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Phoenix Rising Win USL Championship Title
Phoenix Rising Win USL Championship Title
Monday, 13th Nov 2023 10:29

Phoenix Rising, the US club part-owned by Town’s Three Lions, claimed the USL Championship title following a 3-2 on-penalties victory over the Charleston Battery after a 1-1 draw away at Patriots Point.

The Rising, USL champions for the first time, finished sixth in the Western Conference but beat the San Diego Loyal 4-3 (aet), Orange County and the Sacramento Republic, both 2-1, in the play-offs to set-up the final with the Battery.

Having gone behind to a Nick Markanich goal in the 36th minute, the Rising claimed a last-gasp final-minute goal via John Stenberg to take the match into extra-time in which neither side were able to find another goal.

Rising keeper Rocco Rios Novo made the decisive save from Charleston’s Derek Dodson in the shoot-out.

The Three Lions, who own a small percentage of Gamechanger 20 Ltd, who took ownership of Town in April 2021, have been involved with the Rising since the club's inception.

Mark Detmer is a co-founder and executive board member, Berke Bakay is chairman of the board and Brett Johnson was a founder and remains a shareholder.

The USL Championship is the second level men’s league in the US below the MLS.

Phoenix Rising

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Bluearmy_81 added 11:00 - Nov 13
It’s an omen!!

SurreyBlueGirl added 11:14 - Nov 13
My thoughts exactly - although I hope we go up automatically!

churchmans added 11:21 - Nov 13
Does it means they are now promoted to the MLS!
Does anybody know?

itfckenty added 11:23 - Nov 13
churchmans, no.. no promotion or relegation in the US. (money)

Europablue added 12:02 - Nov 13
Well done to them, but without promotion and relegation, football seems pretty pointless.

Bluearmy_81 added 13:41 - Nov 13
That’s ridiculous

parhamblue added 14:09 - Nov 13
Congratulations! Our two clubs have a connection, without which our brilliant revival would not be happening.

FromIpswichToPhoenix added 14:45 - Nov 13
The MLS is a pay-to-play league, so no promotion or relegation. We took the long road to get to the final. Every game was on the road.

Conf QF - San Diego 119' winner
Conf SF - Orange County 117' winner
Conf F - Sacramento 90+2 winner
Cup - Charleston 90' equalizer. 00111 v 11000 on pens

One hell of a game.

joyousblue added 15:34 - Nov 13
Have you looked at the different nationalities in that team argentinian brazilian mexcico italy there may be one or two good enough for us

PhuketPete added 15:58 - Nov 13
It’s a farce (a sad one) that the US has gone the franchise route with no promotions or relegations. I feel for Rising and wish them well but what’s the point of playing in a perpetual second tier…? Answer. There isn’t one.

timetraveler added 16:41 - Nov 13
Sounds very much like the European super league they tried to foist on us a few years back

ButchersBrokenNose added 17:48 - Nov 13
From a business perspective, the NFL is the model to emulate. 30 of its 32 teams are in the 50 most valuable sports franchises in the world, even though it's impossible for most of them to be regularly successful. For example, the Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable sports team in the world, even though they haven't won a Super Bowl since 1996. American football teams make a lot of money from TV rights and merchandising by just playing every week. The owners would never tolerate putting their investment (and guaranteed profits) at risk by being relegated to a league nobody watches, no matter how exciting it is for everybody else.

The EPL was designed to become like the NFL: a standalone league with no relegation. The ESL was another crack at that idea. Obviously, the ethos in England does not support that, and the moneymen have backed off. But make no mistake, in a world run by ESPN and Citigroup, Real Madrid would play Man. Utd. at least four times a year, and people would pay a lot of money to watch them.

The promotion/relegation race that makes European football so exciting is replicated in American sports to a lesser degree by the playoffs, which we can relate to. But the opportunity for development and achievement is at the individual, player level. Thus, in the US, they have the draft, where the big teams compete for the best players and it's a media event. We copy that to a lesser degree with deadline signing day, but it's not the same. The opportunity for advancement for Phoenix Rising would be for one of their players to be bought by an MLS team. That capital could then be reinvested in the club, thereby attracting more capital, and when MLS floats the idea for an "expansion franchise," i.e. promotion by making the league bigger, Phoenix could be positioned to buy its way to the top table. I would bet that's the Three Lions' strategy.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 19:13 - Nov 13
Thanks Butch, it sounds like you have some idea about that of which you speak.

algarvefan added 19:39 - Nov 13
Butch that's a wonderful explanation, thank you, I now understand, but as a fan I'd hate that to be our position. Typical Yanks, all about the money!!

bobble added 20:43 - Nov 13
theres a daft system in Australia too where the team who comes top are not the winners/champions , that is decided by a play off between the top teams...also no relegation ........just lots of mini finals and grand final nonsense copied from aussie football and aussie rugby league which puts real football fans off the game..

the champions are the team who won most points during the season ,not the team who wins an after season mini play off competition thats the way i always view football leagues.
i dont agree with the current bull$hit# in the english football league where only the top 2 go up and the next 4 play off for 3rd, its an insult to the team who worked hard to finish 3rd......

HopefulBlue69 added 09:41 - Nov 14
Does anyone have any idea how many fans they get in the ground watching the game or is it about people watching the box at home / in a bar...

FromIpswichToPhoenix added 18:34 - Nov 14
HopefulBlue69, for the home opener in April we were at capacity of 10,400. Averaged 7000 - 8000 the rest of the season. Summer gets rough with temperatures at kick off still being around 105+ degrees. I met Ben Morris when he was out with Detroit in September and the poor guy looked like he was dying. Hopefully winning the cup will bring more casuals next season so we can get back to capacity again. We upgraded the stadium as we were reached capacity of 6500 for 20 games straight and added more seats.

FromIpswichToPhoenix added 18:37 - Nov 14
PhuketPete, it's the only way we get football in Phoenix. The buy in for MLS is at about the one billion dollar mark now, so that is too much for most markets. While not on the same scale, the USL is still a pro football league and we get to see some really good games. I'll take that over no games at all.

FromIpswichToPhoenix added 18:39 - Nov 14
Also, there is discussion of promotion/relegation in the USL leagues in the next couple of years.

HopefulBlue69 added 19:25 - Nov 14
Thanks Phoenix.... Wow a billion buy in, no wonder it's a closed shop...

Nomore4 added 21:50 - Nov 15
Agree bobble. The top 3 should go up….bottom 3 down. Money says otherwise.

Eeyore added 09:26 - Nov 18
I think they are used to this approach in the US and so it doesn’t bother them. It’s totally alien to the rest of the world. The system means that most of those who would be supporters of their local team, grow up as supporters of an MLS team instead. But because the population is huge and distances large, it perhaps means that smaller more local clubs do still attract enough support. If I couldn’t dream about going to Anfield next season while on the other hand worrying that we might go bust in a few years time, I would probably have to take up base jumping to fill the void!

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