Phoenix Rising FC

Last updated

Phoenix Rising FC
Phoenix Rising FC logo.svg
Full namePhoenix Rising Football Club
Short namePRFC
FoundedMarch 13, 2014;5 years ago (2014-03-13) as Arizona United SC
Stadium Casino Arizona Field
Tempe, Arizona
Capacity6,200
Owners
Head Coach Rick Schantz
League USL Championship
2019 1st, Western Conference
Playoffs: Conference Semifinals
Website Club website
Soccerball current event.svg Current season
Active teams of Phoenix Rising FC
Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg
USLC USL1

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

Contents

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. 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, now known as USL League Two, on October 11, 2017. FC Tucson serves as Rising FC's USL 2 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]

2019 season

Phoenix Rising FC concluded an international cooperation agreement with Galatasaray SK of Turkey on April 5, 2019. The partnership includes cooperation on soccer operations, commercial projects, discovery and training of youth soccer players, international exhibition matches, tournaments and training programs for coaches and players. [72] [73] [74]

From May 5 to September 14, 2019, Phoenix Rising FC won 20 consecutive matches—setting a League and North American record for the longest winning streak. [75] [76] The streak ran parallel with another streak of home wins during the club's "Dollar Beer Night" promotion, which dates back to 2017. [77] The streak came to an end on September 21 with a 2-1 loss to Fresno FC. Rising FC earned the USL Championship Regular Season Title on September 28 after playing New Mexico United to a 2-2 draw. [78] [79] [80]

2020 season

Colors and badge

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

Sponsorship

SeasonsKit ManufacturerKit Sponsor
2014 Flag of Italy.svg Lotto Front: Abrazo Health Care
Back: OrthoArizona
Secondary: Nationwide Vision
2015 Flag of Germany.svg Adidas Front: Dignity Health
Back: NuAquos Sports Drink
Secondary: Nationwide Vision; TexasHoldEm.com
2016 Flag of the United States.svg Nike Front: Food City
2017 Flag of Germany.svg Adidas Front: Mad Decent
Secondary: Mayo Clinic
2018–present Flag of Italy.svg Macron [81] Front: Carvana [82]
Secondary: Mayo Clinic

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 Soccer Complex, in time for the 2017 season. [48] On March 15, 2019, Casino Arizona signed a sponsorship deal with Rising FC, including naming rights to the stadium. It was renamed Casino Arizona Field. [83]

The inaugural match for the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex on March 25, 2017, Toronto FC II vs. Phoenix Rising FC. Phoenix Rising Sports Complex 2017.03.25.jpg
The inaugural match for the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex on March 25, 2017, Toronto FC II vs. Phoenix Rising FC.

Players and staff

Current roster

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of March 6, 2020. [84]

No.PositionPlayer Nation
2 Defender Darnell King Flag of the United States.svg  United States
3 Defender A. J. Cochran Flag of the United States.svg  United States
4 Defender Corey Whelan Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland
6 Midfielder Jordan Schweitzer Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
7 Midfielder Junior Flemmings Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
8 Midfielder Jack Barmby Flag of England.svg  England
9 Forward Rufat Dadashov Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan
10 Forward Jon Bakero Flag of Spain.svg  Spain
12 Midfielder Sam Stanton Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
13 Defender Kyle Bjornethun Flag of the United States.svg  United States
15 Defender Joe Farrell Flag of the United States.svg  United States
16 Defender Austin Ledbetter Flag of the United States.svg  United States
17 Forward Santi Moar Flag of Spain.svg  Spain
18 Goalkeeper Eric Dick (on loan from Sporting Kansas City)Flag of the United States.svg  United States
19 Midfielder José Aguinaga Flag of Spain.svg  Spain
20 Midfielder Solomon Asante Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana
21 Forward Joey Calistri Flag of the United States.svg  United States
22 Goalkeeper Landon Carter( [A] )Flag of the United States.svg  United States
23 Defender Owusu-Ansah Kontoh Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana
27 Midfielder Kevon Lambert Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
28 Goalkeeper Zac Lubin Flag of the United States.svg  United States
70 Forward Lagos Kunga (on loan from Atlanta United)Flag of the United States.svg  United States
  1. ^ Phoenix Rising Academy player.

Staff

Front Office Staff
USL GovernorBerke Bakay
Co-Chairman & Alternate USL GovernorBrett M Johnson
General ManagerBobby Dulle
Director of Soccer Development Steve Cooke
Vice President of Marketing and SalesVacant
Director of Box Office OperationsJudy Kirk
Finance ManagerAnna Duarte
Media Relations / CommunicationsH. Jose Bosch
Financial ConsultantChris Casalena
Operations ManagerAnnie Marum
Premium and Partnership Sales ManagerJoey Castor
Premium and Partnership Sales ExecutiveHannah Nieman
Director of Site OperationsEd Alameda
Sales ManagerKelsi Darr
Senior Account ExecutiveDylan Cambareri
Service & Ticket Sales CoordinatorCali Cox
Sales LeadBryan Kim
Outbound Sales ExecutiveCort Wolleat
Creative Service ManagerMike Levario
Manager of Site OperationsKevin Beck
Group Sales ExecutiveJacob Rabbito
Technical Staff
Head Coach Rick Schantz
Assistant Coach Blair Gavin
Assistant Coach Peter Ramage
Goalkeeping Coach & Team AdministratorCory Robertson
Medical Staff
Head Athletic TrainerBrennen Hodge
Assistant Athletic TrainerSteven Upham
Sports Performance DirectorSteve Fell
Team DoctorDr. Anikar Chhabra
Physical TherapistMatt Midkiff

