Captain Solo solidifies MVP candidacy in Phoenix Rising’s 17th straight win
It’s been nearly four months since Phoenix Rising FC’s last loss on May 4.
In fact, the club literally just wrapped up a third consecutive month of perfection.
Phoenix routed Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC by a score of 3-0 on Saturday night. The win is the Rising’s 17th in a row and eighth straight on the road, both of which are USL records.
But those weren’t the only records set on the night in what has been one of the most historic USL Championship seasons of all-time.
If he hadn’t already, captain Solomon Asante surely solidified his campaign to be the league’s MVP by scoring his 20th goal and notching his 14th assist of the season, both of which lead USL.
The Ghanaian’s combined 34 goals and assists breaks the previous USL Championship record for the most combined goals and assists in a single season (33). Phoenix’s all-time single-season goal leader now trails the single-season records for goals by five (25) and assists by two (16) with eight matches remaining.
But Asante would be the first to tell you that it’s all because of his teammates.
And he’s not wrong there.
Adam Jahn got in on the scoring action as well on Saturday night, bringing his tally to 14 on the year, which ranks tied for second and third in the Western Conference and league, respectively.
It wasn’t all about the offensive accolades in Colorado Springs, however. Goalkeeper Zac Lubin played his part by making four saves to capture his USL-leading 12th clean sheet of the year, tying teammate Carl Woszczynski’s single-season club record set last year.
Lubin is also chasing history, as he is now only four clean sheets away from breaking the USL Championship all-time record for the most clean sheets in a season, which is currently set at 15. And although the entire defense doesn’t get individual recognition for the shot-stopper’s accolades, Lubin would be the first to tell you that it takes a village to keep opponents out of the net.
Due to San Antonio FC’s 5-1 loss away to Tacoma on Friday night, Phoenix became the first club in the league to clinch a playoff spot with nine games still left to be played (26% of the season).
Following Saturday’s results, Rising can clinch a home playoff game should Austin FC drop points to RGV on Sunday.
Coincidentally, Phoenix Rising returns to action on Saturday to host 10th-place San Antonio FC at Casino Arizona Field.
The two sides drew 3-3 in their last matchup after Phoenix was able to come back from a goal down three times on the night, including Jason Johnson’s equalizer at the death all the way back on March 9, the very first week of the season.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be audio-streamed on ArizonaSports.com.