PHOENIX – Phoenix Rising FC will look to build on a dramatic midweek victory, and put pressure on the top four in the Western Conference, when it hosts Rio Grande Valley FC on Saturday night at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT.
Phoenix Rising FC news and notes
Current record: 15-8-7, 52pts
Phoenix rallied from an early two-goal deficit to earn a 4-3 victory against Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Wednesday night in the USL Game of the Week on ESPN3 at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex.
Didier Drogba and Jason Johnson both scored two goals in the win, with Johnson's goal midway through the second half proving the game-winner on his 12th goal of the season.
Drogba's start in Wednesday's game was his first since Aug. 5 against the LA Galaxy II, and his two goals moved him to seven tallies in 11 games this season.
Shaun Wright-Phillips was named to the USL Team of the Week on Tuesday following his performance last week against Portland Timbers 2 last week, where he scored a goal and provided an assist in the victory that clinched Rising FC its first trip to the postseason.
Now guaranteed of at least a fifth-place finish, Phoenix is three points back of all three teams between second and fourth in the Western Conference standings with two games remaining in its regular season.
Rio Grande Valley FC news and notes
Current record: 9-13-8, 35pts
Rio Grande Valley squandered a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw against the Swope Park Rangers last Saturday night at H-E-B Park as the team's playoff hopes came to an end.
The Toros took the lead through Joseph Holland before doubling the lead in the 64th minute on a Kyle Murphy goal. The Rangers hit back late, including a stoppage-time equalizer by Kharlton Belmar to earn a point from the game.
RGVFC has scored in four consecutive games, and is undefeated in its last three outings as it arrives to face Phoenix on Saturday.
The Toros have received only 38 yellow cards this season, the fewest in the USL.
Phoenix – GK: Josh Cohen, Carl Woszcynski, Nolan Wirth; D: Eder Arreola, Jordan Gibbons, Doue Mala, Amadou Dia, A.J. Grey, Peter Ramage, Kody Wakasa, Victor Vasquez, Jordan Stewart; M: Alessandro Riggi, Eric Avila, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Romilio Hernandez, Sam Hamilton, Blair Gavin, Kevon Lambert, Miguel Timm, Matt Watson; F: Jason Johnson, Matthew Hurlow, Chris Cortez, Didier Drogba, Gladson Awako
Rio Grande Valley – GK: Marco Carducci, Borja Angoitia, Calle Brown, Michael Kirk; D: Kai Greene, Victor Garza, Robby Sagel, Ivan Magalhaes, Justin Bilyeu, Leo Ayala, Kevin Garcia, Omar Ontiveros, Juan Garcia, Camilo Botero; M: Eric Bird, T.J. Casner, Emilio Garcia, Todd Wharton, Christian Lucatero, Memo Rodriguez, Jose Escalante, Nicolas Perea, Joe Holland; F: Ruben Luna, Kyle Murphy, Francisco Pungo, Greg Sutton
Phoenix – Accumulation warning: Didier Drogba, J.J. Greer, Blair Gavin
Rio Grande Valley – None
REF: LUIS GUARDIA
AR1: Anthony Bersano
AR2: Noah Kenyawani
4TH: Matthew Stewart
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