Phoenix Rising FC got out to a flying start to the 2020 USL Championship season, taking a 6-1 victory against the Portland Timbers 2 at Casino Arizona Field. | Photo courtesy Grace Stufkosky / Phoenix Rising FC
Sitting at No. 291 in fivethirtyeight.com’s overall world club soccer rankings, it should come as no surprise that Phoenix Rising FC is still the favorite to claim the 2020 USL Championship Final under the new season format.
The newly updated projections released on Monday giving the 2019 Championship Regular Season Title-winner a 23 percent chance to lift the trophy this postseason, and a 77 percent chance to finish on top of Group B as the league returns to play this Saturday afternoon.
San Antonio FC comes in as Phoenix’s biggest challenger in the Western Conference, rated a 48 percent chance of finishing on top of Group D and a 27 percent chance to reach the Western Conference Final on the opposite side of the bracket, with Austin Bold FC close behind at 37 percent chance to win its group and 21 percent to reach the conference final.
Over in the Eastern Conference, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Indy Eleven and Louisville City FC lead the favorites to reach the USL Championship Final, with the Rowdies sitting at 18 percent chance, Indy at 17 percent and LouCity at 14 percent.
The Rowdies are also one of two sides to join Phoenix in being more than a 50 percent chance to win their group, with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC sitting at a 57 percent chance to finish on top of Group F.