Unfinished Business - Phoenix Rising FC
A professional soccer season spanning nine months is not played for its own sake. The grueling marathon has a finish line, and those strong enough of body and mind to reach it do not want to come in second.
The players and community of Phoenix Rising FC know this. The bitter taste of a 1-0 defeat in the league final, made all the worse by the months of work and waiting that would be required to earn another chance, is so gut-wrenching, so foul, that lesser folks will look on wryly from a distance, strangely glad they hadn't made it as far as Phoenix. Second place, it seems, is almost worse than dead last.
Perhaps no one felt this as strongly as the living legend, The King, Didier Drogba, who walked off the pitch for the last time, and without the trophy he came for.
Faced with filling that man’s place in the lineup, and rewarding the indefatigable affection of devoted supporters with the cup that seems so rightly theirs, Rising FC enter 2019 with faces both fresh and familiar, who all know exactly why they are here in the unforgiving Sonoran Desert.
What are your expectations for the upcoming season?
“The team’s and my expectations are very high. I think we can make a deep run in the U.S. Open Cup, hopefully get past an MLS team or two. We definitely learned from what happened last year. With confidence and honesty, if we don't win the USL Cup, then it's not a very successful year. Though being regular season champions isn't as important as the USL Cup, we have set that goal. Because we learned how important hosting the championship game is. So we want to be top seed going into post season.”
- Zac Lubin
“My expectations for the 2019 season are definitely to go one step further than last year and bring that championship home. As far as the team expectations, I am really excited by the additions we have made to the squad and am looking forward to growing together as one as the season goes on. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, dedication and the ability to learn, but I truly believe with this group of players we have we are capable of playing beautiful football that our fans and the community can be proud of and creating history in USL and many different facets. Truly excited for what the 2019 season has in store for Phoenix Rising FC!”
“My expectations are to see every home game this season sold out and for us to host and win the USL Cup!”
- Collin Fernandez
“My expectation for the upcoming season is to win the national championship and nothing else. In my eyes, no matter how good of a season we had last year, our goal was to wIn the national championship and we failed. We won’t come up just short like that again.”
- Amadou Dia
“Well obviously I hit high expectations with this team. We are going for the Championship, we’re bringing the cup this year. Personally, I’m looking forward to helping the team as much as possible to get such an accomplishment.”
- Jose Aguinaga
“My expectations for this year are to:
Be an additional threat for the staff to use when healthy.
Elevate my teammates any way I can.
Enjoy the football.
Win the Western Conference.
Win the USL Final.
Have one of the greatest comebacks sports have ever seen.”