It’s Free Underwear Night at Weidner Field this Saturday evening as table-toppers Phoenix Rising FC face off against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. The first 1,000 fans at Weidner Field will receive free underwear, courtesy of Sheath, with tickets for Saturday’s clash available HERE.
Saturday’s opponent tied 2-2 at Casino Arizona Field in The Valley of the Sun on March 30th, with Ish Jome notching a priceless stoppage-time equalizer for the Switchbacks. Switchbacks captain Jordan Burt had opened the scoring in the 26th minute, before goals from Phoenix’s Adam Jahn and Joseph Farrell gave the home side the lead.
“Phoenix are very attacking and they keep the ball well,” said wing back Ish Jome. “It’s been a long time, but we can take the fact we played them well and kept pushing and got points from the game. And; why not us? Why not us to go out and take the win this weekend and break their record?”
In defeating the Tacoma Defiance 4-2 on Tuesday evening at Cheney Stadium in the Great Pacific Northwest, Phoenix Rising set a new American professional soccer record with their 16th consecutive win. “Phoenix are in rhythm now and they’re arguably the best team in the league,” said Switchbacks Interim Head Coach Wolde Harris. “I’m looking forward to preparing this week and putting on a good performance for our fans and for ourselves. We’re on our home pitch, and we’ll use that and put it all on the line.”
“All three of the players Phoenix have up-top present different challenges,” said Harris. “[Solomon] Asante and [Junior] Fleming are two of the better players in this league. [Adam] Jahn is a goal scorer and a poacher – we have to be aware of him. Their outside backs come up to provide width – attacking wise, Phoenix are very potent so we have to be compact and aware on defense.”
Ghanaian midfielder Solomon Asante’s 19 goals in the 2019 USL Championship lead the entire league, while his 13 assists are also the top-mark. Former Stanford Cardinal star Adam Jahn has 13 goals this season for Phoenix Rising, while Jamaican Junior Flemmings now has 11 goals after scoring as a second half substitute in Phoenix’s aforementioned 4-2 win against the Tacoma Defiance on Tuesday evening.
“We’ve got to get to work this week and come up with a plan to slow Phoenix down,” said Switchbacks center back Kris Reaves. “We didn’t get the result we wanted last weekend, but we’re still united. We’ll try to disrupt Phoenix and I hope a full week here together will help us prepare well for the best team in this league.”
Last Saturday saw the Switchbacks fall 2-1 to Fresno FC at Chukchansi Park in California, after a stoppage-time winner from Ramón Del Campo gifted the home team all three points. Saeed Robinson had given the Switchbacks the lead just past the hour mark after a spectacular run and a thundering finish. Cole Bassett and Sebastian Anderson both started and made their debuts for the Switchbacks against Fresno, while Fernando González Delfin also started for Wolde Harris’ team.
“I look forward to having Cole and Sebastian with us again this season when possible,” said Harris. “It was a small field in Fresno, so Delfin couldn’t find a lot of space. We’ll see about the dynamics of our attack this weekend. For us, the key factor is being good with the ball at home. The altitude becomes a factor late in the game if we can make Phoenix work and if we can keep the ball moving. Our defense will be questioned this weekend with Asante and Fleming and Phoenix’s attacking players so we’re going to have to be good in small groups. Phoenix have a lot of players who can attack on the dribble so our compactness will be key, as will how quickly we can transition into the attack and go forward in numbers.”
“Phoenix are a top team,” said Austin Dewing on Tuesday morning at a frigid Pride Soccer Complex in Colorado Springs. “We’re going to have to step up to their level and be ready to go and get another win at home.”
The Switchbacks will return to Weidner Field on September 7th for Hero Night, with tickets available HERE. Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs will be sponsoring a foam finger giveaway for the first 500 fans at Weidner Field.