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Core 4 reunited as center back Joey Farrell re-signs with Phoenix Rising

Phoenix Rising FC center back Joey Farrell celebrates with the 2020 Western Conference Final trophy. (Arizona Sports/Ashley Orellana).

The core-four has reunited in Arizona once again.

Phoenix Rising FC announced on Tuesday that center back Joey Farrell would be returning for the 2021 season.

The re-signing means that the quartet of Farrell, Solomon Asante, Kevon Lambert and Zac Lubin — the only players remaining from the 2018 USL Championship Final team — will don a PRFC kit for the fourth consecutive season together.

“I am thrilled to be back in Rising red and black for the 2021 season,” Farrell said in a press release.

“Phoenix has quickly turned into my second home. I am excited to continue our journey together as we strive for our ultimate goal of becoming USL Cup Champions.”

The Philadelphia native most recently became PRFC’s first-choice center back while Damion Lowe — who is still technically a free agent — battled to get on the pitch due to injury late in the regular season and during the playoff run.

Farrell, who will be 27 years old at the start of next season, also converted on both of his penalties in the two shootouts Phoenix needed in order to advance to the 2020 USL Championship Final.

Since signing with PRFC in December 2017, the center back has started in 57 of his 68 appearances in all competitions.

Farrell — who was nicknamed “Philly” by his teammates in 2019 — has netted six goals and notched two assists in his time in the Valley.

And with the departure of defender Corey Whelan and center back A.J. Cochran, Farrell is currently the only center back on the roster.

However, Saturday’s friendly match between Jamaica and Saudi Arabia saw an interesting proposal for manager Rick Schantz.

The Reggae Boyz deployed the center back duo of Lowe and Lambert, the latter of which has been Schantz’s preferred No. 6 and a staple of his starting XI for each of the last three seasons.

Phoenix Rising now has nine players signed to its roster ahead of the 2021 USLC campaign:

Goalkeepers: Zac Lubin

Fullbacks: Darnell King

Center backs: Joey Farrell

Midfielders: Jon Bakero, Kevon Lambert, Sam Stanton

Forwards: Solomon Asante, Rufat Dadashov and Santi Moar


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