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Fans revel in home opener win for Phoenix Rising FC

By - Mar 25, 2018


By Yodit Woldegebriel/For The Sporting Nation 

TEMPE, Ariz. -- There was not an empty seat in sight at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex with a sellout crowd in attendance on Saturday night for the USL side's home opener.

More than 7,000 fans bought tickets to watch the new and improved second-year franchise Phoenix Rising FC team blow out OKC Energy FC 4-1.

“I've been working with the organization at every location these past couple years from Peoria to Scottsdale and now Tempe, and I've got to say this is the best one yet,” said guest services worker Kimberly Biddle. “They got the setup right and fans are happy to be here.”

Walking into the complex, newcomers were greeted with excitement and anticipation from fans who awaited the season home opener against OKC Energy FC, who had a slight edge in the overall series, 4-3-2.

“My family and I are more than excited to come out and support the team and players,” said Blanca Ardon. “It’s there second year back and we expect them to be a lot better this time around with the new additions to the team.”

The game kicked off at 7:00 p.m. but fans arrived much earlier to mingle and participate in activities such as raffles and games arranged for the younger fans.

“I think it’s a great atmosphere because it’s very family-friendly. You are able to bring everybody, it’s affordable and you know you’re going to see some quality fútbol,” said Phoenix Rising fan Nestor Felix.

The atmosphere was filled with joy as families and friends walked around the stadium exploring different stands and seeing what they had to offer. There were plenty of food and drink stands where fans waited in long lines to get Hawaiian shaved ice, tacos, nachos and beer.

The team shop was packed with fans trying to get into the spirit of the game buying hats and shirts. There was plenty of items to choose from including mugs, shot glasses, keychains, flags, etc.

As it got closer to kickoff fans rushed to their seats and rose to their feet waiting to cheer on the Phoenix Rising team and their favorite players. Chants were heard from all over the stadium as they welcomed the team back onto their home field.

The “Red Fury” was in full effect. Members of the supporters group sit in a zone where fans can be apart of and cheer their hearts out close by the field. They released a red smoke bomb right before kickoff which caught everyone’s attention. The dust spread across the field forming into a cloud making a statement to those not aware of the fanbase.

The crowd was alive and energetic throughout the game and when Solomon Asante scored the team’s first goal taking the lead, the fans couldn’t contain their excitement jumping up and down as the team celebrated on the field.

Fans danced around in their seats and high-fived each other from all areas of the stadium. Flags were being waved and a bandof musicians started playing.

“It feels a lot more electric this time around,” said Phoenix Rising fan Rick Taylor. “The team brought in a lot of new players who I feel are going to fuel our attack and take us a lot farther this season.”

The high-energy from the crowd and players continued throughout the night as the Phoenix Rising team dominated the field and defeated their opponent by three goals.

You could feel the love and triumph in the stadium as the game came to an end and fans started to get up from their seats each with a smile on their face.

When it was over,  families gathered outside the field waiting to greet their favorite players and talk about the amazing victory they just witnessed.

Players came out and happily stood by to talk to fans and their families as well take pictures and sign autographs.

“I’m couldn’t be more happy for the team,” said Phoenix Rising fan Selina Taylor. “They deserved it and I’m looking forward to attending more games this season. I had a lot of fun tonight.”

Phoenix Rising FC is set to play again at home on April 7 against Real Monarchs SLC of Utah.



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