Welcome to the Classic Championship Game of the Day, where today we return to a contest early in the 2018 regular season that saw Phoenix Rising FC play host to Sporting Kansas City II at Casino Arizona Field.
The contest was the first meeting since the sides had met in a remarkable postseason tilt the previous fall, where SKC II had claimed victory in a penalty shootout to advance in a game that due to weather had spanned two days. Having added some key new figures to its squad in the offseason – including future Championship MVP Solomon Asante, Rising FC was looking to earn a measure of revenge in front of a sold-out crowd at its home venue.
SKC II had retained some of the key players from its run to the USL Championship Final the previous year, however, with defenders Amer Didic and Colton Storm and forward Kharlton Belmar among those in the starting XI that arrived in Arizona. With 10 points from its first five games of the season, Sporting had begun the defense of its Western Conference crown in impressive style as well, sitting even on points with Phoenix at kickoff.
The scene is set, so sit back, relax and enjoy a classic clash from the Championship’s history.