San Diego Loyal SC is scheduled to play Phoenix Rising FC Saturday evening in Scottsdale, Arizona after back-to-back road games were postponed because of positive coronavirus tests on the opposing teams.
Test results were not available Friday night, but a Phoenix official told City News Service “there will be a game.”
SD Loyal’s planned July 29 game against LA Galaxy II in Carson was postponed after 11 “covered persons” with LA Galaxy II had tested positive, according to USL Championship.
Last Saturday’s scheduled game against Las Vegas Lights FC in Las Vegas was postponed after a covered person in the Lights FC organization tested positive for COVID-19. The league announced Friday that the game has been rescheduled for Sept. 2.
The game at Casino Arizona Field is a matchup of the top two teams in USL Championship’s five-team Group B. Phoenix (4-1-1) is 4-0-0 at home, including a 5-2 victory over New Mexico United last Saturday in its most recent game.
SD Loyal (3-2-2) is 2-0-0 on the road, defeating Tacoma Defiance, 2- 1, March 11, and Real Monarchs SLC, 1-0, July 11.
SD Loyal is scoreless in its last 205 minutes. It was shut out in its last two games, tying Sacramento Republic FC 0-0 Aug. 1 and losing 2-0 to Orange County SC Wednesday night, both at Torero Stadium.
“Having a midweek game while they’ve been resting and preparing all week and we’ve got to travel there, really challenging, really, really challenging but it’s not an excuse,” SD Loyal coach Landon Donovan said before the team left for Arizona.
“If that’s our mindset that we’re going to make excuses, then we might as well not get on the bus. We can just stay here and not play the game.”
Another challenge SD Loyal will be facing is the heat. The temperature at Casino Arizona Field is forecast to be 108 degrees at 7 p.m., a half- hour before the opening kickoff, according to weather.com.
The game will be televised by The CW San Diego and ESPN+ beginning at 7:30 p.m.
–City News Service
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