CHARLESTON, SC (Saturday, March 11) – Phoenix Rising FC (0-0-1) earned a point with a 1-1 draw on the road at Patriots Point Soccer Stadium tonight.
Danny Trejo scored the lone goal for Phoenix in the 74th minute after Gabi Torres came off the bench to create the opportunity. Efetobo Aror made his professional debut for Rising after the 17-year-old signed with the club on Friday morning. Phoenix travels to San Diego next week. That match will air live at 3 PM on 3TV, AzFSEN & ESPN+). Rising opens its stadium at 38th St/Washington on Saturday, April 1 (7:30 p.m.). Tickets for that match are available here or by calling 623-594-9606.
Tonight, Rising and the Battery traded shots from distance in the opening 20 minutes of the match but both goalkeepers made comfortable saves early. Unfortunately for Phoenix, Alejandro Fuenmayor suffered an injury soon after and was replaced by Rising veteran Darnell King.
Augustine Williams earned a free kick for the Battery in the 26th minute. The ensuing shot from just beyond the area was struck towards the top left corner of the goal behind Rising goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo, but the Argentine had it covered, He backpedaled to the near post and plucked the shot out of the air to keep the match scoreless.
Fede Varela unlocked the Battery back line in the 34th minute with a spin move followed by a perfectly placed chip over Charleston’s back line. Emil Cuello tried to sidestep Battery goalkeeper Trey Muse and bring down the pass near the six-yard box but the right hand of Muse knocked the pass away from the Rising midfielder. The rebound fell to Manuel Arteaga, but Muse got his body in front of the second chance as well to put it out for a Rising corner kick.
Charleston’s Fidel Barajas played a deadly cross to back post for Nicholas Markanich in the 38th minute. The forward nodded a header down towards the goal from close range, but Novos was in perfect position to smother the header and yet again deny the opposition of any rebound attempt.
Another dangerous cross played in to the back post troubled Rising to begin the second half. The line drive cross cleared Phoenix’s back line and hung up perfectly for Emilo Ycaza. The midfielder slammed a header on goal but once again Novo was in position. The goalkeeper sprung to his left side, diving and slapping the shot wide of the post to preserve the shutout.
The Battery broke through after a sustained period of pressure in the 60th minute, when AJ Patterson chipped a header to the back post on a Charleston corner kick. Williams was there to win the ball and force another quality save out of Novo, but Andrew Booth was there to capitalize. The Charleston midfielder reacted first and muscled the ball across the goal line to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
Gabi Torres came off the bench in the 67th minute and set up Danny Trejo just seven minutes later to help Phoenix pull level, 1-1, in the 74th minute. Torres used his first touch to create the chance, knocking a pass in to the feet of Trejo. The forward slipped an easy pass into the goal, between Muse and the post for his first of the year to earn a point on the road for Rising.
Charleston – Andrew Booth 60
Phoenix – Danny Trejo (Gabi Torres) 74
Rising – Mo Traore (caution) 52
Rising – Zambrano (caution) 66
Phoenix Rising FC – Rocco Rios Novo, Alejandro Fuenmayor (Darnell King 20, Henry Uzochukwu 67), Kevon Lambert, Daniel Krutzen, Jose Andres Hernandez (Efetobo Aror 86), Mo Traore, Renzo Zambrano, Fede Varela (Gabi Torres 67), Emil Cuello, Danny Trejo, Manuel Arteaga.
Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Rakovsky, Liam Mullins, Joel Torbic.
Charleston Battery – Trey Muse, Derek Dodson, AJ Paterson, Leland Archer, Deklan Wynne, Emilo Ycaza, Andrew Booth, Fidel Barajas, Chris Allen, Augustine Williams (Robbie Crawford 90+1), Nick Markanich.
Substitutes Not Used: Daniel Kuzemka, AJ Cochran, Juan Palma, Tristan Trager, Aidan Apodaca, Dante Polvara.