Rising Recap – Phoenix Rising chop down Portland Timbers 2 in 6-1 home, season opener

Jesse Milioto-Video Editor

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Jesse Milioto

Rising players attack Portland’s goal in Saturday’s 6-1 win

Cynthia Tapia, Reporter

Phoenix Rising officially kicked off their 2020 United Soccer League (USL) Championship season on Saturday night, hosting Portland Timbers 2 in a 6-1 victory. It was only the second time in club history that Phoenix opened at home.

The last time these two teams met was Oct. 5, near the end of last season, when Rising was riding a historic number of wins, goals and points into the playoffs.

Phoenix won that contest 5-3.

Third-year head coach Rick Schantz’s starting lineup had a much different look that last season.  2018 and 2019 Rising Defender of the Year Amadou Dia resigned with Major League Soccer (MLS) team Sporting Kansas City, who drafted Dia in 2014 out of Clemson.

Popular goalkeeper, Carl Woszczynski is currently retired and has been replaced by Eric Dick, on loan from Sporting KC and Landon Carter, Rising’s third player to sign an academy contract with the team, which allows him to maintain his amateur status.

Adam Jahn, who scored 17 goals in 33 games last season, moved onto MLS Atlanta United.

To be exact, Rising added 10 new players during the offseason.

Saturday night, the most effective of those new player turned out to be rookie striker Rufat Dadasov, who had three goals in his Rising debut, two of which were assisted by Captain Solomon Asante.

Lagos Kunga, who is on loan from Atlanta United, also contributed with a goal in the second half of the match with some help from veteran Jose Aguinaga.

Junior Flemmings jumpstarted his 2020 stats with a goal assisted by another new player, midfielder Sam Stanton.

Asante, the 2019 USL MVP, closed out the match with a goal in the 90th minute with an assist from Flemmings.

Rising suffered no injuries during the game, but two yellow cards were issued in the second half of the match to Rising players Corey Whelan and Kevon Lambert.

Rising will play their next game on the road against Real Monarchs on Mar. 14 at Zions Bank Stadium.