PHOENIX – Needing an nine-goal win to jump into the top four of the USL Western Conference in its final game of the regular season, Phoenix Rising FC will be going all out for a big win against the Portland Timbers 2 when the teams meet 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: 16-8-7, 55pts
Rising FC comes into this match following a 2-0 win against Rio Grande Valley FC last Saturday night which kept alive its hopes of a home match in the USL Cup Playoffs.
Jamaican forward Jason Johnson scored the opening goal of the game on an impressive solo run and finish for his 13th goal of the regular season, before an own goal off a free kick by Didier Drogba in the second half sealed the win.
Rising FC goalkeeper Josh Cohen was named the USL Player of the Month for September on Thursday, earning the award after recording six shutouts and a 0.37 goals-against average over the month to help Phoenix clinch its first playoff berth.
Phoenix sits three points back of the fourth-place Swope Park Rangers going into its final game after the Rangers closed their regular season on Wednesday night with a victory against Seattle Sounders FC 2. Should Phoenix take victory on Saturday it would move level with Swope Park on points and total wins, but the Rangers goal differential of +18 gives the defending Western Conference champion a sizeable edge on Phoenix at +10 in the second tiebreaker category.
Portland Timbers 2 news and notes
Current record: 3-22-6, 15pts
T2 completed its regular season on Saturday night after suffering a 2-1 loss to San Antonio FC on Wednesday night at Toyota Field.
Bill Tuiloma leveled the score for T2 in the 35th minute after SAFC had taken an early lead, but San Antonio's Ryan Roushandel scored with 19 minutes to go to give the hosts victory.
Portland goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh is fourth in the USL this season with 90 saves on the year, and has posted a 67.42 save percentage.
T2's heaviest defeat of the regular season came on Sept. 23 when the side los 6-1 to Reno 1868 FC at Greater Nevada Field.
Phoenix – GK: Josh Cohen, Carl Woszcynski, Nolan Wirth; D: Eder Arreola, Jordan Gibbons, Doue Mala, Amadou Dia, Jarvis Greer, 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
Portland – GK: Wade Hamilton, Christian Herrera, Kendall McIntosh; D: Michael Amick, Kyle Bjornethun, Rennico Clarke, Marco Farfan, Harold Hanson, Coby Atkinson, Ben Zemanski, Shaquille Jimenez, Amobi Okugo, Max Ornstil; M: Carlos Anguiano, Jack Barmby, Russell Cicerone, Will Inalien, Tomas Granitto, Terrell Lowe, Omar Mohamed, Bill Tuiloma, Adrian Villegas, Renzo Zambrano; F: Victor Arboleda, Gio Calixtro, Jeremy Ebobisse, Augustine Williams
Phoenix – Accumulation warning: Didier Drogba, J.J. Greer, Blair Gavin, Omar Bravo
Portland – Suspended: Lamar Batista
REF: ROBI HULLNER
AR1: Mario Coss
AR2: Todd Woodhull
4TH: Bennett Savage
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