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Phoenix Rising’s Solomon Asante wins 2019 USL Championship MVP

Phoenix Rising captain Solomon Asante. (Photo courtesy of Michael Rincon)

Phoenix Rising forward and captain Solomon Asante was named as 2019 USL Championship MVP, the league announced on Thursday.

“Solomon Asante is one of the finest players I have ever worked with as a coach,” Rising manager Rick Schantz said in a press release.

“Solo is a leader who cares so much about his team. He was so willing to do whatever the team needed and it’s evident in his assists and goals scored. We knew from the very beginning that opponents were focused on stopping Solo and yet he was still able to have an MVP season. As much as I hate to admit it, Solo belongs in a higher league, but I will enjoy every minute I get with him.”

The captain also won the Golden Boot thanks to his 22 goals on the 2019 campaign, just three short of the USL single-season record.

But Asante did set two USL single-season records this year for assists (17) and combined goals and assists (39).

And if an MVP award wasn’t enough to reflect the quality of his efforts this season, Asante was also named to the 2019 USL Championship All-League First Team.

The Ghanaian didn’t just set records individually this season, though.

Collectively in 2019, the attacking trio of Asante, Adam Jahn and Junior Flemmings (AJF) combined to score 55 of Phoenix’s USL-record 90 goals, making AJF the deadliest attacking trio in league history.

As a result, Jahn (17 goals) and Flemmings (16 goals) were named to USL’s All-League first and second teams, respectively.

Schantz also received recognition from the league, as he was named the 2019 USL Championship Coach of the Year on Wednesday.