CARSON, Calif. — USL Championship history was made at the Dignity Health Sports Park Track Field on Wednesday night.
For the first time since 2016 — before Phoenix Rising FC rebranded from Arizona United SC — LA Galaxy II defeated a 10-man PRFC side by a score of 3-0.
The defeat also marks the end of Rising’s 13-match winning streak over Los Dos and is just the second time this season that Phoenix was held without a goal.
However, the goal-fest streak between the two clubs has been extended, as the last 10 matchups have now featured a minimum of three goals scored.
“Well if we have to play with 10 guys every time, this is going to happen. It’s ridiculous,” Phoenix Rising manager Rick Schantz said postgame.
“First of all, it’s our fault. We were not good on set pieces. Our corner kick transition was awful. We were too wide. … The referee ruined the game as usual. I’m just getting so tired of it. Three games in a row now we’ve had poor decisions go against us.”
Statistically, PRFC dominated the first half until left back Tate Schmitt was sent off after being shown a straight red for the denial of a goalscoring opportunity.
And despite playing a man down for 45 minutes for the second time in three matches, Phoenix finished the night with 58% possession, out-shot LA 18-13 and won the corner battle by a whopping count of 14-2.
“After the red card, I thought we were pretty good,” Schantz said. “In the first 15-20 minutes, we should’ve had three or four goals and we didn’t score goals. That’s what this game is all about. If we put them away early, it might’ve been a different story.”
The sending-off marks the second red the loanee has received in his last two halves of football played following his second yellow in the dying seconds of the first half in the 2-1 win over Orange County SC on Sept. 18.
Schantz made eight changes to the side that defeated Tacoma Defiance 2-1 last week, including leaving captain Solomon Asante, No. 6 Kevon Lambert and right back Darnell King out of the Matchday 18.
Phoenix Rising’s starting XI:
D: Calistri, Madrid, Musa, Schmitt
M: Quinn, Loera, Seijas
F: Moar, Bakero (C), Saydee
— Jake Anderson (@jwa1994) September 30, 2021
“Should I play all the starters every time every game?” Schantz said. “I don’t know, I would ask the fans. …
“The team is fantastic. If we didn’t get a red card, did we look like the better team? I thought so. I thought we were fantastic in the first half up until the red card. It’s not about changing players.”
The starting XI also featured goalkeeper Lalo Delgado in between the posts, and midfielders David Loera and Luis Seijas — all of whom made their first-ever start in a PRFC kit on the night.
“It was good,” Schantz said of Delgado’s start. “I think he could’ve made the save (on the first goal), it slipped through his hands. At this level when you have to be called upon, you have to be able to make the save and you’ve got to be able to make the difference.
“Other than that, I thought he was pretty good. He did well on a couple mistakes that we made and they got some shots off. I don’t put that on Lalo — the last two goals.”
Phoenix Rising caps off the three-game road trip away to Pacific Division rival Orange County.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Catch the audiostream on ArizonaSports.com and on the Arizona Sports app.