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Rowdy Fans Lift Phoenix Rising To Record 20-Game Win Streak

Published: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 11:25am
Phil Latzman/KJZZ
Phoenix Rising head coach Rick Schantz in 2019.

While Arizona’s other professional sports franchises have struggled, the Phoenix Rising is enjoying unprecedented success this season.

The United Soccer League club has won 20 straight, the longest streak in the history of American pro soccer history, having not lost a match since May.

“It’s pretty surreal to be honest,” said head coach Rick Schantz at practice this week at Casino Arizona Field in Scottsdale. “To constantly be getting this result, it’s unbelievable and then when you consider it’s been months since we’ve lost.”

They’ve long since broken the United Soccer League’s previous record of 10 victories in a row, and Schantz and his crew are now shooting to break the league record for points in a season (77) set by FC Cincinnati last year.

“The guys are super motivated to break that record and also to be the No. 1 seed overall would be a big deal, but once the playoffs start, everybody’s 0-0 and 0 — and it’s one and you’re done," Schantz said. 

When the playoffs start next month, the Rising will likely have home field advantage throughout.

That would take advantage of a rowdy yet enthusiastic crowd, which got the team in some trouble during its latest victory this past Saturday in Scottsdale when objects thrown on the field forced referees to end the match early.

Schantz stands by the fans and says the incident was blown out of proportion.

“I love that they’re passionate. I love that they’re in to the games. It’s soccer. It’s international football. So, the etiquette is to have a good time, to sing, to dance, to love your team and be passionate. Sometimes they cross the line a little bit, but there was no safety concern," Schantz said. 

The Rising says it has banned the fans responsible for throwing objects on the field.

Phoenix hits the road looking for a 21st consecutive victory Saturday night in Fresno.