teams in the league that were going through very good moments. This is a month that gives us the ability to add points and push us closer to the top of the table.”