Phoenix Rising FC (5-3-0), the only team to hand San Antonio FC (7-1-0) a loss this season, looks to take down the Texas team a second time this Saturday, May 7 (7:30 p.m.) at Wild Horse Pass.
Rising enjoyed a six-game win streak across all competitions in April prior to falling, 3-0, to LA Galaxy II on May 1. Three first-half goals and a red card to Darnell King stymied Phoenix, which suffered just its second loss to Los Dos in the last 16 attempts.
“I was able to watch the game again,” said Rising head coach Rick Schantz. “I watched the first 10 or 15 minutes and I thought ‘how are we down 2-0?’ The first goal, we made individual mistakes and got punished. Goals change games. It wasn’t tactics. It wasn’t effort. We didn’t play poorly. We almost outshot them. We did a lot, even with 10 men.”
“We watched the game again as a team,” Schantz added. “I let the players kind of own their emotions a little bit. We talked about it as a team and now we move on. We have a big game coming this weekend.”
Since it’s only loss of the season, at home against Phoenix on April 2, San Antonio has reeled off four consecutive clean sheets in league play vs. Orange County, El Paso, New Mexico and Monterey Bay. San Antonio also come from behind to beat Austin FC of MLS, 2-1, on April 20.
“San Antonio has changed tactically a little bit,” said Schantz. “They have PC back, who is an exceptional player. They’re playing even more aggressive and physical than they had been. They also got Justin Dillon back. We got them at the right time [back on April 2]. They had some injuries and David Loera went down against us.
We’ll be prepared. Losing the way we did to LA Galaxy II, should prepare us very well. The guys should be fired up. For me, it’s making sure we’re aggressive and motivated… intelligent throughout the match and prepared to face a good San Antonio team.”