Phoenix Rising’s Asante, Jahn named to 2019 USL All-League 1st Team
Phoenix Rising’s playing time on the pitch may have come to an end in 2019, but that just means that USL Championship’s accolades season has begun.
And boy did it start with a bang for Phoenix.
On Tuesday, the league announced its All-League First and Second Teams.
Rising forwards Solomon Asante and Adam Jahn were named to the 2019 USL Championship All-League First Team, while defender A.J. Cochran and goalkeeper Zac Lubin were deemed as All-League Second Team.
This marks the fourth total year and fifth different player in club history to been named to an All-League team, as well as the first time in which multiple players have received recognition from USL. Former Arizona United forward Long Tan became the first player in team history to receive All-League Second and First Team honors in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Asante’s selection is his second in as many seasons and comes as no surprise.
The Ghanaian should be the league’s unanimous MVP after a 2019 campaign in which he won the Golden Boot with a single-season club-record 22 goals (three short of USL’s all-time single-season record). The captain also added to his historic season by breaking the league’s single-season records for assists (17) and combined goals and assists (39).
Jahn was second on the club this season in terms of goal-scoring prowess.
He put the ball in the back of the net a total of 17 times, good enough to finish tied for the fifth-most goals scored in USL this year. Phoenix’s No. 9 also led the team in areal duels won (113) and finished third in total duels won (178), which is probably why the forward led the team in yellows and fouls committed as well.
Lubin finished the 2019 campaign tied for the most clean sheets in the league with 14, just one short of the USL single-season record. The goalkeeper also posted 79 saves, a 75.7% save percentage and a 0.86 goals-against average.
Cochran was the preferred center back partner with Corey Whelan for a Phoenix defense that led the Western Conference with 15 clean sheets this season.
In just his first year in a Rising kit, Cochran led the club in blocks (22), was second on the team in clearances (80) and areal duels won (111), third in interceptions (36) and fourth in tackles won (29). And if winning 66.2% of duels, 71.9% of tackles and making 116 recoveries defensively wasn’t enough, he also notched four assists. Not bad for a center back.
But to my amazement is the exclusion of forward Junior Flemmings from both teams.
The Jamaican finished third on the team in goals with 16, just one goal behind Jahn. Add those two with Asante and you get AJF, who became the greatest attacking trio in USL history after combining to score 55 goals this season.
Flemmings also had seven assists on the year — which tied for the 16th-most in the league and one more than Jahn — despite playing the fewest amount of games of the AJF trio because of international duty.