Rising Match Preview Presented by NAU
Phoenix Rising returns to Wild Horse Pass to face Oakland Roots SC this Saturday, September 10, at 7:30 p.m.
The team remains two wins (six points) out of the seventh and final playoff spot currently occupied by Las Vegas Lights FC with seven matches remaining in the regular season.
“We’re still focused,” said defender Joe Farrell. “There are seven games remaining and we still can make a run. Everyone is motivated to make a push for the final playoff spot.”
To potentially move within a win of a playoff berth, Rising will need to take down Oakland Roots at home, a team which Rising head coach Juan Guerra is very familiar.
“Yes, but we have to be ready for a different version of Oakland or some tweak,” said Guerra when asked about his familiarity with Roots. “We must be able to transform and adapt very quickly in the game.”
Since facing Guerra on July 27, a match that ended in a 0-0 draw, Oakland has gone 1-2-1 against some of the top teams in the league. Guerra helped Roots earn a draw against Detroit City prior to departing the club. Then, Oakland’s lone win came, 3-1, in San Diego just two days after Guerra was named head coach at Phoenix. Since then, Oakland hasn’t scored, allowing goals before the 22nd minute in shutout losses to Sacramento and San Antonio.
Rising hasn’t fared much better, going 2-3-1 since the July 27 meeting with Oakland.
“It has been a tough season,” said Farrell. “The last four seasons have been unbelievable. We walked onto the pitch and it seemed like we could not lose a game. Now, we’re struggling to find the first goal or we scored a goal and it’s called offsides or we’re not getting a penalty shout. There is a lot of momentum involved. Getting one win does it, but now we have to stack two wins, three wins. We have to really go for it.”
“The good thing is we had a full week to work, introduce ideas and come up with a gameplan to get a much-needed result on Saturday,” added Guerra.
Rising will be without Guerra on the sidelines. As part of the agreement between clubs, Oakland stipulated that their former coach couldn’t manage Phoenix Rising for this match. Unfortunately for the Roots, they cannot stipulate that Rising fans cannot show up, and the club looks forward to seeing all our fans show up and show their full support for the team.