San Diego Loyal vs. Phoenix Rising
Torero Stadium at the University of San Diego
The kickoff is Saturday, June 19, at 7:30 p.m.
TV- ESPN+ as well as Fox 5 San Diego
The San Diego Loyal look to remain undefeated at home against the first-place Phoenix Rising.
For the first time this season, San Diego will host consecutive home matches as the Rising come into town.
The Loyal will play in their ninth match so far in 2021 and will be playing the Rising for the third time.
The first matchup between the two teams came on Opening Night when Phoenix won 4-1. The second ended in a 2-2 draw after the Rising scored two goals in seven minutes of stoppage time to complete the comeback.
San Diego’s record is (2-4-2) with eight points and a (-5) goal difference.
Phoenix enters with a (5-1-1) record with 16 points and a (+13) goal difference.
The Rising continues to dominate and sit atop the Pacific Division, while the Loyal is three slots below in fourth place. Sacramento Republic, Tacoma Defiance, and Las Vegas Lights FC are all tied with seven points but remain in that order in the standings due to goal difference.
Last Time Out
The Loyal defeated LA Galaxy II 2-1 last Saturday in dramatic fashion as they scored two late goals in front of the home fans. Scoring right in front of The Locals, Alejandro Guido and Miguel Berry helped complete the comeback to stay undefeated at home.
Miguel Berry is a USD Alum and played his collegiate career at Torero Stadium. Berry scored just under 70 goals during his four years in blue and is quite familiar with the atmosphere.
“I’ve done it a few times here but this one is a little bit different, the fans are unbelievable,” Berry said about his goal. “We knew they would be. I’ve played here in front of a lot fewer people in my college days but it’s nice to see this place rocking.”
Whether it’s in the starting 11 or coming off the bench, both Berry and Guido provide the Loyal with goal-scoring ability and versatility in the rotation.
Guido’s goal to tie the match earned him Goal of the Week by the USL Championship. His assist to Berry helped him also earn Player of the Week, the first to get the award this season.
Nutmeg in the build-up 👀
Outside the box rocket 🚀
Goal of the Week ✔️
— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) June 17, 2021
The San Diego natives continue to get the job done.
What to expect in the third matchup between San Diego and Phoenix
Unfamiliarity will not be an issue in this match, as they went toe-to-toe for the second time less than two weeks ago. The Loyal improved from the first matchup tremendously when they almost defeated the Rising but settled for the 2-2 draw.
The Loyal held the Rising scoreless for the entire 90 minutes but couldn’t hold on during stoppage time. Because of injures and a short delay, the referee issued seven minutes to be played, which is a bit longer than usual.
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Containing the Rising offense is nearly impossible, and the Loyal almost did it on the road. Through seven games, the Rising scored 19 goals and shot an incredible 150 attempts. Phoenix and LA are tied with the league lead at 19 goals, but the Rising has 45 more shot attempts than anyone else.
How will San Diego try and stop them again? Trey Muse. The Loanee goalkeeper leads the USL Championship with 32 saves. His length and flexibility allow him to block shots others can’t and make it look easy as well. Rising forward, Santi Moar is tied with the league lead at six goals, so Muse will have to continue to keep the Loyal in the match.
Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He is the former Sports Editor for the USDVista newspaper. Chris is also an athlete and is huge fan of San Diego sports. Chris has covered the San Diego Loyal, and contributes regularly about the Padres.