BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Sunday, April 9) – Phoenix Rising FC (1-1-2) grabbed three points on the road in Birmingham this afternoon to claim its first win of the 2023 regular season.
Danny Trejo returned from injury to score the first goal of the match in the second half. Carlos Harvey scored the game winning goal for Phoenix in the 66th minute. Phoenix returns to 38th St/Washington on Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. against Monterey Bay. Tickets for that match are available here or by calling 623-594-9606.
This afternoon, Rising found its form in the 27th minute when Carlos Harvey won a free kick in the center of the field and opted for a quick restart. Harvey got the ball up the field quickly to Manuel Arteaga, who feinted inside, went outside, and fired a well-aimed shot towards the back post. The shot looked like it would tuck nicely in just under the crossbar, but Birmingham goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg intervened, making a diving save to his left side to keep the match scoreless.
Rising nearly caught Birmingham on a counterattack in the 41st minute. The four-on-two rush culminated in another chance for Arteaga, but the forward’s back post attempt was blocked out for a corner kick by a Legion defender.
Phoenix held a 56-44 edge in possession at halftime and held the home side without a shot on goal.
Rising pressed in the middle of the second half and earned a pair of corner kicks. The first looked to be a goal for Kevon Lambert but the referee ruled the defender was in an offside position. Seconds later, Trejo scored to make it 1-0 after Gabi Torres sent a cross into the area from the left flank. Trejo was first to react to the cross, nodding a header past Spangenberg from close range for his second of the season.
Birmingham answered immediately, attacking with numbers in the box. Enzo Martínez drew multiple defenders in the center of the area before pushing a pass out wide for Gabriel Alves. Alves took a touch and fired a low shot past Rocco Rio Novo to make it 1-1.
Harvey made it 2-1 for Rising in the 66th minute. The midfielder combined with Arteaga at the top of the area and after receiving the return pass, Harvey picked up his head and realized he was in-alone on goal. Harvey dribbled towards the top right corner of the six-yard box before firing a low shot past Spangenberg.
PHX – Danny Trejo (Gabi Torres) 58
BL – Gabriel Alves (Enzo Martínez) 58
PHX – Carlos Harvey (Manuel Arteaga) 66
PHX – Kevon Lambert (caution) 34
PHX – Emil Cuello (caution) 40
PHX – Daniel Krutzen (caution) 45+3
PHX – Manuel Arteaga (caution) 55
BL – Juan Agudelo (caution) 56
PHX – Renzo Zambrano (caution) 67
PHX – Babucarr Njie (caution) 77
PHX – Carlos Harvey (caution) 87
BL – Enzo Martinez (caution) 87
PHX – Alejandro Fuenmayor (caution) 89
PHX – Danny Trejo (caution) 90
Phoenix Rising FC – Rocco Rios Novo, Kevon Lambert, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Daniel Krutzen, Henry Uzochukwu (Eddie Munjoma 74), Carlos Harvey, Renzo Zambrano, Emil Cuello (Danny Trejo 46), Gabi Torres (Babucarr Njie 74), Erickson Gallardo (Carlos Anguiano 90+5), Manuel Arteaga (Jackson Conway 84).
Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Rakovsky, Mo Traore.
Birmingham Legion – Trevor Spangenberg, Collin Smith (Grayson Dupont 90+5), Gabriel Alves, Alex Crognale, Phanuel Kavita, Anderson Asiedu, Prosper Kasim, Matt Corcoran (Diba Nwegbo 69), Enzo Martínez, Juan Agudelo, Neco Brett.
Substitutes Not Used: Seth Torman, Moses Mensah, Ben Reveno, Jake Rufe.