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Rising FC’s Mohamed Traore helping solidity at back in undefeated run | Young Player Spotlight

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 10/02/23, 2:50PM EDT


21-year-old Senegalese center back is in most consistent run of career so far after loan stints in Las Vegas

Now in his third season in the USL Championship, Mohamed Traore has found his most consistent run of form in aiding Phoenix Rising FC's current eight-game undefeated streak. | Photo courtesy Ivan Pierre Aguirre / El Paso Locomotive FC

It’s unlikely with two games to go this regular season that Phoenix Rising FC loanee Mohamed Traore will achieve any single-season highs this campaign.

A midseason spell on the sidelines likely put paid to that, with the 21-year-old Senegalese defender on loan from Los Angeles FC having previously shown positive signs in his development at Las Vegas Lights FC over the past two years.

As Rising FC has put together its longest undefeated streak since the 2021 season over the past eight games, however, the left-sided center back might be producing the most consistent form of his career so far.

Traore had another solid outing on Saturday night as Phoenix rallied for a 1-1 draw against Orange County SC to clinch its return to the postseason. He won 3 of 3 tackles, made 11 recoveries and showed off his positive positional sense in a fascinating battle for the opening hour of the contest against fellow young standout and United States U-17 international Bryce Jamison.

That only added to the impressive numbers Traore has put up since his return to the lineup just over a month ago in Phoenix’s notable 2-1 home victory against Sacramento Republic FC. Since that contest, he has logged all-but-11 minutes of action during Rising FC’s undefeated run while ranking first in duels won (45), tackles won (10) and recoveries (53) among the side’s outfield players.

Playing alongside similarly impressive veterans John Stenberg and Alejandro Fuenmayor, and one of the standout goalkeepers overall this season in Rocco Rios Novo, Traore is doing his part to help strengthen Rising FC’s back line over the final third of the season.

With one eye now on the postseason, Traore should be a player to watch as Phoenix tries to make a run into November.

Here are some of the other young standouts that stood out in the past week of action…

Diba Nwegbo, Birmingham Legion FC – The former Vermont Green FC standout bagged a goal and assist after coming on as a first-half substitute in Legion FC’s 2-1 victory against Memphis 901 FC in the Southern Harm rivalry.

Fidel Barajas, Charleston Battery – The Mexico U-17 international bagged his ninth assist of the season in the Battery’s contest against El Paso Locomotive FC, continuing his stellar campaign, and also completed 18 of 20 passes overall.

Aldair Sanchez, Sacramento Republic FC – The 21-year-old put in an industrious display on the right flank in Sacramento’s 2-0 victory against Las Vegas Lights FC, winning 2 of 2 tackles and 5 of 9 duels while completing 27 of 35 passes.

Dren Dobrunna, Hartford Athletic – The 18-year-old logged just over half-an-hour off the bench in two appearances and was tidy, completing 21 of 24 passes and winning 2 of 2 duels and 1 of 1 tackles.

Bryce Jamison, Orange County SC – The 17-year-old winger might be more known for attacking prowess, but he put in work on the defensive side of the ball in Phoenix winning 8 of 14 duels, 2 of 3 tackles and 3 of 5 aerial duels.

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