PHOENIX, Arizona (Saturday, April 1) – Phoenix Rising FC (0-1-2) opened its new home in the heart of Phoenix, playing to a 2-2 draw in front of a franchise record and sellout crowd of 10,437 fans tonight.
Manuel Arteaga scored both goals for the home side, which is back in action in central Phoenix on Wednesday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. in a U.S. Open Cup match against Greenville Triumph SC. Tickets for that match are available here or by calling 623-594-9606.
Tonight, Rising’s Fede Varela unlocked the San Diego defense with a cutting pass through the heart of the Loyal SC defense in the 22nd minute. The ball sat up perfectly for Manuel Arteaga to collect and run at goalkeeper Koke Vegas but the forward’s right-footed shot skipped inches wide of the far post, keeping the match tied, 0-0, early.
Rising scored its first goal in its new home in the 33rd minute to go ahead 1-0. The play began at the feet of Alejandro Fuenmayor, who launched a missile of a pass 70 yards forward. Henry Uzochukwu expertly brought the ball down with his chest on a full sprint and played a killer pass across the face of goal to Arteaga at the far post. Phoenix’s No. 9 did not miss his second chance of the match, powering home a shot from 10 yards away for his first goal of the season.
San Diego fired back in the 40th minute, getting the ball out wide and sending in a dangerous header but Fuenmayor stepped in front of an attacker and won a crucial defensive header. The ball flew high up into the air in a dangerous area but Rising goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo flew off his line and won the loose ball while being fouled by Loyal forward Ronaldo Damus to smother the spark.
Novo made a second outstanding save to opening the second half, diving to his right side to slap away a header in the 57th minute.
Rising took a 2-0 lead in the 63rd minute with a second long pass that switched the point of attack. Once again Uzo was the target. The dangerous wingback brought the ball down and found Emil Cuello in acres of space, just outside the top right corner of the area. Cuello took off, cutting across the top of the area and firing a hard shot that took all of Vegas to keep it out of the net. The rebound fell to Arteaga who finished off a half volley cleanly to double the lead.
San Diego pulled one back when Nick Moon found the back of the net in the 73rd minute. The goal was set up by Collin Martin who sent a cutting pass through to Blake Bodily. Bodily played a simple pass across the face of goal for Moon to finish off and make it 2-1.
Loyal SC tied the match seven minutes later when Novo stuffed Camden Riley at the top of the six yard box. The rebound fell to Damus, who poked a slow roller that somehow snuck just inside the post to tie the match.
PHX – Manuel Arteaga (Uzo) 35
PHX – Manuel Arteaga 63
SD – Nick Moon (Blake Bodily) 72
SD – Ronaldo Damus 80
PHX – Carlos Harvey (caution) 82
PHX – Manuel Arteaga (caution) 2
PHX – Emil Cuello (caution) 44
PHX – Daniel Krutzen (caution) 45+2
PHX – Carlos Harvey (caution) 82
SD – Elijah Martin (caution) 83
PHX – Alejandro Fuenmayor (caution) 90+1
Phoenix Rising FC – Rocco Rios Novo, Henry Uzochukwu, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Kevon Lambert, Daniel Krutzen, Carlos Harvey, Renzo Zambrano, Fede Varela (Erickson Gallardo 74), Emil Cuello, Gabi Torres (Eddie Munjoma 81), Manuel Arteaga (Jackson Conway 90).
Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Rakovsky, Carlos Anguiano, Babucarr Njie, Mo Traore.
San Diego Loyal SC – Koke Vegas, Grant Stoneman, Blake Bodily, Elijah Martin (Jackson Simba 90+4), Collin Martin, Kyle Adams, Nick Moon, Joe Corona (Camden Riley 68), Alejandro Guido (Tumi Moshobane 60), Elliot Collier (Evan Conway 68), Ronaldo Damus. Substitutes Not Used: Duran Ferree.