By Andrew Johnson
MUSKEGON – The Muskegon Risers knew they were going to find out a lot about themselves on Saturday in their Major League Soccer Arena 2 matchup against the defending champion Chicago Mustangs.
What they learned is that they are not quite at championship level yet, in a 13-6 loss.
“They’re such a good team,” said Risers head coach Ben Ritsema about Chicago. “They do so much well. They make very few errors and move so well. We’re hoping to get there someday.”
Things started out evenly for Muskegon with the first quarter ending in a 1-1 tie. The Risers’ first quarter goal came from Willy Guerrero.
But in the second quarter Chicago took over the game, outscoring Muskegon 7-2 in the 15-minute period and leading 8-3 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Franco Calabrese and Cam Brandow each scored for the Risers, who trailed 11-5 headed into the final quarter.
The Risers were outscored 2-1 in the fourth quarter. The lone Muskegon goal came from Brandow.
Brandow and Calabrese each had two goals to lead the Risers while Patricio Barroche, Kevin Coria, Ivan Roseales, Alexis Camarena, Paris Martins and Schunke Leandro all had two goals for Chicago.
Chicago outshot Muskegon 17-13.
The Risers, who drop to 1-3 on the season, will next host Rochester on Friday at 7:15 p.m.
“Rochester might be the best team out of everyone, in all honesty.” Ritsema said. “Our division is just brutal, to be honest with you.”