Phoenix Rising FC has re-signed Australian playmaker Panos Armenakas, one of 10 players currently set to return to the club for the 2024 season. | Photo courtesy Isaiah J. Downing / Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
PHOENIX – Phoenix Rising FC announced on Friday that at least 10 players from its 2023 USL Championship title-winning squad will be returning for the 2024 season, with the club signing attacking midfielder Panos Armenakas to a new contract among 10 players currently set for the new campaign.
Rising FC has also exercised contract options on defenders John Stenberg and Eddie Munjoma, and forward Manuel Arteaga. All four transactions are pending league and federation approval.
Additionally, the club will also see the return of midfielders Carlos Harvey, Jose Hernandez, Gabi Torres, Fede Varela, and Renzo Zambrano, and forward Erickson Gallardo, all of whom were previously under contract for the 2024 season.
Phoenix declined its contract options on defenders Henry Uzochukwu, Niall Dunn and Darnell King, and midfielder Carlos Anguiano, and the loans for goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo and defender Mo Traore have expired.
Goalkeeper Patrick Rakovsky, defender Alejandro Fuenmayor and forwards Danny Trejo and Emil Cuello are out of contract. The club continues contract negotiations with several out-of-contract players. Defender Daniel Krutzen has elected to retire.
Phoenix Rising FC’s initial roster moves don’t contain many surprises, with the re-signing of attacking midfielder Panos Armenakas a good start to the building process for the club’s title defense. After his arrival in early June, the Australian playmaker made a substantial impact for the club, ranking third in Goals Added per American Soccer Analysis at +3.59. He figures to be a key player alongside the rest of the returning squad, including standouts Carlos Harvey and Manuel Arteaga.
The biggest question for Phoenix in terms of potential returnees would seem to be at the back. Getting Alejandro Fuenmayor back to play alongside John Stenberg feels like it should be a priority, while it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Darnell King and young prospect Niall Dunn return as well. Danny Trejo, meanwhile, will probably have plenty of options, including the potential to move up a level after his stellar season for the club.
Current 2024 Phoenix Rising FC Roster
Defenders (2): Eddie Munjoma, John Stenberg
Midfielders (6): Panos Armenakas, Carlos Harvey, Jose Hernandez, Gabi Torres, Fede Varela, Renzo Zambrano
Forwards (2): Manuel Arteaga, Erickson Gallardo