Match Preview Presented by Northern Arizona University
Phoenix Rising (4-4-6) travels to New Mexico United (4-6-3) this Wednesday at 6 p.m. MST (live on Arizona’s Family Sports and Entertainment Network and ESPN+).
Rising are traveling to New Mexico fresh off a tough 2-2 draw at home to Louisville, a game it arguably should have won. Rising had the better of the chances and missed an opportunity late on from the penalty spot to snatch the win. Rising’s results over the past few games haven’t matched its dominating performances, however head coach Juan Guerra is encouraged by how his team is playing.
“We should have won and it feels like we should have won the last few games we’ve played,” Guerra said. “So we’re in a dynamic right now where a few things are going against us. If you play like we’ve been playing these last few games you’re going to win a lot more than you’re going to tie or lose.”
Rising faces a New Mexico side struggling to find form of late. They have lost three out of its last four games, conceding at least two goals in three of those games. They haven’t kept a league clean sheet since the opening day of the season against Miami FC.
Rising have already played away at New Mexico this season, losing 2-1 in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup. Rising’s players therefore have extra motivation to end its streak of putting in good performances without getting a result. Guerra thinks the character of the players will pull them out of their slump. “You have to support the boys because they’ve been putting in performances and they don’t stop,” Guerra said. “They don’t stop till the last second. They keep pushing forward. I loved the support from the supporters in the stadium on Saturday. From minute one to the last second, they’re in the game. They’re playing the game with us. Sometimes the game is not fair on you and it hurts, but also this is when you have to wake up. When you have leaders in the locker room, they will wake up and stand up in these moments.”