Phoenix Rising FC (0-1-1) fell, 3-0, on the road at Torero Stadium today.
Phoenix is off next week before opening its new 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.
Rising and San Diego battled through a scoreless first 30 minutes of action this afternoon. During the opening stanza, Phoenix dominated possession 68-32 without troubling Loyal SC goalkeeper Koke Vegas, until Henry “Uzo” Uzochukwu carried the ball up the right side in the 34th minute. He combined with Dany Trejo and Manuel Arteaga at the top of the box and the triangle of passes culminated in a drop pass from Arteaga to Uzo. The right back attempted to pick out the low corner of the goal at the near post, but Vegas was there to make the save.
A turnover in the back allowed San Diego to take a 1-0 lead just before halftime. Loyal SC’s Charlie Adams collected the errant pass and quickly got the ball to the feet of striker Evan Conway, who dodged a tackle at the top of the area and cracked a hard shot that beat Rocco Rios Novo low to the near post.
Rising came out of halftime and earned a corner kick within the first two minutes of play, but a foul was called on the play, allowing San Diego to release the pressure.
Novo kept Phoenix in the match with an impressive kick save on Tumi Moshobane in the 55th minute. Nick Moon set up the chance in the center of the area after coming free on the right side. Instead of shooting, Moon opted to make the extra pass. Moshobane had time to pick up his head and beat Novo, but the goalkeeper came off his line to challenge the attacker, getting a toe on the attempt to keep the score, 1-0.
Rising produced four chances between the 65th and 67th minutes, two of which involved substitute Eddie Monjoma, who made his debut for Rising in the 65th minute. The first was a perfectly placed through ball from Trejo. Munjoma collected the pass in-behind the Loyal back line. The wingback tried to pick out the far post but sent his attempt inches wide.
San Diego substitute Ronaldo Damus put Loyal SC up, 2-0, in the 74th minute when Elliot Collier dribbled into a takeover with Damus, who went the opposite direction at the top of the box. Cutting into the center, Damus snuck a shot around a Phoenix defender. The back post attempt caught the inside of the post and trickled into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
Blake Bodliy made it a 3-0 final just before the final whistle after breaking free down the left flank and cutting across the end line. Bodily had options at the back post but slipped a shot past Novo for his first of the year.
SD – Evan Conway (Charlie Adams) 44
SD – Ronaldo Damus (Elliot Collier) 74
SD – Blake Bodliy (Elliot Collier) 90
PHX – Varela (caution) 12
SD – Nick Moon (caution) 37
PHX – Zambrano (caution) 53
PHX – Darnell King (caution)
SD – Elliott Collier (caution) 82
SD – Camden Riley (caution) 84
Phoenix Rising FC – Rocco Rios Novo, Darnell King (Jackson Conway 81), Henry Uzochukwu (Eddie Munjoma 65), Kevon Lambert, Daniel Krutzen, Carlos Harvey, Renzo Zambrano, Fede Varela (Babucarr Njie 75), Emil Cuello, Danny Trejo, Manuel Arteaga.
Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Rakovsky, Joel Torbic, Efetobo Aror, Channing Chasten.
San Diego Loyal SC – Koke Vegas, Grant Stoneman, Ebenezer Ackon (Jackson Simba 81), Blake Bodily, Kyle Adams, Charlie Adams (Collin Martin 62), Nick Moon, Joe Corona (Camden Riley 77), Alejandro Guido, Tumi Moshobane (Elliot Collier 63), Evan Conway (Ronaldo Damus 63). Substitutes Not Used: Duran Ferree, Elijah Martin.