USL Cup: Didier Drogba is enjoying last ride

Didier Drogba has said he is retiring at the end of the 2018 season, but on Wednesday he didn't sound like a player who's ready to retire.

At 40, he is having too much fun.

Drogba has scored in each of the Phoenix Rising's three playoff wins and will lead it against defending champion Louisville City in the 2018 USL Cup on Thursday night at the University of Louisville's Lynn Stadium.

Drogba won 17 titles in Europe with Chelsea and Galatasaray, but he began his pro career 20 years ago at Le Mans in the French second division.

"It's very interesting for me because that's how I started my career," he said at Wednesday's USL Cup press conference. "I was young and in a lower league and playing in all different kind-of stadiums. To be there now after being at the top, playing in the biggest stadiums in the world against the biggest opponents and the best, it's refreshing for me. I love it. I'm enjoying it."

Phoenix is in the USL final for the first time, but Lou City is returning to the USL Cup for the second year in a row after losing in the Eastern Conference final in 2015 and 2016.

The big question mark for the hosts concerns the fitness of Cameron Lancaster, who set a USL record with 25 goals during the 2018 regular season but injured his hamstring early in the 5-1 win over New York Red Bulls II in the Eastern Conference final. The Englishman has been practicing but probably won't start in the final.

Louisville City probable XI:
Goalkeeper:
AGE PLAYER (COUNTRY, COLLEGE)
25 Gregory Ranjitsingh
(Trinidad & Tobago, Mercer)
Defenders:
AGE PLAYER (COUNTRY, COLLEGE)
23 Alexis Souahy
(France, Notre Dame College/Bowling Green)
26 Paco Craig (England, Young Harris)
28 Oscar Jimenez (USA, Western Washington)
26 Kyle Smith (USA, Transylvania)
Midfielders:
AGE PLAYER (COUNTRY, COLLEGE)
27 Paolo DelPiccolo
(USA, Louisville)
28 *Brian Ownby (USA, Virginia)
31 George Davis IV (USA, Bowling Green/Kentucky)
28 Niall McCabe (Ireland, Young Harris)
Forwards:
AGE PLAYER (COUNTRY, COLLEGE)
27 Luke Spencer
(USA, Xavier)
27 Ilija Ilic (Serbia, Young Harris)

Phoenix Rising probable XI:
Goalkeeper:
AGE PLAYER (COUNTRY, COLLEGE)
30 Carl Woszczynski (USA, UAB)
Defenders:
AGE PLAYER (COUNTRY, COLLEGE)
27 *Saad Abdul-Salaam (USA, Akron)
25 *Amadou Dia (USA, Clemson)
24 Joe Farrell (USA, La Salle)
22 *Tristan Blackmon (USA, Pacific)
Midfielders:
AGE PLAYER (COUNTRY, COLLEGE)
21 *Collin Fernandez (Peru)
28 Solomon Asante (Ghana)
21 Kevon Lambert (Jamaica)
Forwards:
AGE PLAYER (COUNTRY, COLLEGE)
40 *Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
28 *Jason Johnson (Jamaica, VCU)
30 *Chris Cortez (USA, California)
*Played in MLS.
Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications