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Phoenix Rising brings back midfielder Jon Bakero for 2020 season

(Photo courtesy of Ashley Orellana)

Phoenix Rising announced on Thursday that the club will be bringing back another player from its historic 2019 season.

This time around, it’s midfielder Jon Bakero.

Bakero, 23, is Phoenix’s fourth signing since Dec. 3 following the signings of left back Owusu-Ansah Kontor, forward Santi Moar and midfielder Jack Barmby.

Per club policy, terms and details of contracts were not disclosed.

“I’m beyond excited to be back with the club and motivated to continue to make history in Phoenix,” Bakero said in a press release.

“I look forward to getting back to work with my teammates and coaches. Without our fans, none of this would be possible and I am already looking forward to playing in front of them next season.”

Last season was Bakero’s first in the Valley, as the 23-year-old was on loan from MLS side Toronto FC.

In 24 appearances for Rising in 2019 (1,646 minutes), Bakero amassed three goals and five assists despite being sidelined for multiple matches toward the end of the regular season due to a knee injury.

The Spaniard was selected No. 5 overall by the Chicago Fire in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft following his senior season at Wake Forest in which he was awarded the Hermann Trophy as the country’s best collegiate footballer.

“So excited to bring Jon back to Phoenix. He is part of our family, our community, and our team,” manager Rick Schantz said in a tweet. “An even better person than player. Can’t wait to get back to work on the field with this group.”

Bakero becomes the club’s 16th signing ahead of the 2020 campaign.

Goalkeeper: Zac Lubin

Fullbacks: Austin Ledbetter, Kyle Bjornethun and Owusu-Ansah Kontor

Center backs: Corey Whelan, A.J. Cochran and Joey Farrell

Midfielders: Kevon Lambert, Jose Aguinaga, Joey Calistri, Jack Barmby and Jon Bakero

Forwards: Solomon Asante, Adam Jahn, Junior Flemmings and Santi Moar


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