Phoenix Rising FC and San Diego Loyal SC will renew their burgeoning rivalry on Friday night as Phoenix opens its new 10,000-seat home at Wild Horse Pass on national television. | Photo courtesy Grace Stufkosky / Phoenix Rising FC
PHOENIX – Phoenix Rising FC and San Diego Loyal SC will kick off the biggest national television schedule in the USL’s history on Friday night as the Pacific Division rivals officially open Phoenix’s new 10,000- seat venue at Wild Horse Pass. Kickoff is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
@PHXRisingFC (0-0-0, 0pts) is set to welcome 50 percent of capacity to its new home as it begins the defense of its second Western Conference Title in the past three seasons. Rising FC has made some notable additions to its lineup including former Orange County SC midfielder Aodhan Quinn and 2019 USL League One MVP Arturo Rodriguez. The side’s performances in its final preseason outings – losing 3-1 to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and 4-0 to New Mexico United – has raised some eyebrows, however, and Phoenix will be looking to put forward a strong opening statement on national television.
@SanDiegoLoyal (0-0-0, 0pts) will be looking to spoil the party, though, and with its own new additions including midfielder Jack Blake and defender Thomas Vancaeyezeele they have bolstered a side that was on the upswing in form as it concluded its first season in the Championship. San Diego could take some inspiration from four years ago, too, when Phoenix opened the predecessor to its current home. Back then Toronto FC II – and current SD Loyal player Ben Spencer – took a 1-0 victory on the road. If San Diego can pull that off, it would burnish their preseason look as a serious contender.
FiveThirtyEight.com Match Predictor: Phoenix Rising FC 58%, San Diego Loyal SC 19%, Draw 23%
Phoenix Rising FC – None
San Diego Loyal SC – None