Rising Match Preview presented by NAU
Phoenix Rising FC enters the 2022 U.S. Open Cup in the second round vs. Valley United FC Wednesday at Wild Horse Pass (7:30 p.m.).
A third-division National Independent Soccer Association side based in Mesa, Arizona, Phoenix Rising downed Valley United, 5-0, in a 70-minute preseason match on Feb. 26. Richmond Antwi, who made his Rising debut against San Antonio on April 2, scored twice in that preseason match. Both of Antwi’s goals were assisted by Greg Hurst, who added a goal of his own. Joey Calistri and Arturo Rodriguez rounded out the scoring.
“Valley United are a good squad,” said Rising head coach Rick Schantz. “They picked up Luis Gil, who is an experience MLS veteran. Ricky Velaczo was on my last team that put together a nice U.S. Open Cup run at FC Tucson joined the squad as well. It will be a difficult game and it’s all we’re focused on right now.”
Due to the pandemic, this is Rising’s first Open Cup match since 2019. Dating back to 1913, the Open Cup is open to all U.S. Soccer affiliated amateur and professional teams.
Having just played a match in San Antonio on Saturday and LA Galaxy II coming to Wild Horse Pass this Saturday, Schantz will need to shuffle his lineup to accommodate for three matches in the span of eight days.
“[Our win in San Antonio] showed a lot of trust and faith in the roster,” said Schantz. “You cannot bring players in that you’re not willing to play. You have to show trust in these guys and give them opportunities. We were rewarded with that faith.”
Should Rising advance, the Third Round Draw will stream live on YouTube and Twitter. Check @opencup on Twitter for details and the stream link. Draw time is Friday, April 8, at 9 a.m. PT.