In recent years, Phoenix Rising FC has made it a priority to find and sign players from Arizona. Last season, they signed Tempe Corona del Sol alumnus Ryan Flood, loaned Phoenix Desert Vista alumnus Tate Schmitt, and made Niall Dunn their first academy product to join the core team.
On Tuesday, they continued that trend by signing Ohio-based striker Channing Chatena. Frequently starred for Chandler Hamilton in high school and has to replace Schmitt in the back line of the Rebellion.
“I’m very happy to add another player from Arizona,” said Rising manager Rick Schanz. “Building our youth program and developing players in Arizona is vital to our future. It is important for young players to see that the opportunity to play as Phoenix Rising in their hometown is within reach. ”
Chasten is an aggressive, athletic player who can play on either side of Phoenix’s defenses – a trait that Shants values.
“I’m the kind of player who loves to play with people,” Chaten said. “I am athletic, so I can use speed to my advantage. I am a student of the game, hardworking – I will do whatever it takes. ”
Frequently became Phoenix’s fifth rookie this offseason, joining left-back Babukar Njie, striker Marcus Epps, midfielder Carlos Agiano and striker Richmond Antwy. Key starting players such as midfielder Kewon Lambert and winger Santi Moar have also announced new contracts as the Uprising season ended with a first-round playoff defeat to Toros in the Rio Grande Valley in November.
The future of winger Solomon Asante, who played for the club for four seasons and won two USL MVP awards, remains uncertain.
Theo Maki covers Arizona High School sports and Phoenix Rising FC. He can be reached at [email protected].com and on Twitter @theo_mackie.