Phoenix Rising secured the top spot in the USL championship with victory in San Diego

Phoenix Rising midfielder Jon Bakero (left) battles San Diego Loyal midfielder Alejandro Guido (right) in the PRFC 1-0 win at Torero Stadium in San Diego, Calif., July 24, 2021. (Courtesy photo by Phoenix Rising FC)

Phoenix Rising FC did something on Saturday night that no team in San Diego has done in the 2021 USL championship campaign.

PRFC defeated Loyal SC 1-0 to take all three points for Landon Donovan’s side at the Torero Stadium and end the club’s nine-game unbeaten streak.

The win also marks the first Phoenix win in San Diego in 90 minutes after Loyal lost a game in 2020 despite holding a 2-0 at the time.

Although San Diego owned 71% of the ball and overtook PRFC 668-271 with an accuracy of 85% advantage of 69%, Loyal couldn’t even get a shot on goal for the entire 90 minutes.

These metrics prove the game’s old adage that it’s not about how much possession a team has, but what that team does with possession.

Phoenix Rising used his time with the ball and shot San Diego 18-5 with a 6-0 lead on goal.

For the second week in a row, it was not the PRFC’s offensive trio that scored the goals, but the center-back duo Joe Farrell and James Musa.

In the ninth minute of play, Farrell headed a corner kick back over goal, where Musa waited to kick the ball over the line to give Rising the only goal of the night and bring the game to its final score of 1. to bring -0 in favor of PRFC.

23 ′ | Do that with two goals and two assists in the last two days of play from Phoenix Risings center-back duo James Musa and Joe Farrell.

0-1 #SDvPHX | #RisingAsOne

– Jake Anderson (@ jwa1994) July 25, 2021

Phoenix Rising coach Schantz made two changes to his starting XI after beating LA Galaxy II 5-0 last Saturday night.

Goalkeeper Ben Lundt and left-back Ryan Flood were replaced by Andre Rawls and Tate Schmitt, respectively, despite conceding a goal.

The starting XI of Phoenix Rising:

G: Rawls
D: König, Farrell, Musa, Schmitt
M: Lambert, Quinn, Bakero
Q: Asante (C), Dadashov, Moar # SDvPHX | #RisingAsOne

– Jake Anderson (@ jwa1994) July 25, 2021

The game also marks the 100th career appearance in a PRFC jersey for captain Solomon Asante, who becomes the first player in the club’s history to achieve this feat.

“I celebrated after we won the game and I told Juan (Guerra) that we weren’t celebrating because we beat San Diego on the road – that’s just three points. We’re going again, right? We’re celebrating our first 100, ”said Schantz as he presented Asante with a commemorative jersey with the number 100 while the team bullied the captain in the locker room.

With the win, PRFC is now alone at the top of the league with 29 points in 13 games played (9W-2D-2L) and with one game in hand they have a seven-point lead in the Pacific Division.

El Paso Locomotive (12 games played) and Rio Grande Valley (12 games played) are even tied with 25 points each in the Mountain Division, while Tampa Bay Rowdies and Louisville City are currently number 1 in the Eastern Conference with 27 points over 14 games played per piece.

“Love is deep, deeper. I really appreciate it. It’s never been easy, but together with Phoenix Rising we made it: teammates, coaches, fans, management, board members and directors, ”Asante tweeted after the game.


Phoenix Rising is returning home next Saturday night to host RGV at Wild Horse Pass.

Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and will be streamed live on and the Arizona Sports app.

Follow @ jwa1994

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