Preview: RGV FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC

The Rio Grande Valley FC Toros will remain at home this weekend as part of a three-match homestand when they host league leaders Phoenix Rising FC on Saturday at 7:30 pm CT.  

In their last match, RGV FC battled to a scoreless draw against the Tacoma Defiance at H-E-B Park on July 6. Despite outshooting the visitors 19-8, RGV were unable to break through Tacoma’s defense, and were held scoreless for their third consecutive match. 

Currently mired in a 275-minute scoreless drought, RGV FC will look to its forward core to break out against Phoenix. Forward Carlos Small is the club’s active leading goal scorer this season with 7, while forwards Wilmer Cabrera Jr and Jesús Enríquez have each added 3 for the Toros. Midfielder Isidro Martinez will look to increase his 41 created chances total, tied for sixth in the league in that category. 

Phoenix Rising FC are currently at the top of the USL Championship table in part to an on-going eight match winning streak, most recently defeating Portland 4-2 at home on June 29. After rattling off four straight draws to start their season, Phoenix has recovered to go 10-2-1 since. On the road this season, Phoenix Rising FC are 4-2-2. Last season, RGV FC were 0-1-1 against the league runners-up, fighting to a scoreless draw at H-E-B Park on June 23 and falling 1-0 on Sept. 5 at Phoenix Rising FC Soccer Complex. 

The high-powered offense of Phoenix Rising FC is headlined by forwards Solomon Asante and former MLS striker Adam Jahn, who have combined to score 21 of Reno’s league high 45 goals this season. Asante currently leads the USL Championship in both goals and assists with 12 goals and nine assists, while Jahn and midfielder Junior Flemmings, who is returning from representing Jamaica at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, are also ranked in the league’s top ten goal-scorers with 9 and 8, respectively.  

Defensively for Phoenix, former MLS men Amadou Dia and A.J. Cochran hold down the backline for goalkeeper Zac Lubin, who is currently tied for second in the league in clean sheets with eight. Phoenix Rising FC is coached by Rick Schantz, who is in his first full season with the team after taking over as the interim head coach during the 2018 season and helping the club reach the USL Championship game. 

 The match will be streamed on ESPN+ at 7:30 pm CT.