Phoenix Rising FC to Bring Back at Least 10 Players from Its 2023 Championship Squad

December 1, 2023 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Phoenix Rising FC News Release

Phoenix Rising FC celebrates the USL Championship title
Phoenix Rising FC celebrates the USL Championship title
(Phoenix Rising FC)

PHOENIX, Arizona - Phoenix Rising FC announced today that at least 10 players from its 2023 USL Championship squad will be returning to defend its title.

Among the returning players is John Stenberg, known for his dramatic game-tying goal in the 90th minute of the final, along with fellow starters Carlos Harvey and Jose Andres Hernandez. Under contract for the 2024 season, the core group will be bolstered by the talents of Erickson Gallardo, Fede Varela, Gabi Torres and Renzo Zambrano, who are also confirmed to remain with the team.

Rising has also exercised the one-year team options on the contracts of two key contributors from the 2023 final, Manuel Arteaga and Eddie Munjoma while signing Panos Armenakas to a new contract.

Armenakas joined Rising on June 2, 2023, via transfer with Loudoun United. The 25-year-old midfielder appeared in a total of 39 USL Championship matches, scoring five goals and seven assists. He finished second in the league with 80 chances created and converted a vital penalty kick in Phoenix's 4-3 win against San Diego Loyal SC in the first round of playoffs.

Phoenix has chosen not to exercise the current contract options for Henry Uzochukwu, Niall Dunn, Darnell King, and Carlos Anguiano.

The contracts of Danny Trejo, Patrick Rakovsky, Alejandro Fuenmayor and Emil Cuello have expired.

The loan periods for Rocco Rios Novo and Mo Traore have also expired.

Defender Daniel Krutzen has retired. The 27-year-old defender joined Rising on January 24, 2023. Krutzen appeared in 28 matches, recording the third-most interceptions on the team (29) along with 47 clearances. A three-time Canadian Premier League Champion with Forge FC (2019-2022) prior to joining Phoenix, Krutzen came on in relief of center back John Stenberg in the USL Championship Final. The former University of Albany product helped Rising see out the final 30 minutes of the match before Phoenix secured a 3-2 victory via penalty kicks.

Contract negotiations continue with several out-of-contract players from the historic 2023 squad. Rising will provide further details on the 2024 roster as information becomes available.


Defenders (2): Eddie Munjoma, John Stenberg

Midfielders (6): Panos Armenakas, Carlos Harvey, Jose Hernandez, Gabi Torres, Fede Varela, Renzo Zambrano

Forwards (2): Manu Arteaga, Erickson Gallardo

Transaction: Rising re-signs midfielder Panayioti "Panos" Armenakas

Name: Panayioti "Panos" Armenakas

Position: Midfielder

Previous Club: Loudoun United

Height: 5-10

DOB: August 5, 1998 (25)

Birthplace: Newport Beach, California

Transaction: Phoenix Rising defender Daniel Krutzen has retired

Name: Daniel Krutzen

Position: Defender

Height: 6-0

Weight: 165

DOB: September 19, 1996 (27)

Birthplace: Brunssum, Netherlands

Hometown: Lanaken, Belgium

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Phoenix Rising FC celebrates the USL Championship title
Phoenix Rising FC celebrates the USL Championship title


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