Phoenix Rising FC Article

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Phoenix Rising FC
Phoenix Rising FC.png
Full namePhoenix Rising Football Club
Short namePRFC.
FoundedMarch 13, 2014; 4 years ago (2014-03-13) as Arizona United SC
Stadium Phoenix Rising FC Soccer Complex
Tempe, Arizona
Capacity6,200
Owners
Head CoachRick Schantz
League USL Championship
20183rd, Western Conference
Playoffs: Conference Champions
Website Club website
Current season

Phoenix Rising Football Club is a professional soccer team based in Phoenix. Founded in 2014 as Arizona United Soccer Club, the team is a member of the USL Championship, the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid.

History

On March 13, 2014, Kyle Eng, owner of an advertising agency, launched the franchise and named it Arizona United SC. It took the place of Phoenix FC, which folded the previous day, in the USL Pro league. [2] [3] [4] [5]

2014 season

In just 178 days after the franchise was awarded by the USL Pro, Arizona United hired a front office staff and coach, put together a roster, secured a stadium, played 28 regular season games, reached the fourth round of the US Open Cup and was in contention for a playoff spot until the next-to-last week of the season. [6] [7]

University of Maryland Assistant Coach Michael Dellorusso was named Head Coach on March 28, 2014. [8] [9] United lost their first game to Oklahoma City Energy FC 4-0 on April 12, 2014. [10] [11] They defeated Sacramento Republic FC 2-1 for their first win on April 19, 2014. Brandon Swartzendruber scored the team's first ever goal in the 37th minute. FC Dallas loanee Jonathan Top scored the game winner in the 85th minute. [12] [13] [14] [15]

United won four of their last five games to move up from 13th place to 9th, but fell four points short of qualifying for the playoffs. Jonathan Top and ex- Orlando City standout Long Tan led the team in scoring with five goals each. Tan was also selected for the All-League Second Team. [16] Goalkeeper Evan Newton was second in the league in saves. United finished with a 10-13-5 record. [6]

2014 US Open Cup

In their first US Open Cup appearance, Arizona United lasted until the fourth round, the longest Open Cup run of any Arizona club in history. Entering the tournament in the second round, United defeated Portland Timbers U23s of the PDL 3-2 in Portland on May 13. They were losing 2-1 late in the game when London Woodberry tied the game in the 88th minute and Daniel Antúnez scored the winning goal with seconds left in stoppage time. [17] [18] [19] In the third round, United defeated Oklahoma City Energy FC of USL Pro 2-1 in extra time May 28 at the Peoria Sports Complex. The game winner was scored by Bradlee Baladez in the 112th Minute and Evan Newton saved a last minute penalty kick awarded to the Energy. [20] [21] [22] Their Open Cup run ended with a 2-1 loss to the eventual MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy at home on June 18. Gyasi Zardes scored two goals in the second half two minutes apart after Matt Kassel gave United a 1-0 lead at halftime. [23] [24] [25]

2015 season

Arizona United signed a one-year agreement to play their home games at Scottsdale Stadium on December 16, 2014. [26] United signed a one-year affiliation agreement with FC Dallas on February 9, 2015. [27] [28] [29] United finished 10th in the Western Conference with a 10-16-2 record. Goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski set a USL record with 130 saves. Long Tan again led the team with 14 goals, which was tied for 4th in the league with Luke Vercollone. Tan was also selected for the USL All-League First Team. [30] On September 25, the club declined to extend the contract of Head Coach Michael Dellorusso. [31]

2016 season

Brett M. Johnson, founder and CEO of Benevolent Capital and Managing Director of Zealot Networks, purchased a minority share of the team. He was named Co-Chairman and President of Arizona United on December 9, 2015. [32] [33] Frank Yallop, who coached the San Jose Earthquakes to MLS Cup championships in 2001 & 2003, was signed to a three-year contract as Head Coach and President of Soccer Operations on December 23, 2015. [34] [35] [36] An investment group of music artists and executives led by Grammy Award winning DJ, record producer and rapper/songwriter Diplo purchased a minority stake in Arizona United on January 27, 2016. [37] [38] Scottsdale Stadium did not renew their lease with United and the team signed a three-year lease with their original stadium, Peoria Sports Complex, on January 26, 2016. [39] Pete Wentz, bassist for the rock group Fall Out Boy, purchased a minority share on April 11, 2016. [40]

2017 season: rebranding & playoff run

On August 31, 2016, team founder Kyle Eng sold his majority share to an investment group led by Berke Bakay, President and CEO of Kona Grill. [41] [42] On November 28, 2016, the team was rebranded Phoenix Rising FC by the new ownership. [43] [44] [45]

