Welcome to the Classic Championship Game of the Day, where today we revisit a contest that featured one of the legends of the game in Phoenix Rising FC’s Didier Drogba, a future U.S. Men’s National Team player in the LA Galaxy II’s Ulysses Llanez Jr, and one of the most memorable calls in the Championship’s history that punctuated a seven-goal thriller saw the hosts emerge on top.
Drogba’s signing with Phoenix on April 12, 2017 provided the exclamation point on what had been a transformational six months for the club, which underwent a major facelift following its purchase by a group led by Berke Bakay. The Ivory Coast legend had shown he’d lost nothing of his touch in the 12 months that followed, providing highlight-reel moments alongside his talented teammates.
Los Dos, however, had their own collection of rising stars ready to take on the Western Conference powerhouse. Featuring Llanez Jr. and Alex Mendez in midfield and soon-to-be Championship Young Player of the Year Efrain Alvarez in the forward line, the young talent was ready for its chance to shine under the lights in the desert.
The scene is set, so sit back, relax and enjoy a classic 90 minutes of Championship action.