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Phoenix re-signs veteran defender Darnell King

By Staff, 12/16/22, 1:00PM EST


Former All-League selection has made 79 Championship appearances for club

Phoenix Rising FC has re-signed defender Darnell King, who has made 152 appearances in the Championship's regular season in his career and has spent the past three seasons in Phoenix. | Photo courtesy Phoenix Rising FC

PHOENIX – Phoenix Rising FC announced on Friday the club had re-signed defender Darnell King ahead of the 2023 USL Championship season. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.

“I am very happy to have Darnell back for another season,” said Phoenix Head Coach Juan Guerra. “He represents everything a Phoenix Rising soccer player is, both on and off the pitch. He is coming back with the same hunger he had on day one. He understands how important the 2023 season will be for this club. Darnell will be a key part of this project.”

King has spent the past three seasons with Rising FC, racking up 79 appearances, four goals and three assists across the Championship’s regular season and playoffs. Defensively, he led Phoenix in tackles won (37) in 2020 and in clearances 110 over the past two seasons, while his 6,663 minutes of action for the club rank sixth in club history.

“The way last season went for us, I was ready to start training again right after our last match,” said King. “There will be an added motivation after going through a season like that. The guys coming back understand and the new guys – we’ll let them know how we feel. We’re hungry for the 2023 season to start. For me personally, any chance I get to step on the field now, I’m going to play like it’s my last game.”

Prior to joining Phoenix, King spent the 2019 season with Nashville SC. He picked up one assist in 21 matches, helping Nashville to the top defensive performance in the USL Championship that season while allowing just 26 goals. King spent the 2018 season with San Antonio FC, where he scored twice and notched four assists in 32 matches, earning USL Championship All-League Second Team honors.

Overall, King has made 152 regular season appearances in the Championship during his career, logging 12,848 minutes, recording a duel success rate of 53.5 percent and notching 246 interceptions, 761 recoveries and 409 clearances.

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