Rising Preview Presented by NAU
Phoenix Rising FC travels to McAllen, Texas, this Saturday, October 7 (5:30 p.m. on Bally Sports Arizona & ESPN+), to face Rio Grande Valley in its final road match of the 2022 regular-season.
Rising head coach Juan Guerra claimed his first win as Phoenix’s coach last time the club faced the Toros. Luis Seijas scored in the 15th and 67th minutes to lead the team to a 2-1 win at home on Wednesday, August 31. Despite that win, Phoenix (11-15-6, 39 points) dropped its next three matches against Colorado, Oakland and San Diego to fall behind RGV (12-13-7, 43 points) in the standings. With both sides racing to collect points in an effort to qualify for the 2022 postseason, Saturday’s match is vital.
“We’re looking forward, not to the sides,” said Guerra. “We’re focused on RGV. Whatever else happens outside of what we can control… we’ll see after the game on Saturday. We’ll start preparing for our final regular-season game at home after that (October 15). We’ll count the points and see where we are next Saturday night.”
Rising is coming off one of its best performances of the season, a 5-1 win at home against Red Bull New York II on October 1.
“The team is on a clear ascending curve, but we need to make sure we keep our foot on the pedal,” said Guerra. “This weekend is going to be hard. We’re going up against a team that is also doing things very well and a coaching staff that is going to come after us this weekend, for sure.”
“Building is very difficult,” added Guerra. “We live in a society where everyone gets things quick with the click of a finger. Society forgets that processes take time. Good things take time. One of the biggest things I’ve learned this year is that building takes time. It’s important to build and believe in your idea. It’s always better to fix things while you’re winning. It makes it easier for the guys to absorb information. It also allows me to go after the boys a bit more after a win. They process things a bit better in terms of the things they need to fix.”