PHOENIX, Arizona (Saturday, October 15) – Phoenix Rising FC ended its 2022 campaign on a high note, downing Atlanta, 3-1, tonight at Wild Horse Pass.
Rising overcame the rainy conditions with second half goals from Gabi Torres, Santi Moar and Aodhan Quinn to finish the year with a record of 9-5-3 at home.
Moar got things started for Rising by blocking a clearance attempt in the ninth minute. He quickly got the ball to Arturo Rodriguez in Phoenix’s attacking third of the pitch. The midfielder squared up to shoot but instead slid a shot to the far side of the area for Quinn. Rising’s leading scorer tried to beat Atlanta’s Vicente Reyes, low to his right side but the goalkeeper made a diving save at the post to keep the match tied, 0-0.
Rodriguez earned a free kick, 22-yards from goal in the 22nd minute of the match. Luis Seijas, playing in his final game as a professional after a storied 19-year career stepped up to take the kick, but his left-footed attempt sailed just over the crossbar.
Phoenix took a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute of the match when Seijas sent the ball out wide to Torres. The Brazilian let a shot fly that beat Reyes, low to the far post to score his third goal in his last three matches and give the home team a one-goal advantage.
The goal opened the flood gates for Rising, which scored its second of the match just five minutes later. Seijas picked off a pass and pushed it to Moar, who played a give and go with Torres to assist on the play. After receiving the return pass, Moar shot high to the goalkeeper’s left side. The shot smacked off the underside of the bar and settled into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
Quinn made it 3-0 after the ball landed at his feet in front of goal following a flurry of shots from Rising in the 72nd minute. Once again, the play involved Torres, who sent in a cross from the right flank. The 50/50 ball fell to Seijas and his deflected shot ricocheted to Quinn, who slammed a shot down the center of the goal for his ninth of the season.
Atlanta United 2 broke free down the right flank and centered the ball for Jackson Conway in the 80th minute. Conway tapped the ball into the back of the net to make it a 3-1 final.
PHX – Gabi Torres (Luis Seijas) 53
PHX – Santi Moar (Gabi Torres) 58
PHX – Aodhan Quinn 72
ATL – Jackson Conway ()
ATL – Nelson Orji (caution) 21
ATL – Darwin Matheus (caution) 35
PHX – Darnell King (caution) 37
PHX – JJ Williams (caution) 45+2
ATL – Jackson Conway (caution) 65
PHX – Aodhan Quinn (caution) 84
PHX – Richmond Antwi (caution) 85
PHX – Kevon Lambert (caution) 86
Phoenix Rising FC – Ben Lundt, Darnell King (Hayden Sargis 62), Joey Calistri (Baboucarr Njie 62), Kevon Lambert, Luis Seijas (Carlos Anguiano 89), Arturo Rodriguez, Aodhan Quinn, Santi Moar, JJ Williams (Richmond Antwi 82), Gabi Torres (Lamin Jawneh 82), Joe Farrell.
Substitutes Not Used: Lalo Delgado, Marcus Ferkranus.
Atlanta United 2 – Vicente Reyes, Raimar Rodriguez, Nelson Orji, Noah Cobb, Bryce Washington, Erik Centeno (Luke Brennan 62), Nick Firmino, Toni Tiente (Alan Carlton 75), Darwin Matheus, Jonathan Villal (Tristan Trager 61), Jackson Conway.
Substitutes Not Used: Nash Skoglund, Nwogu Emenike, Efrain Morales, Ajani Fortune.
Phoenix Rising head coach Juan Guerra
On closing out the season with a win…
It was important and needed. It was our only objective for the week. We needed to finish on a good note. We needed to send our fans home in a good way.
I told them in the locker room at halftime. It was one of those games where you don’t feel like the team is playing bad, but I felt like we could give so much more. It felt like they had the safety break on. I told them I want to see 45 minutes with urgency. I wanted to see a team that isn’t going to play another match in three or four months.
On Luis Seijas’ last match as a professional…
He had an unbelievable career. I’ve been so close to his career. I’ve known him since I was 14 years old. We spent time on the youth and full national teams together. I’ve been lucky enough to know him as a person and as a player. It is special to be able to be here with him tonight. This is a guy that has given so much to every team he has been a part of… I am honored to be able to share the field with him tonight.