With the start of the 2014 USL PRO season fast approaching, one team is undergoing a major makeover.
Phoenix FC Wolves announced Wednesday on their website that the owners would no longer run a USL PRO team, leading to speculation about the future of the franchise. On Thursday, the league confirmed American Soccer Marketing was out as the owners of the franchise, and Arizona United Soccer Club would be taking over the franchise rights for Phoenix.
In turn, the new ownership group, led by Arizona advertising executive Kyle Eng, announced the team will be renamed Arizona United SC, and will assume the 2014 league schedule assigned to Phoenix FC Wolves. Arizona United SC are also expected to remain at the Peoria Sports Complex Stadium to play their home matches, as long as they can agree to a deal with Peoria, Ariz., officials.
“My team and I look forward to playing a part in continuing to grow this great game in the Valley to unparalleled levels,” Eng said in a statement. “We believe we can do this by putting a quality product on the field and giving our fans a great experience at our matches. It’s exciting to be given the opportunity to serve the entire Arizona soccer community as the owner of Arizona United Soccer Club.”
Arizona United will kick off their 2014 season with a match against the Colorado Rapids reserves on March 30, as part of the MLS-USL PRO partnership, which began in 2013. Arizona will also face Chivas USA's reserves on May 24, in a game scheduled to take place in Peoria. As part of the partnership, matches against MLS reserve sides count in USL PRO teams' season standings.