‘We were always motivated’ – Asante proud of Phoenix Rising’s 2019 season

The 30-year-old Ghanaian recounts Rick Schantz’s men’s performance in the USL Championship last term

Solomon Asante has revealed his pride at how Phoenix Rising performed in the USL Championship last season.

The 2019 campaign was a pleasing season for the Arizona-based outfit. Although they never emerged as champions, they set impressive records.

Phoenix set a USL record for the longest winning run as well as the longest unbeaten streak.

They started the 2020 season on a positive note,  silencing Portland Timbers II 6-1 in the only game played so far before the coronavirus pandemic put the American league on a hiatus.

In a chat with USL Argentina, the club’s captain evoked memories of the performance, which he attributed to the team’s collective responsibility.

“2019 was a very good season for me as a player and also as a part of a team. We did very well,” Asante told USL Argentina.

“We were always motivated and I, as captain, tried always to encourage the guys to do better.

“When we were winning, that 20 games streak, it felt just amazing. That feeling is just amazing for a soccer player.

“We were always trying to take it game after game, taking everything seriously in practice and we were not relaxed.

“We knew what we were doing and wanted more. I can tell you that we kept saying to ourselves that it wasn’t enough and that streak was absolutely amazing.

“Such a great achievement everyone was happy, pushing and grinding his best to make that great season happen.

“I think we can easily use that experience to go back for more, you know.”

For his part, the former Burkina Faso and Ghana international capped an imposing season by winning the golden boot after scoring 22 goals.

“Yes, I was very happy. I worked hard to all those achievements,” he continued.

“But, honestly, I did all because the team was too good. I couldn’t do it alone. It was all about the team.

“One thing I know is that when the team determined, definitely, the talent will show. So I tried as much as possible to be a team player.

“All I did was helping the team. The individuals will come out if the team is working.

“I’m still very happy to have won the award but I have to give all the credit to my teammates and coaches. They made that possible.”