[85] [86] [87]

Notable former players

Team Records

Year-by-year

As of March 11, 2020
Arizona United SC
Season USL Championship Play-offs U.S. Open Cup Top Scorer 2 Head CoachTeam Captain(s)
PWLDGFGAPtsPosPlayerGoals
2014 2810135324733 1 9thDNQ 4R Flag of Guatemala.svg Jonathan Top
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Long Tan
5 Flag of the United States.svg Michael Dellorusso Flag of the United States.svg Matt Kassel
2015 281016231553210th, WesternDNQ 2R Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Long Tan 14 Flag of the United States.svg Michael Dellorusso Flag of the United States.svg Rob Valentino
Flag of the United States.svg Carl Woszczynski
2016 30914740463413th, WesternDNQ 3R Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Long Tan 10 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Frank Yallop Flag of the United States.svg Blair Gavin
Phoenix Rising FC
2017 3217875037585th, WesternConference Quarterfinals 3R Flag of Jamaica.svg Jason Johnson 13 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Frank Yallop (2–2–0)
Flag of the United States.svg Rick Schantz (2–3–0)
Flag of France.svg Patrice Carteron (13–3–7)
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg Didier Drogba
Flag of England.svg Peter Ramage
Flag of England.svg Jordan Stewart
2018 3419966338633rd, WesternRunners-up 2R Flag of the United States.svg Chris Cortez 19 Flag of France.svg Patrice Carteron (7–3–4)
Flag of the United States.svg Rick Schantz (15–7–2)
Flag of Ghana.svg Solomon Asante
Flag of the United States.svg Chris Cortez
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg Didier Drogba
Flag of Jamaica.svg Jason Johnson
2019 3424468936781st, WesternConference Semifinals 2R Flag of Ghana.svg Solomon Asante 22 Flag of the United States.svg Rick Schantz
USLC Coach of the Year [88]
Flag of Ghana.svg Solomon Asante
Flag of France.svg Amadou Dia
Flag of the United States.svg Adam Jahn
2020 11006132nd, WesternTBD 2R Flag of Azerbaijan.svg Rufat Dadashov 3 Flag of the United States.svg Rick Schantz Flag of Ghana.svg Solomon Asante

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

Head coaches

CoachNationalityStartEndGamesWinLossDrawWin %
Michael Dellorusso Flag of the United States.svg  United States March 28, 2014September 25, 20156022317036.67
Frank Yallop Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada December 23, 2015April 24, 20173612177033.33
Rick Schantz (Interim)Flag of the United States.svg  United States April 24, 2017May 21, 20177340042.86
Patrice Carteron Flag of France.svg  France May 22, 2017June 12, 20183920811051.28
Rick Schantz (Interim)Flag of the United States.svg  United States June 12, 2018November 13, 2018241572062.50
Rick Schantz Flag of the United States.svg  United States November 14, 2018Present382666068.42

Average attendance

YearReg. SeasonPlayoffs
20142,395
20153,304
20161,470
20176,127
20186,3807,609
20196,7527,095
20206,585

Club ranking (worldwide)

538 Global Club Soccer Rankings
Rank+/-ClubLeagueSPI
290Decrease2.svg 13 Flag of Spain.svg Rayo Vallecano La Liga 2 41.3
291Increase2.svg 5 Flag of Argentina.svg Atlético Tucumán Superliga Argentina 41.2
292Increase2.svg 36 Flag of the United States.svg Phoenix Rising FC USL Championship 41.2
293Decrease2.svg 20 Flag of England.svg Hull City EFL Championship 41.2
294Decrease2.svg 16 Flag of Denmark.svg Randers FC Danish Superliga 41.1

Last updated: March 9, 2020

Honors

Player honors

YearPlayerCountryPositionHonor
2014 Long Tan Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg ChinaForwardAll-League Second Team
2015Long Tan Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg ChinaForwardAll-League First Team
2018 Solomon Asante Flag of Ghana.svg GhanaForwardAll-League First Team
2019 [89] Solomon Asante Flag of Ghana.svg GhanaForwardMost Valuable Player [90]
Golden Boot Winner
All-League First Team
Adam Jahn Flag of the United States.svg United StatesForwardAll-League First Team
A.J. Cochran Flag of the United States.svg United StatesDefenderAll-League Second Team
Zac Lubin Flag of the United States.svg United StatesGoalkeeperAll-League Second Team

Records

Most consecutive wins by a North American professional soccer club: (20 games / May 10, 2019 - September 14, 2019)

USL Championship:
Most Points - 78 (2019)
Most Wins - 24 (2019)
Most Goals - 89 (2019)
Goals Per Game - 2.62 (2019)
Assists (season) - Solomon Asante 17 (2019)
Saves (season) - Carl Woszczynski 130 (2015)

Broadcasting

KASW-61, The CW affiliate in Phoenix, signed a deal to broadcast 35 Phoenix Rising games including every USL Championship match home and away, starting in 2019. [91] [92] Games are also streamed live on ESPN3. Josh Eastern does play-by-play and Devon Kerr provides analysis. The Rising Halftime Show is produced by KASW's sister station KNXV-15 and is hosted by Craig Fouhy.

Arizona Sports 98.7 FM is the radio / digital station for Rising FC broadcasts. [93] [94]

In previous seasons, games were broadcast on YouTube.

Supporters

There are two main independent supporters groups of Phoenix Rising FC, Los Bandidos Football Firm [95] and The Red Fury. [96] Both groups stand in the supporters section behind the south goal of the stadium.

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