PHOENIX – The anticipation for the first USL Cup Playoffs contest in the history of the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex had built throughout the week, and on Friday night Phoenix Rising FC welcomed a club-record crowd of 7,511 that packed into the venue for the club’s clash with the Portland Timbers 2 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
Those fans didn’t go home disappointed as goals by Didier Drogba, Jason Johnson and Solomon Asante led the hosts to a 3-0 victory for the first postseason win in Rising FC history and a place in the Western Conference Semifinals next weekend against either Sacramento Republic FC or the Swope Park Rangers. After a season that has seen the fans lift the club regularly at home, Rising FC Head Coach Rick Schantz paid tribute to the supporters on hand after the game.
“The crowd was unbelievable,” said Schantz. “The fans have supported us all week long. The least we can do, and I told the players, is just to die on the field tonight and I thought that everybody gave 100 percent. We committed to the cause and we had guys out there that weren't really 100 percent fit but it's playoffs.”
Here are some of the sights and sounds from a historic night in Rising FC’s history.
The first USL Cup Playoffs contest in the history of the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex brought a club-record crowd of 7,511 to see the hosts walk the red carpet before taking a 3-0 victory against the Portland Timbers 2 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
I’m so proud of @PHXRisingFC and every single fan that came out tonight! We laid the smack down tonight on Portland, and all three goals were amazing by @didierdrogba @reggae_j11 and @Asante208! Seriously guys, you made the entire state proud! #RisingAsOne #UpRising— Andrew Southwick (@RedBeardedRed) October 20, 2018
Such an amazing night with a #win. I dedicate it to the numerous @PHXRisingFC supporters/fans, @RedFuryPHX @BandidosPHX @Hawksfans48 @sundayoliseh @JoeDebrah989 @didierdrogba @WAFAcademySC @USL @BkmChelseaFc @ghanafaofficial @PFAGofficial pic.twitter.com/t2S5BgPhyH— solomon (@Asante208) October 20, 2018