Rising up the Record Book
With a 15-point cushion above second-place Fresno FC and the Championship’s regular season title essentially in the bag, Phoenix Rising FC’s main motivations now are to prepare for the postseason and rewrite the league record book. Those two tasks have seemed to go hand-in-hand as Phoenix has continued to find different ways to win games over the past month. After setting new single-season club records for wins (20) and points (65) in Saturday’s win over San Antonio FC, Rising FC can fix its eyes on FC Cincinnati’s league record of 23 wins and 77 points set a season ago. A pair of Phoenix players also have a shot at some individual records as leading scorer Solomon Asante (21 goals, 14 assists) needs just five goals and three assists over the club’s final seven games to establish new marks, while goalkeeper Zac Lubin needs three more clean sheets to surpass the record of 15 shutouts set by former Ottawa Fury FC goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau in 2018.
The Cashman Effect
Las Vegas Lights FC enters Wednesday’s matchup on the back of a 3-0 home loss to El Paso Locomotive FC, which was the club’s second defeat this season at Cashman Field and just the third time it had conceded multiple goals on its home turf this campaign. While that’s not the way Lights FC goalkeeper Thomas Olsen would’ve liked to come into this match against the league’s highest-scoring team, he’s confident that his side can take lessons from its 4-0 defeat to Rising FC in May and bounce back with a strong performance as he searches for his seventh home shutout of the season.
“In this league, anyone can beat anyone on any given night," said Olsen, who was in goal when Lights FC pulled a surprise 5-2 victory last October when the teams last met in Las Vegas. “It starts being strong defensively. We have to be organized and on the same page all game long. Obviously, a team doesn’t win that many games in a row off a fluke. They’ve got some studs and we learned that when we went there earlier in the season. But now we’re at Cashman, so anything can happen.”
Irvin His Keep
One player that certainly can make things happen for Lights FC on Wednesday night is forward Irvin Parra, who enters the match as the club’s leading scorer with 10 goals in his debut season to go with five assists. Impressively, but perhaps not surprisingly given Las Vegas’ home/road splits, nine of the goals and all five of the assists have come at Cashman Field. That’s an encouraging sign for the hosts as Parra, who could overtake Sammy Ochoa and Raul Mendiola as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer with another goal, looks to lead the line and help his side in the chase for a playoff spot.