COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Saturday, October 14) – Phoenix Rising FC (12-10-12) dropped a 2-0 decision to Switchbacks FC tonight at Weidner Field to end its 2023 regular season.
The team will learn its playoff destination later this evening. Pending the results of two matches, Rising could be headed to San Antonio, Orange County or San Diego for next weekend’s first-round playoff match.
This evening, Colorado took a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute when a long cross out to Rising’s right flank was chested down by Duke Lacroix. The winger sprinted at his defender, worked his way around to the end line and centered a pass a few feet from the end line to Juan Tejada. The forward chipped a shot into the back of the net from the doorstep to give the home side the early advantage.
The Switchbacks gained a 2-0 advantage in the 29th minute. Jonas Fjeldberg battled for a 50-50 ball in the center of the pitch, then knocked a shot pass to Jairo Henriquez, 25 yards from goal. No defender stepped up to take away the shot and Henriquez took advantage, cracking a dipping shot towards the post. The ball skipped though the six-yard box before catching the far side netting.
Phoenix nearly pulled a goal back in the 36th minute when Emil Cuello intercepted a clearance attempt near the penalty spot. Cuello quickly ripped a hard shot on goal but Colorado goalkeeper Christian Herrera was in good position and made a quick reaction save to slap the attempt away from goal.
Panos Armenakas had Phoenix’s best chance to pull a goal back in the second half after latching on to a loose ball at the top of the area. Armenakas teed off on the ball, sending a line-drive towards goal, but Switchbacks defender and former Rising man, James Musa extended his arm to block the shot. However, no whistle came from the center official and the match concluded, 2-0 in favor of Colorado Springs.
COL – Juan Tejada (Duke Lacroix) 12
COL – Jairo Henriquez (Jonas Fjeldberg) 29
COL – Jay Chapman (caution) 34
COL – Jairo Henriquez (caution) 60
PHX – Alejandro Fuenmayor (caution) 90+2
Phoenix Rising FC – Rocco Rios Novo, Mo Traore (Daniel Krutzen 45), John Stenberg, Darnell King (Eddie Munjoma 76), Renzo Zambrano, Carlos Harvey, Jose Andres Hernandez (Alejandro Fuenmayor 45), Danny Trejo, Emil Cuello (Fede Varela 70), Dariusz Formella (Panos Armenakas 70), Manuel Arteaga.
Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Rakovsky, Uzo.
Colorado Switchbacks FC – Christian Herrera, Drew Skundrich, James Musa, Duke Lacroix, Matt Mahoney, Speedy Williams, Jonas Fjeldberg (Steve Echeverria 71), Jairo Henriquez (Delentz Pierre 71), Jay Chapman (Deshane Beckford 80), Juan Tejada (Aaron Wheeler 84), Maalique Foster (Tyreek Magee 81).
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Kuzminsky, Zach Zandi.