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Phoenix Rising FC Returns From Break To Travel To Rio Grande Valley

By Phoenix Rising Communications, 07/12/19, 11:00AM MST

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What You Need To Know

  • Phoenix Rising enters the match on a club record eight-match winning streak.
  • Phoenix Rising has won its last three road matches by a combined score of 11-3.
  • Forward Solomon Asante has scored a goal in the last seven matches and eight of the last nine.

THIS WEEK
Saturday, July 13th -- at Rio Grande Valley FC Toros, 5:30 p.m.
Stream: ESPN + (U.S. viewers)
TV: Your PHX CW (channel 6 on cable and 61.1 on satellite & over-the-air)
Radio: ArizonaSports.com | ESPN Phoenix 620 AM
Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Following a bye week, Phoenix Rising FC puts its eight-match winning streak on the line when it travels to H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas, to square up with Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. The match is scheduled to kickoff at 5:30 p.m. and will air on YourPHX CW (channel 6 on cable and 61.1 on satellite & over-the-air) as well as ArizonaSports.com and on ESPN Phoenix 620 AM.

Fans can also watch the match at one of two official watch parties to be held at CAZ Sports Bar at Casino Arizona (event will be kid-friendly) and the Crown Public House in Phoenix. Fans who attend can enter themselves to win a game-worn PRFC pride training top and two suite tickets.

Rising FC last played on June 29th, a thrilling come-from-behind 4-2 win over Portland Timbers 2. The visiting side held on to a 2-1 lead at the hour mark, but defender Amadou Dia scored an exciting equalizer to level the match. Then four minutes into stoppage time, Dia scored the game-winner with an assist from Solomon Asante. The team captain then iced the match by converting a penalty kick just before the final whistle.

Coming into the match, Rio Grande Valley’s form has been poor, going just 1-3-1 in its last five matches. The team is almost two different teams. On the road the club is just 1-6-2 but at home the team is a respectable 4-2-3. Last weekend, the Toros battled to a 0-0 draw with Tacoma Defiance. Despite its better home form, Rio Grande Valley has been shut out in its last two home matches.

PHXvRGV Series

  • This will be the 7th all-time meeting between the two clubs with PHX’s all-time record being 3-0-3.
  • PHX’s last win in the series was earlier this season on May 10, 2019.
  • PHX has won three of the last four matches after drawing the first two games of the series.

A Little Bit About Rio Grande Valley

  • RGV is 4-2-3 at home in 2019.
  • The club’s leading scorer is Michael Salazar with eight goals in 12 appearances. Carlos Small is their second-leading scorer with seven goals.
  • Maalique Foster and Isidro Martinez lead the team in assists with four each. 
  • RGV has just two clean sheets this season.

A Little Bit About Phoenix Rising  

  • Per Opta, the team’s 7.0 team rating is tops in USL Championship.
  • PHX has outscored opponents 30-6 in its last eight matches (all wins)
  • PHX has scored three or more goals in 11 of its last 17 matches.
  • Per Opta, PHX has created 44 big chances as a team, third-best in USL Championship.
  • PHX’s 45 goals scored is tops in USL Championship.
  • Solomon Asante leads all of USL Championship in goals (12) and assists (9).
  • Zac Lubin’s eight clean sheets are just one off the league leader, TB’s John McCarthy.
  • Per Opta, Asante has the best average player rating at 8.26. He’s the only player currently above 8. PHX also has four of the top ten rated players in the league (Asante, Flemmings, Jahn, and Bakero).
  • Per Opta, Asante is tied for first in the league in chances created (11) and leads the league in shots on target per match (2).

League Honors
This week head coach Rick Schantz and forward Solomon Asante were named the USL Coach and Player of the Month, respectively. For Schantz, it’s the second time he’s received the honor (he was the USL Coach of the Month for June last season). He helped lead the club to a perfect 5-0-0 record, outscoring opponents 19-3 in the process. Asante was a major reason for that success, netting seven goals and tallying four assists.

Welcome Back
After being away from the squad to represent Jamaica in the 2019 Gold Cup, teammates Junior Flemmings and Kevon Lambert have returned to training with the club. Both players will be eligible for selection on Saturday.

Road Warriors 
Phoenix Rising has already set a club record for most consecutive wins in a season, but within that mark, the team set another record: consecutive road wins. Following PHX’s 4-1 win at OKC, the team set a club record with its third consecutive win away from home.

Messing With Texas
This will be PHX’s fourth and last trip to the Lone Star State for the 2019 regular season. The team is 1-1-1 in its previous three trips. Texas and California (4 trips) are the two most-visited states in PHX’s regular-season schedule.

Difference Makers 
Not only is Phoenix Rising leading USL championship in goals (45) but the club’s goal differential is also the best in the league by a wide margin. The club currently has a +28 goal differential, 10 goals better than the next highest total.

Man On Fire
It’s been hard to get through a match without Solomon Asante scoring. Asante comes into the match having scored in seven consecutive matches (nine goals total), which is a Western Conference record. He is one off the league record of scoring in eight consecutive matches. He’s also scored a brace in his last two matches.

Tracking ahead of pace
Through the first 17 matches of the season, Phoenix Rising has 35 points. In 2018, the club had 32 points through the first 17 matches of the season en route to setting a club record for points in a season.

Goal scoring pace
Phoenix Rising now has 45 goals scored through the first 17 matches of the season. In 2018, the club scored 32 goals through 17 matches en route to setting the club record for goals in a season.

Iron Man Watch
Defender Amadou Dia remains the club’s minutes leader with 1,350 minutes played. He’s followed by Solomon Asante (1,334), Adam Jahn (1,302),  Zac Lubin (1,260), and A.J. Cochran (1,159) to round out the top five. Eight players total have logged 1,000 or more minutes this season.