On March 25, 2017, A record crowd of 6,890 attended Rising FC's first game of 2017 at their new Phoenix Rising FC Soccer Complex, a soccer-specific stadium and training facility built on the Salt River Pima–Maricopa Indian Community near Tempe. They lost to Toronto FC II 1-0. [46] [47] [48] They defeated LA Galaxy II 2-1 for their first win at the complex and as Rising FC on April 8. [49] [50]

The 2017 season started with three major signings. Guadalajara's all-time leading scorer Omar Bravo was signed on February 9. [51] [52] Shaun Wright-Phillips, who played for Manchester City, Chelsea, New York Red Bulls and the English national team, was signed on February 24. [53] [54] [55] Former Chelsea player and Ivory Coast leading goalscorer Didier Drogba was signed on April 12. He also purchased an ownership stake in the club. [56] [57] [58] [59]

Another record crowd of 7,126 welcomed Drogba to the " Valley of the Sun," as Greater Phoenix is sometimes known, and Phoenix Rising FC defeated the Swope Park Rangers 4-3 on April 23. [60] Frank Yallop resigned as Director of Soccer Operations and Head Coach on April 24, 2017 for family reasons. Assistant Coach Rick Schantz was named Interim Head Coach. [61] [62] Former Ligue 1 and Mali national team coach Patrice Carteron was named Rising FC Head Coach on May 22, 2017. [63] [64]

In the second half of the season, the Rising won 11 games, tied 3 and lost only one. This included 11 straight games without a loss with a five game winning streak, both team records. Jason Johnson lead the team with 13 goals. Didier Drogba scored 9 goals, even though he was out for a few weeks with a groin injury. During the unbeaten streak, goalkeeper Josh Cohen earned 6 shutouts in 8 games, which gave him the USL Player of the Month award for September.

The Rising clinched their first ever playoff berth by defeating the Portland Timbers 2 on September 27 by a 2-0 score. Their record was 17 wins, 8 losses and 7 ties, earning them 5th place in the Western Conference. A penalty kick shootout won by Swope Park Rangers eliminated Phoenix after playing to a 1-1 tie. The game was interrupted by lightning and heavy rains after the first half, so the second half was played the following day. [65]

Phoenix Rising FC purchased FC Tucson of the Premier Development League on October 11, 2017. FC Tucson will serve as Rising FC's PDL affiliate. [66] [67] [68]

2018 Season

Advantage Sports Union Ltd., led by Alex Zheng, purchased a share of Phoenix Rising on February 10, 2018 to bolster its MLS bid. [69] [70] [71]

Colors and badge

Phoenix Rising FC's official colors are red, black, white, gold and grey.

Sponsorship

Seasons Kit Manufacturer Kit Sponsor
2014 Lotto Front: Abrazo Health Care
Back: OrthoArizona
Secondary: Nationwide Vision
2015 Adidas Front: Dignity Health
Back: NuAquos Sports Drink
Secondary: Nationwide Vision; TexasHoldEm.com
2016 Nike Front: Food City
2017 Adidas Front: Mad Decent
Secondary: Mayo Clinic
2018–present Macron [72] Front: Carvana [73]
Secondary: Mayo Clinic

Players

Current squad

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of August 21, 2018. [74]

No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski   United States
2 Defender Doueugui Mala   Ivory Coast
3 Defender Kody Wakasa   United States
6 Midfielder Evan Waldrep   United States
7 Forward Billy Forbes   Turks and Caicos Islands
8 Midfielder Collin Fernandez   Peru
9 Forward Chris Cortez   United States
10 Midfielder Gladson Awako   Ghana
11 Forward Didier Drogba   Ivory Coast
12 Goalkeeper John Berner   United States
13 Defender Amadou Dia   United States
14 Forward Jason Johnson   Jamaica
15 Defender Joe Farrell   United States
17 Midfielder Alessandro Riggi   Canada
20 Midfielder Solomon Asante   Ghana
22 Goalkeeper Dallas Jaye   Guam
23 Midfielder Devin Vega   United States
25 Defender Victor Vásquez   United States
27 Midfielder Kevon Lambert   Jamaica
28 Goalkeeper Zac Lubin   United States
32 Defender Devante Dubose   United States
41 Defender James Musa   New Zealand
51 Forward Kevaughn Frater (on loan from Harbour View)   Jamaica

