What You Need To Know
The 2019 Playoffs presented by Arizona Complete Health continues this Friday as Phoenix Rising FC faces off against Real Monarchs SLC in the Western Conference Semifinals at Casino Arizona Field. The match is scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. and will air live on ESPN+, ESPN 620AM and there will be an audio stream on the official Phoenix Rising app presented by Sprouts.
Rising reached the conference semifinals following a grueling 0-0 draw with Austin Bold that ended in an 8-7 penalty shootout win for Phoenix Rising. It was the club’s first-ever official penalty shootout win after losing in the three previous shootouts (2017 USL Playoffs and the 2018 and 2019 U.S. Open Cup). Goalkeeper Zac Lubin made two saves in the nine-round shootout while defender A.J. Cochran (who missed his opportunity to end the shootout in this year’s U.S. Open Cup) buried the shootout clincher to send Phoenix Rising into the next round.
Real Monarchs SLC comes into the match in red-hot form. The club is currently on a six-match unbeaten streak (5-0-1) with their last loss coming on September 21st. The club cruised in its opening-round USL Playoffs match, a 6-2 win over Orange County SC. Jack Blake led the attack with a brace while four different players rounded out the offensive onslaught.
This will be the third match of the season series between the two clubs. Phoenix Rising downed Real Monarchs 4-2 on the road on May 25th while the Monarchs defeated Rising, 2-1, at Casino Arizona Field on October 12th. This will be the first time the teams meet in the postseason.
Friday night is also $1 beer night. A 2019 Playoffs Rally Towel will be placed on every seat at Casino Arizona Field and 3,000 koozies courtesy of Four Peaks Brewing will be handed out to fans 21 years old and older at all the stadium bars. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets by going to PHXRisingFC.com.
PHX vs. SLC Series
A Little Bit About Real Monarchs SLC
A Little Bit About Phoenix Rising
Score First, Win Always
Phoenix Rising is undefeated (21-0-0) when scoring first this season.
Solomon Asante is the club’s minutes leader with 2,850 minutes played. He is followed by Amadou Dia with 2,839 minutes. During the playoffs, both players could break the club record for most minutes played in a season (3,086, set by Dia last year).
Not Done Breaking Records Yet...
Solomon Asante has 33 appearances and 32 starts on the season. If the team advances to the finals and he stays healthy, Asante could tie the club record for appearances (36, set by himself in 2018) and starts in a season (35, set by Asante and Dia in 2018).
Amadou Dia has 89 career appearances with PHX and is in striking distance of the club record of 91 held by Carl Woszczynski.
The Curse is Broken
On Saturday night vs. Austin Bold, Phoenix Rising won its first penalty shootout (8-7) in club history to stamp its ticket to the Western Conference Semifinals. This was the fourth penalty shootout in the club's history. PHX lost on penalties the last two seasons in the U.S. Open Cup and was eliminated in a penalty shootout in the 2017 Conference Quarterfinals.
A cut above the rest
PHX is the only Western Conference team to reach the conference semifinals in 2018 and 2019. The team is also one of just two teams in the entire league to accomplish this. The other: Rising’s 2018 USL Final foe, Louisville City FC.