Aspiring Phoenix captain Solomon Asante has been named Team of the Week

Phoenix Rising FC striker and captain and captain Solomon Asante against Oakland Roots SC on May 8, 2021 at Wild Horse Pass. (Photo by Owain Evans)

Another week, another honor for Phoenix Rising FC.

PRFC captain and striker Solomon Asante was named to the USL Championship Week 3 Team of the Week on Tuesday.

The Ghanaian scored his first two goals of the 2021 season – the eighth goal of his aspiring career – making 26 of 33 passes (79%) and winning six of seven duels en route to a 3-0 win over Oakland Roots SC.

A look at Solomon Asante’s first goal in the 2021 # USL championship campaign.

1-0 | #PHXvOAK

– Jake Anderson (@ jwa1994) May 9, 2021

Asante’s weekly award also marks the fourth overall and fourth distinct player recognized by the league for two consecutive weeks, having just completed their second game of the season.

The captain joins strikers Santi Moar and midfielders Kevon Lambert and Jon Bakero on the PRFC player list to earn the “Team of the Week” award for the year.

A look at Solomon Asante’s braces.

3-0 | #PHXvOAK

– Jake Anderson (@ jwa1994) May 9, 2021

On Monday, Arizona Sports manager Rick Schantz told Doug & Wolf about the impact Asante is having on and off the pitch as the team’s captain.

“He has the biggest heart of any player I’ve coached, he’s extremely intelligent, and he’s a hell of a leader. … He wants to build a culture, ”said Schantz. “We talk before the game and Solo usually gets the last few words before we crowd our team in the locker room. He says it’s a new generation and a new stadium and we won’t lose here.

“I look at all the players and they look him in the eye and follow him. Having such a player in your locker room and on the field is a massive impact. He’s like a brother or a son to me and I feel very close to the guy. “

A new wrinkle that became apparent in Schantz’s high pressure system this season was the amount of effort put into defending more offensive players who would normally not be expected to fall back as badly when Phoenix is ​​not in possession is.

Not that Rising’s top three didn’t run back before, but sometimes this year people like Asante and Bakero have dropped back to the back four when it was necessary to cover teammates who might be out of position after moving up the position Attack.

“If it’s 120 degrees in Arizona and you’re working as hard as you are, that’s a simple barometer of how big your heart is,” said Schantz. “… It’s when the crowd goes crazy, you’re in one, it’s the 90th minute and you have to do an 80-90 yard sprint – that’s what Solo does.

“We won our last game against Oakland and in the end someone went down and they played a ball in the corner and you see Solo sprinted back to play another position just to help us defend ourselves and ensure that we have the cordon. That was all I had to see “

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