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Phoenix Rising placed in Pacific Division for 2021 campaign

Phoenix Rising FC goalkeeper Zac Lubin. (ArizonaSports/Ashley Orellana)

Phoenix Rising FC’s 2021 USL Championship season is beginning to take shape.

The league announced on Tuesday the alignment of four divisions spread across the two conferences for the 31 competing clubs over 27 weeks.

Phoenix was placed in the Pacific Division, which is one of the three divisions with eight teams.

That means that PRFC will play each of their division opponents four times — two at home and two away.

Those teams will be the Tacoma Defiance, Oakland Roots SC, Sacramento Republic FC, Orange County SC, LA Galaxy II, San Diego Loyal SC and Las Vegas Lights FC.

However, Pacific matchups will only account for 28 of the 32 matches scheduled for this year’s campaign.

The season is also set to feature some cross-conference contests for the first time since 2018.

And after the 2020 USL Championship Final had to be canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ camp, the league said it would try to have Phoenix play Tampa at the beginning of this season.

So while we wait for the release of the 2021 USLC schedule, a Rising FC-Rowdies match could still be in the works.

The season officially starts on May 1, but flexible start dates can allow for clubs to commence playing anywhere from April 24 to May 15.