After going 2-0-10 in the preseason, Phoenix Rising is off to a hot start winning their first two games of the regular season.
“We knew that with such a long off-season, we really wanted the extra two weeks in the preseason to have eight weeks,” said Phoenix Rising head coach Rick Schantz.
Despite not having the results they wanted in the preseason, Rising has been able to exceed any expectations formed before the regular season.
“Oakland was a big challenge because you follow up a game with a ton of emotion like San Diego,” Schantz said. “They’re a new team, we don’t know them well, they’re expansion, and I believe everyone expected us to win the game.”
— Phoenix Rising FC (@PHXRisingFC) May 10, 2021
Despite the pressure of being expected to win, the Rising defeated the Roots 3-0. The previous week they defeated San Diego 4-1 to open their season at home. Now after defeating two top competitors in the league the Rising will go on to face the Tampa Rowdies on May 15.
𝙏𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙘𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙪𝙣𝙛𝙞𝙣𝙞𝙨𝙝𝙚𝙙 𝙗𝙪𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 😤
— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) May 10, 2021
With two wins locked in Phoenix Rising players are feeling “confident,” but Schantz says players aren’t getting ahead of themselves.
“This team has enough experience to know that it’s just six points,” said Schantz. “The best thing about winning those two games was they were division opponents and we have to play them three more times.”
Phoenix Rising’s upcoming trip to Tampa presents another opportunity to play a top-tier team that already has three wins this season.