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Phoenix Rising Begins Playoff Run With Quarterfinal Clash Against Austin

By Phoenix Rising Communications, 10/25/19, 12:15PM MST

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What You Need To Know

  • Phoenix Rising finished the regular season with 24 wins and 78 points, both USL Championship records.
  • Solomon Asante's 17 regular season assists are a new USL Championship record.
  • Phoenix Rising's all-time playoff record is 3-1-1.
  • Phoenix Rising reached the USL Championship Final last season, losing to Louisville City FC 1-0. 

THIS WEEK
Saturday, October 26th – vs. Austin Bold FC @ 7:30 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 
Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The 2019 Playoffs presented by Arizona Complete Health begin this Saturday as Phoenix Rising FC squares up with Austin Bold FC in the Western Conference Quarterfinals at Casino Arizona Field. The match is scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. and will air live on Your PHX CW (channel 6 on cable and 61.1 on satellite & over-the-air), ESPN+ and will be audio streamed on the official Phoenix Rising app presented by Sprouts.

Phoenix Rising completed a historic regular season that included breaking the league record for most wins (24), points (78), goal differential (+53), and most consecutive wins (20). Forward Solomon Asante also set the league record for most combined goals and assists (39) and most assists in a season (17) while breaking the club record for most goals in a season (22).

The team has been nearly unbeatable at Casino Arizona Field in 2019 with a 13-1-3 record, capping the home schedule off with a 3-1 win over OKC Energy FC last weekend. 

This will be Rising’s third playoff appearance in as many years. The team’s official playoff record is 3-1-1 (the club finished regulation and extra time drawn with Swope Park in 2017, but were eliminated on penalty kicks). Last season, Phoenix Rising won the Western Conference Championship before losing to Louisville City FC in the USL Championship Final.

The expansion Austin Bold makes its first appearances in the playoffs. The club went into the postseason in relatively good form, going 2-1-2 in its final five matches. Austin won its USL Play-In match on Wednesday, shutting out LA Galaxy II, 2-0. Ema Twumasi and Sean McFarlane were the two lone goal scorers.

This will be the third match of the season series between the two clubs. Phoenix Rising was shutout, 1-0, at Austin back on April 17. Rising returned the favor on July 19, shutting out Austin in a 6-0 win.

The first 2,000 fans who arrive to the match will receive a Phoenix Rising water bottle courtesy of Arizona Complete Health. A 2019 Playoffs Rally Towel will also be placed on every seat at Casino Arizona Field. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Phoenix Rising will also be holding a Red Carpet Welcome presented by Holiday Inn Express Old Town Scottsdale. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to give the players a red carpet welcome for the match. Tickets are still available for the match. Fans can purchase them at PHXRisingFC.com.

PHXvAUS Series

  • PHX is 1-1-0 all time against AUS.
  • PHX set club records for most goals in a match and margin of victory in a 6-0 win over AUS on July 19.
  • Solomon Asante's two goals is the most goals scored by any player against AUS.
  • AUS had the third-most fouls conceded and the second-most yellow cards earned in USL Championship.

A Little Bit About Austin Bold

  • The club's leading scorer is Andre Lima with 14 goals. Kleber is the only other player on the club with double digit goals (11). However, Kleber is suspended for the match.
  • Sean McFarlane leads the club in assists (12).
  • AUS is 2-1-2 in its last five matches.
  • AUS went 3-8-6 on the road compared to a 10-4-3 home record in 2019.

A Little Bit About Phoenix Rising  

  • Per Opta, the team’s 7.0 team rating is tops in USL Championship.
  • PHX scored three or more goals in 19 of its 34 games this season.
  • PHX’s 89 goals scored in the regular season is a USL Championship record. Solomon Asante leads all of USL Championship in goals (22) and assists (17).
  • Zac Lubin led the conference in clean sheets for the regular season (13).
  • Per Opta, Asante has the best average player rating at 8.19. He’s the only player currently above 8. PHX has two of the top three rated players in the league (Asante and Flemmings) and four of the top 10 (Asante, Flemmings, Jahn, and Bakero).

Win, Win, Win, No Matter What…
Phoenix Rising's 24 wins broke the club record (19) and USL Championship record (23, set by FC Cincinnati last season) for wins in the regular season.

Finishing Strong
Phoenix Rising had already broken the club record for points in a season (63, set in 2018). With a win in their regular season finale, PHX secured its 78th point and broke the USL Championship record for most points in a season (77), set by FC Cincinnati last season.

Difference Makers 
Not only did Phoenix Rising set the USL championship record for goals in a season (89), the club also set the record for largest goal differential (+53).

Score First, Win Always
Phoenix Rising was undefeated (21-0-0) when scoring first this season.

Iron Man
Solomon Asante finished the regular season as the club’s minutes leader with 2,737 minutes played. He was followed by Amadou Dia (2,719), Adam Jahn (2,6992), Zac Lubin (2,610), and José Aguinaga (2,235) to round out the top five. 15 players total logged 1,000 or more minutes this season.

Man on Fire
Solomon Asante had 39 combined goals and assists on the season, breaking a USL Championship record (32) set last year by FC Cincinnati’s Emmanuel Ledesma, who recorded 16 goals and 16 assists in the regular season. Asante's 17 assists are a new league regular-season record and his 22 goals were only three off the league's regular-season record of 25, set in 2018 by Louisville City FC’s Cameron Lancaster. 

The Second Season Begins
PHX enters the postseason as the top seed in the league and will host all four rounds should they advance. This is PHX's third consecutive year making the playoffs with an all-time record of 3-1-1 Last season, the club lost in the USL Championship Final to Louisville City FC. In 2017, Phoenix drew with Swope Park Rangers at the end of regulation and extra time in the Conference Quarterfinals but were eliminated on penalty kicks.