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Phoenix Rising FC still optimistic after missing MLS cut

Phoenix Rising FC did not make the cut for the first group of teams considered for Major League Soccer expansion. (Photo by John Arlia/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX — Despite not being a finalist for two Major League Soccer expansion spots, a Phoenix Rising FC official said the team remains optimistic.

The four cities that will be in the fight for the two expansion teams are Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento, it was announced Wednesday. The four were among 12 that formally submitted their requests. Rising COO Bobby Dulle said the news was “good for the sport” and he remains “very excited about our application, about our opportunity to join Major League Soccer.”

“We’re very confident that we have the right market,” Dulle said. “We are still to this day the largest market without a Major League Soccer franchise. We are one of the largest media markets that’s in the running for a Major League Soccer franchise.

“We have the largest population under the age of 45, we have the largest population of Hispanics and there’s not a Major League Soccer franchise within 300 miles of Phoenix. So we fill a geographic void as well so we’re going to keep working hard.”

In response to an interview request, MLS vice president of communications Sean Dennison said the league has no more additional information about expansion at the moment.

Phoenix will have another chance. Two more expansion teams will be added a later date and those who didn’t make the first cut will be under consideration for that round.

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