Phoenix Rising FC dominated the regular season in the Western Conference last year. Re-writing the record books at every turn, including a 20-game winning streak, 24 wins overall, 78 points, and a remarkable 89 goals in a single season.
But then, the side that broke that winning streak in October also broke the hearts of Rising FC’s fans in November. Real Monarchs SLC went on to lift the trophy at the USL Championship Final with victory against Louisville City FC, becoming the first road team to triumph in the Championship’s title game in its history.
As the 2020 season arrives, Rising FC is still the favorite to be the best the Championship has to offer, but the magic of 2019 is going to be hard to replicate, and the list of challengers grows deeper by the day. Orange County SC has restocked its squad looking to repeat its first-place finish in 2018, and while the Monarchs have undergone changes, Head Coach Jamison Olave’s side still has its talisman in midfielder Jack Blake at the center of the action.
Add in the potential for second-year sides El Paso Locomotive FC, Austin Bold FC and New Mexico United to take a step forward from their postseason berths in Year 1, and the arrival of a well-stocked squad at expansion side San Diego Loyal SC under Head Coach Landon Donovan, and there could be plenty of intrigue to go around.
Here’s our look at what to expect from the 2020 Western Conference.
Tag(s): Features San Antonio FC CO Spring Switchbacks LA Galaxy II OKC Energy FC Orange County SC Phoenix Rising FC Portland Timbers 2 Real Monarchs SLC Reno 1868 FC Rio Grande Valley FC Sacramento Republic FC FC Tulsa Las Vegas Lights FC Austin Bold FC El Paso Locomotive FC New Mexico United Tacoma Defiance San Diego Loyal SC