Welcome to the Classic Championship Game of the Day, where today we revisit a game from the 2019 USL Championship Playoffs when No. 1 seed Phoenix Rising FC hosted No. 4 seed Real Monarchs SLC in the Western Conference Semifinals at Casino Arizona Field.
Phoenix had used the 2019 regular season to rewrite the USL Championship’s Record Book, posting new highs for wins, points and goals scored on the way to the Regular Season Title. At the middle of Phoenix’s incredible campaign was a 20-game winning streak that stood as the longest in not only Championship history, but the longest winning streak in modern-era professional soccer in the United States. Rising FC had achieved notable success on Friday nights, where its Dollar Beer Night promotion had seen it take 15 consecutive victories and no defeats since it was launched.
The Monarchs, meanwhile, had found top form late in the regular season to move into the top four in the standings. Led by the attacking abilities of winger Maikel Chang, forward Douglas Martinez and captain Jack Blake, Real had gone 5-0-1 to close out the regular season and into the playoffs. Among those victories was a 2-1 victory against Rising FC that stood as Phoenix’s only home defeat of the regular season, and the previous week the Monarchs had romped to a 6-2 victory against Orange County SC to earn the first postseason victory in their history.
The scene is set, so sit back, relax and enjoy a classic clash from the Championship’s history.