When you have a team that’s learning together, occasionally you’re going to have some hiccups along the way, which serve as larger lessons down the road. And the season has already given Loudoun United some lessons good and bad. And they got one Saturday night in a 3-1 loss to Phoenix Rising, a team that was looking for their first win at home and has appeared in the playoffs multiple times. And it’s good that they get these games now! They’re going to get something out of them!

One thing I liked

They weren’t completely out of the moment.

Loudoun United’s team has only been together for about 3 months now, and it’s good that they’ve seen challenges already from teams like San Antonio and Colorado Springs, and five of their seven games so far have been against above the red line teams (I know, it’s early). And they’ll get more of them as the season goes on, they haven’t played the likes of Louisville, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, six-point games against coaches who are well-drilled and prepared. Phoenix is good, and kept the ball away from Loudoun for long stretches. Loudoun will come away from some of those future games with their nose bloodied, but given a presumed expectation going into Saturday’s game, Loudoun controlled tempo at points and caught Phoenix flatfooted when they did have them.

One thing I was scared by

The frustration of lapses.

This got a little bit of grief Sunday:

And while it’s maybe a bit out of range, if you look at the highlights (which are conveniently shown below!), there was a near carbon copy of that which led to the second Phoenix goal. These are things that past Loudoun teams have done, and Ryan Martin’s coached them accordingly, but as we’ve talked about before, this team is slightly different than past ones. How they respond Saturday at home, and more importantly the following week when the Columbus Crew come to town for the Open Cup, will be interesting to see.

Check this Stat

12 – The number of passes Zach Ryan had Saturday; he had 29 in Sunday’s win over Oakland.

Highlights

Match Summary

Phoenix Rising FC 3 – Loudoun United FC 1

Scoring Summary

PHO – Jose Hernandez (Manuel Arteaga) 36′

PHO – Manuel Arteaga (Jose Hernandez) 38′

LDN – Kevon Lambert (Own Goal) 45+1

PHO – Baboucarr Njie 90+1′

Misconduct Summary

PHO – Kevon Lambert (bad foul) 44′

PHO – Jackson Conway (bad foul) 44′

PHO – Baboucarr Njie (excessive celebration) 90+2′

LDN – Tommy Williamson (persistent infringement) 90+3′

Loudoun United FC starting lineup (4-4-2):

Starting XI: Hugo Fauroux, Gaoussou Samake, Bryce Washington, Yanis Leerman, Koa Santos, Kalil ElMedkhar, Houssou Landry (J. Garay 78′), Juan Ramírez (A. Rocha 45′), Panos Armenakas (A. Zanne 78′), Wesley Leggett (T. Williamson 55′), Zach Ryan

Unused Substitutes: Dane Jacomen, Abdoul Koanda, Daniel Chica

Phoenix Rising FC starting lineup (3-5-2): 

Starting XI: Rocco Ríos Novo, Mohamed Traore, Daniël Krutzen, Kevon Lambert, Federico Varela (D. Trejo 75′), Carlos Anguiano, José Hernández (A. Fuenmayor 64′), Renzo Zambrano, Henry Uzochukwu (E. Munjoma 64′), Erickson Gallardo (B. Njie 64′), Manuel Arteaga (J. Conway 81′)

Unused Substitutes: Patrick Rakovsky, Darnell King

ByRyan Keefer

Doing D.C./Loudoun United things on here.

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[…] a game where Loudoun got a sense of where they stood against a talented Phoenix side, over the next two weeks they play two talented teams from the Western Conference in New Mexico and […]

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