With 20 goals and 14 assists through Phoenix Rising FC's first 26 games of the season, Solomon Asante has a chance to set both the single-season goal-scoring and assists record. | Photo courtesy Hector Orellana / Phoenix Rising FC
When Phoenix Rising FC’s Solomon Asante scored his 20th goal of the regular season on Saturday evening, becoming the seventh player in the USL Championship’s history to reach that mark in a single season, he also set a single-season record for the most combined regular-season goals and assists in the league’s history.
Now sitting at a combined 34 goals and assists – fully 14 ahead of his closest competitor in that category – the Ghanaian has led a drive toward resetting the Championship’s single-season record book on a team level that we detailed on Wednesday.
But what about the pursuit of individual achievement for Asante and others this season?
Today, we’re going to look at individual records, and numbers that will incorporate multiple members of Rising FC’s remarkable squad, that could be within reach for Asante and other by the end of this season.
Current Holder – Cameron Lancaster (25, Louisville City FC, 2018)
In most cases, scoring six goals in eight games – the rate Asante needs to achieve to surpass Lancaster’s total from a season ago – would be a pretty big ask. For Asante, however, it’s potentially within reach. Since May 18’s game against Las Vegas Lights FC, Asante has scored 17 goals in 16 appearances, including a stretch in which he scored in seven consecutive games. Having been held off the scoresheet only twice in that span, Asante certainly seems on course to give this record a serious run.
Current Holder – Emmanuel Ledesma (16, FC Cincinnati, 2018)
Asante currently sits on 14 assists this season, making this a much more attainable goal over the final eight games of the season. That’s partly thanks to the reliable finishing provided primarily by Adam Jahn alongside Asante this season, but also due to Asante’s chance creation rate. The Ghanaian is fourth in the Championship in Chances Created with 71 – an average of 2.95 per game – and second in Chances Created from Open Play with 54 – an average of 2.25. Three more helpers in eight games should comfortably be on the radar.
Current Holder – Cameron Lancaster (132, Louisville City FC, 2018)
Asante currently leads the Championship with 89 total shots, which is a lot, but he’s been as much quality as quantity this season with a conversion rate of 22.47 percent on all shots and 48 of his efforts landing on target. Lancaster averaged about half-a-shot more per game than Asante’s current rate, meaning the Ghanaian would have to average 5.5 shots per game over the club’s final eight outings, a rate that would take a lot to pull off.
With 12 shutouts so far this season, Phoenix Rising FC can set a Championship single-season record with four more clean sheets over the club's final eight regular-season games. | Photo courtesy Hector Orellana / Phoenix Rising FC
Current Holder – Maxime Crepeau (15, Ottawa Fury FC, 2018)
We’ve focused on Asante so far, which is reasonable, but glory could also be awaiting goalkeeper Zac Lubin at the end of the regular season for his efforts at the other end of the field. With a league-best 12 shutouts this season, Lubin is three behind the mark set a year ago by current Canadian National Team goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau for Ottawa Fury FC. That means Lubin would need to register a shutout in half Rising FC’s remaining games. That’s a rate Lubin is currently on pace for with 12 shutouts in 23 appearances this season, with six coming at home and six on the road. With an equal split of four home and four away games left for Phoenix, there’s a serious chance of a record for the veteran shot-stopper.
Current Holders – Cameron Lancaster & Ilija Ilic (36, Louisville City FC, 2018)
While Asante leads the Golden Boot race, he’s had ample back-up from Adam Jahn, who himself has set a personal best of 14 goals so far this season. That has put the Rising FC duo on 34 combined goals this season, needing just three more between them over the final eight games to surpass Louisville City FC’s dynamic duo of a season ago.
Current Holders – Emmanuel Ledesma, Corben Bone, Nazmi Albadawi, Danni Konig (49, FC Cincinnati, 2018)
Cincinnati made history in becoming the first side in Championship history to have four double-digit goalscorers last season, and while Phoenix might not have a quartet that each reaches 10 goals this campaign, this record is well within reach. The group of Asante, Jahn, Junior Flemmings and Joey Calistri have already combined for 49 goals, putting it level, but maybe more notable is that Asante, Jahn and Flemmings could surpass this mark as a trio.
Having already become the highest-scoring three teammates in a season with 45 goals – overtaking Lancaster, Ilic and George Davis IV’s 44 goals for Louisville in 2018 – the potential is there for Asante, Jahn and Flemmings to go well past the half-century before the end of the campaign, even with Flemmings away on international duty for Jamaica over the next week.