OC Heads Back to the Desert to Face Rivals Phoenix Rising FC

Following a draw in Las Vegas last week, Orange County SC is heading back out to the desert to continue their unbeaten run and pick up another win against perennial rivals Phoenix Rising FC.

The two teams have a long history that intensified with the 2018 Western Conference Finals last November. While Phoenix was victorious, OC started off the 2019 fixtures between the two sides with a controlled performance and a 2-1 victory.

OC is unbeaten in eight after the match in Las Vegas. Despite a first half red card, the team stayed organized and prevented repeated counter attacks and late set pieces, including multiple extra time corners. It was a difficult test that looked to be great preparation for the match against Phoenix. Defensive synergy has been key to the club’s unbeaten run, while center back Leonardo has dominated both ends of the pitch, controlling the back line and knocking in three goals.

Phoenix Rising has been dominant over the last few weeks, notching an emphatic 5-0 victory over Tulsa last weekend. Toronto FC loanee Jon Bakero has been a key member of the squad, controlling possession and the pace of play. PRFC will not have Junior Flemmings and Kevon Lambert, who are currently on international duty. Despite their dominating play, OC has historically played up to their opponents and caused problems.

Orange County had plenty to celebrate in the first fixture between the two sides in 2019.  Photo courtesy of Orange County SC/Liza Rosales.

Orange County had plenty to celebrate in the first fixture between the two sides in 2019. Photo courtesy of Orange County SC/Liza Rosales.

OC will again play for pride and will look to take both matches against the Arizona club in 2019. Aodhan Quinn and Darwin Jones return to the lineup this week, though Michael Seaton will be out. Still, the winger and attacking midfielder have combined well and will certainly cause issues. It is likely that Vinicius will again get the opportunity to terrorize the Phoenix defense and keep the opponents out of possession.

The match kicks off at 7:30pm at Casino Arizona Field in Tempe. The game will also be broadcast live on ESPN+ in the United States.

Highlights:

  • Aodhan Quinn and Darwin Jones have combined for 11 goals, 45% of the team’s total goal tally.

  • Phoenix Rising FC has scored 17 goals in their last five matches.