Notable former players

Year-by-year

As of November 8, 2018
Arizona United SC
Season USL Championship Play-offs U.S. Open Cup Top Scorer 2 Head Coach Team Captain(s)
P W L D GF GA Pts Pos Player Goals
2014 28 10 13 5 32 47 33 1 9th DNQ 4R Guatemala Jonathan Top
China Long Tan
5 United States Michael Dellorusso United States Matt Kassel
2015 28 10 16 2 31 55 32 10th, Western DNQ 2R China Long Tan 14 United States Michael Dellorusso United States Rob Valentino
United States Carl Woszczynski
2016 30 9 14 7 40 46 34 13th, Western DNQ 3R China Long Tan 10 Canada Frank Yallop United States Blair Gavin
Phoenix Rising FC
2017 32 17 8 7 50 37 58 5th, Western Conference Quarterfinals 3R Jamaica Jason Johnson 13 Canada Frank Yallop (2-2-0)
United States Rick Schantz (2-3-0)
France Patrice Carteron (13-3-7)
Ivory Coast Didier Drogba
England Peter Ramage
England Jordan Stewart
2018 34 19 9 6 63 38 63 3rd, Western Runner-up 2R United States Chris Cortez 19 France Patrice Carteron (7-3-4)
United States Rick Schantz (15-7-2)
Ghana Solomon Asante
United States Chris Cortez
Ivory Coast Didier Drogba
Jamaica Jason Johnson

^ 1. Deducted two points for fielding an ineligible player.
^ 2. Top Scorer includes statistics from league matches only.

Head coaches

  • Includes USL Regular Season, USL Playoffs, U.S. Open Cup. Excludes friendlies.
Coach Nationality Start End Games Win Loss Draw Win %
Michael Dellorusso   United States March 28, 2014 September 25, 2015 60 22 31 7 036.67
Frank Yallop   Canada December 23, 2015 April 24, 2017 36 12 17 7 033.33
Rick Schantz (Interim)   United States April 24, 2017 June 6, 2017 7 3 4 0 042.86
Patrice Carteron   France May 22, 2017 June 12, 2018 39 20 8 11 051.28
Rick Schantz (Interim)   United States June 12, 2018 November 13, 2018 24 15 7 2 062.50
Rick Schantz   United States November 14, 2018 Present 0 0 0 0 !

Average attendance

Year Reg. Season Playoffs
2014 2,395
2015 3,304
2016 1,470
2017 6,127
2018 6,380 7,609

Honors

Player honors

Year Player Country Position Honor
2014 Long Tan China China Forward All-League Second Team
2015 Long Tan China China Forward All-League First Team
2018 Solomon Asante Ghana Ghana Midfielder All-League First Team

Staff

Front Office Staff
USL Governor Berke Bakay
Co-Chairman & Alternate USL Governor Brett M Johnson
General Manager Bobby Dulle
Vice President of Marketing and Sales Sam Doerr
Director of Box Office Operations Judy Kirk
Finance Manager Anna Duarte
Media Relations / Communications H. Jose Bosch
Community / Partner Relations Heber Valenzuela
Operations Manager Annie Marum
Premium and Partnership Sales Manager Joey Castor
Partnership Coordinator Marisa Elliot
Director of Site Operations Ed Alameda
Sales Manager Kelsi Darr
Senior Account Executive Dylan Cambareri
Premium Service & Ticket Sales Coordinator Kita Wheeler
Account Executive Bryan Kim
Outbound Sales Executive Cort Wolleat
Technical Staff
Head Coach Rick Schantz
Assistant Coach Blair Gavin
Assistant Coach Peter Ramage
Goalkeeping Coach & Team Administrator Cory Robertson

[75] [76]

Stadium

Phoenix Rising called the Peoria Sports Complex home during the 2014 and 2016 seasons. They played at Scottsdale Stadium during the 2015 season. In 2017, a soccer-specific stadium was constructed, the Phoenix Rising FC Soccer Complex, in time for the 2017 season. [48]

The inaugural match for the Phoenix Rising FC Soccer Complex on March 25, 2017, Toronto FC II vs. Phoenix Rising FC.

Supporters

There are two main independent supporters groups of Phoenix Rising FC, Los Bandidos Football Firm [77] and The Red Fury. [78] Both groups stand in the supporters section behind the south goal of the stadium.

References

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  71. ^ "Phoenix MLS Expansion Bid Adds Wealthy OGC Nice Owner Zheng to Investor Group". Avi Creditor. Sports Illustrated. February 10, 2018. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  72. ^ "Phoenix Rising FC Announces European Leader, Macron, as Official Apparel Sponsor". Phoenix Rising Football Club. February 1, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  73. ^ http://www.phxrisingfc.com/news_article/show/895593?referrer_id=2717359
  74. ^ "Phoenix Rising FC Pro Roster". Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  75. ^ Phoenix Rising FC Front Office Staff
  76. ^ Phoenix Rising FC Technical Staff
  77. ^ https://www.facebook.com/BandidosPHX/
  78. ^ https://www.redfuryphx.com/

External links