Phoenix FC’s silence is about to be broken.
After several weeks without a peep since late October, even after USL PRO announced a new ownership in December, Phoenix FC is poised to announce … something.
After the snafu with the premature post of the 2014 tryouts on Tuesday by adultsoccer.blogspot.com, things are starting to roll; if only ever so slowly. So let’s sift through the rumors and whispers …
(UPDATE: Phoenix FC officially announced tryouts.)
Phoenix FC will likely end its communication hiatus with an announcement of its home stadium in 2014. ODFCnews.com reported in October that it will be the Peoria Sports Complex. That is still likely the case. Tryouts are set to happen on Feb. 8-9 at Pioneer Community Park in Peoria. And a park official had told us on Tuesday that the Peoria Sports Complex is working with the team.
Once the stadium announcement happens, which could happen within a week if not hours, the information floodgates will open. Once Phoenix FC starts to communicate, we expect regular announcements as it continues preparing for its second season of existence. Fans have been frustrated with the silence, especially after witnessing other USL PRO clubs announcing news every week the past few months, but it will be interesting to see how fast those fans will forgive the club if communication starts flowing on a regular basis.
The club may have a new owner in Tim Donald, who was actually the acting president from March until the end of the inaugural season, but the team’s management is, for the most part, the same. Davey Robertson, who coached the team to a 5-14-7 season, remains at the helm.
Phoenix FC had offered contracts to those players it wishes to bring back for season 2. Some players either declined and some players were not offered contracts at all. A few key players from the 2013 season who likely won’t be back this coming season is forward Tommy Ramos, who is participating in the USL PRO Combine later this month, center back Cyprian Hedrick, midfielder Reid Schmitt and midfielder Cameron Vickers.
Midfielder/defender Scott Morrison flew back to Scotland with his family before the holidays and there is a question whether he has decided to return.
Valley native, goalkeeper and former team captain Andrew Weber signed with the Portland Timbers earlier this month. His twin brother, Elliot Weber isn’t coming back to the team. His music career is taking off; his band, ENOVA, is expected to go on tour this year.
Right back Isaiah Schafer was a strong candidate to come back next season. But he recently had leg surgery and will need time to recover.
Players who are likely returning are Brazilian midfielders/forwards Netinho and Diego, forward Travis Bowen, forward Robert Paul, defender Clayton Zelin, goalkeeper Humberto Soriano and midfielder Jose Ramos. Goalkeeper Sheldon Parkinson, who is open to returning, could re-fill his place as starting goalkeeper.
Center back Devon Grousis was expected to return, but he has another option he is weighing. All signs point to MLS. The Philadelphia Union looked at him during the 2013 season and likely want to bring him in for a look during preseason. With Phoenix FC’s own preseason about to start in less than a month, his decision will have to be made soon.
Phoenix FC lost one Ghanaian midfielder, (we reported in October that Anthony Obodai was signing with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, which was confirmed in December) but may have added another. Laryea Kingston told reporters in Ghana in December that he’s signing with Phoenix FC. He was slated to join the team in 2013, but wasn’t released from his contract by his club team in Ghana.
Phoenix FC is negotiating with FC Tucson players Dakota Collins, David Clemens and goalkeeper Michael D’Arrigo, according to the Tucson Sentinel.