Unbeaten in their last 17 straight matches at Casino Arizona Field in Scottsdale, Phoenix Rising will play host to Real Monarchs SLC on Saturday in what will be the final regular season road match for the Monarchs. Having long since clinched the 2019 USL Supporters Shield and home advantage throughout the playoffs, Phoenix could be excused for treating this game lightly but by all appearances will emerge with fire in their eyes looking to take the fan created Four Corners Cup with 3 points from a victory. New Mexico United currently leads the cup race with 11 points from their six matches, but either Phoenix or the Monarchs could move from 9 to 12 with a victory tonight.
Phoenix Rising could also set a single season USL points record with 78 points with another victory on Saturday. They will have shortage of firepower as Solomon Asante, Adam Jahn and Junior Flemings have become the first USL teammates to all score at least 15 goals in single season. Zac Lubin in goal has a league leading 13 clean sheets behind a strong defensive line featuring Amadou Dia, Doueugui Mala and Joseph Farrell.
Phoenix Rising will come into the match off a full week of training while the Monarchs late season match congestion had them play last Wednesday and then again this Wednesday before both teams end the regular season on next Saturday. With a squad already missing 4 players through injury and international duty, do not be surprised to once again for a great deal of support from RSL in the midfield and defense even though it is away from SLC.
Andrew Putna, Tate Schmitt (still trying out at left back), Erik Holt, justin Portillo, Luk Mullholland and Kelyn Rowe all got starts fro the Monarchs and Wednesday night in the 2-0 victory against Orange County. That victory clinched a spot in the playoffs and put out the Monarchs back into contention for an opening round home match. With three matches remaining compared their competitors two, the Monarchs have room to rest key players like Jack Blake and Maikel Chang before the two upcoming home matches against direct competitors Austin Bold and Sacramento Republic to determine playoff seeding.
The match tonight begins at 8:30 MT and will be streamed on EPSN+ live and available for viewing after the Royals final home match at Rio Tinto.