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Austin Bold vs Phoenix Rising: USL Championship Match Preview

Tonight the Phoenix Rising finish off their Texas road trip with a visit to Austin to face another expansion side, Austin Bold FC. This midweek game comes after arguably the most complete performance from Phoenix this season, a 2-0 win over El Paso Locomotive. The game will kick-off at 5:30 pm Arizona time and is available on ESPN+ as well as locally on CW Phoenix.

Currently, Phoenix sits on 14th in the Western Conference, but a victory could see them jump all way to third through fifth depending on goal difference. Austin Bold find themselves sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference, but have played the least amount of games. This is a big game for Phoenix as they look to continue the momentum from Saturday.

What To Expect From Phoenix Rising

Phoenix Rising Logo and USL Four Corners Cup

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, Wikipedia

I would expect a very similar line-up to what we saw in El Paso for Phoenix. Rick Schantz will stick with Zac Lubin between the posts who has seen two starts this season that resulted in two clean sheets. While supporters might be disappointed to see Carl “Woz” Woszczynski sitting on the bench again, it makes sense to continue with the hot hand and bring a little stability to the back.

With that in mind, I would also imagine that A.J. Cochrane and Joe Farrell get the start in the center. They have developed a solid partnership in the back and Cochrane did pick up a man of the match award in El Paso, as well as USL Team of the Week, honors. Amadou Dia will continue to be the lock at left back. Mustapha Dumbuya will get the nod at right back unless Tristan Blackmon is available. The biggest shake-up will come in the middle of the park. If Javier Perez or Jon Bakero is with the team in Austin (I can’t find any information on this), I would imagine that one of them starts with Jose Aguinaga and Kevon Lambert. Finally, I think the front three will remain unchanged with Captain Solomon “Solo” Asante and Junior Flemmings flanking Adam Jahn.

What To Expect From Austin Bold

Austin Bold logo

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, Wikipedia

As far as Austin is concerned, their line-up and formation is anyone’s guess. In four matches this season, they have run out four different formations. What we do know is that leading scorer Kleber Freitas is suspended for this match (he is also the only player to get on the score sheet for Austin this season).

My guess is that means that Nigerian striker, Isaac Promise, will be leading the line for Austin. Austin will rely on a stingy defense to get a positive result from this draw. They have only allowed three goals this season with USL vet Diego Restrepo (goalkeeper) and MLS vet Amobi Okugo (centerback) leading the defense.

Phoenix Rising vs Austin Bold Game Prediction

Phoenix will be looking to get a positive result from this game. I would expect them to see a lot of the ball and look, to break down Austin’s backline. Look for a hard-fought victory from Phoenix as the keep an on Saturday night when they return to Casino Arizona Field. 1-0 to Phoenix with Asante getting on the score sheet.

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