SD Loyal SC match preview against Phoenix Rising

Credit: SD Loyal

Credit: Loyal

SD Loyal vs. Phoenix Rising
Saturday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex at Wild Horse Pass
TV- ESPN+ and Fox 5 San Diego

After earning their first win last match, the San Diego Loyal travel back to Phoenix to take on the first place Rising.

It was an impressive victory for the Loyal last Saturday night, earning their first three points of the season against the Las Vegas Lights FC. Even more impressive, assistant coach Nate Miller coached the Loyal in the victory as manager Landon Donovan was suspended after being issued a red card in the match prior.

Donovan will return and have another tough task as they hit the road to Phoenix. The Rising are (4-1-0) on the season and sit atop the Pacific Division with 12 points. LA Galaxy II are right behind with 11 points, followed by Tacoma Defiance and Sacramento Republic with seven points.

The Loyal remain in seventh place (1-4-0) as they have been most of the season. A reminder that the top four in the division move on to the playoffs. The season is still early as there are 27 more matches for the Loyal, with 25 coming against the division.

Another new face in San Diego

The team announced Wednesday, June 2nd, that defender Callum Montgomery is on loan from MLS’s Minnesota United. FC Dallas drafted Montgomery 4th overall in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. Dallas then later traded Montgomery to Minnesota in 2020.

“Callum is a player we’re very excited to bring to San Diego and we’re grateful to Minnesota United for allowing him to come here on loan,” Donovan said. “He has great leadership qualities, he immediately fits in with the team and he’s an excellent passer. He will help us a lot on and off the field.”

The Canadian footballer knocked in two goals in nine appearances in 2020 while on loan at San Antonio FC. He also has spent time with the Canadian national team in the 2021 Olympic Qualifiers.

What to expect between the Loyal and Rising in their second matchup

The first matchup took place on opening night. Phoenix dominated the match from start to finish and won 4-1. Besides the one goal from forward Ben Spencer, the Loyal were outplayed for a majority of the match. It’s hard to really judge the players in that loss, as most of them were playing together for the first time.

San Diego is improving each match and will continue to do so throughout the season. They will play each Pacific Division opponent a total of four times, so knowing the opposition won’t be an issue. With one match under the belt against the Rising, it’s expected that the result won’t be so one-sided.

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Phoenix is high-powered and aggressive at all times. Their 14 goals are second to LA’s USL-leading 15. Phoenix also leads the USL in shot attempts with over 100. The Rising can create a shot opportunity in just seconds, so the opponent’s defenders must hold their ground pass after pass.

The Loyal are third in the USL in goals conceded with 11, so their defensive play must improve if they want to hang around.

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