Phoenix will field a USL PRO team in the 2013 season. The team's ownership group includes developer Tim Thomas and Rui Filipe Bento, who directs Phoenix's Benfica Soccer Academy and will serve as general manager of the yet-to-be-named team.
After looking at Phoenix as a possible expansion location for a number of years, USL feels that the right combination of local ownership and league desires have come together. "The dynamics are right," USL president Tim Holt told Ted Prezelski.
Phoenix has not had a professional soccer team since the Arizona Sahuaros left the D-3 Pro League (since folded into the USL Pro league) in 2002.
“The Valley has waited a long time for a professional soccer team to call its own,” Thomas said in a statement released by USL PRO. “For the first time in Arizona history we have a soccer program that affiliates its youth with the pros."