Phoenix Rising to open 2022 season vs. Monterey Bay on March 12
Phoenix Rising FC announced its 2022 USL Championship season opener on Thursday.
PRFC will host California newcomer Monterey Bay FC at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler on March 12.
“Having a season’s worth of experience in our new venue, we’re very excited to build on the momentum created at Wild Horse Pass in 2021,” Phoenix Rising general manager Bobby Dulle said in a press release. “We cannot wait for new opponents to experience the best fans and environment in the league.”
Monterey Bay is led by manager and sporting director Frank Yallop, who was at the helm of Phoenix Rising from 2016 through the first four matches of 2017.
Yallop also played for Ipswich Town FC from 1983-96 in the top two flights of England, including three years in the Premier League.
Phoenix Rising owners Brett Johnson, Berke Bakay and Mark Detmer bought Ipswich Town — which now plays in England’s League One (third tier) — for less than $40 million in 2021.
Coincidentally, Yallop was also the caretaker manager in 2020 for Las Vegas Lights FC, which is who PRFC will travel to take on for a Matchday 2 contest on March 19 at Cashman Field.
The 2022 season will feature 34 matches from March 12 to Oct. 15, with the USL Championship Final taking place somewhere between Nov. 10-14.
Of the 27 teams competing in USLC this year, 14 will make the playoffs with an NFL-style bracket — including reseeding after each round — to determine a champion.
Seven teams from each conference will qualify for the postseason, with the West and East’s regular-season title winners getting a bye to their respective conference semifinals.
And because the Eastern Conference has the extra 14th team, the Western Conference’s 13 clubs will play each other home and away (24 matches) with 10 cross-conference games (five home, five away).
Meanwhile, the East’s 14 clubs will play each other home and away (26 matches), but their schedule will only feature eight cross-conference games (four home, four away).
The full 2022 USL Championship schedule will be released on Jan. 12.