Didier Drogba Joins USL's Phoenix Rising As Player and Co-Owner

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Major Lazer co-producer Diplo may have just released a new video with Nicki Minaj and PartyNextDoor, but his biggest collaboration of 2017 is with a Chelsea legend: Didier Drogba has joined United Soccer League (USL) team Phoenix Rising.

The Ivorian hero will not only play for the USL (American second division) club, but he will also join Diplo and Fall Out Boy bassist, Pete Wentz, as co-owners.

Drogba had been without a club since leaving MLS outfit Montreal Impact in November, after rejecting a move to Brazilian giants Corinthians in February.

However, the 39-year-old Ivorian striker has finally found a home in Phoenix, where he will also be part of their "MLS expansion franchise ownership group." MLS plans to expand to 26 teams by 2020.

Phoenix are in their fourth season in the USL, 12th in the Western Conference with one win after three games.

"I have taken my time in deciding what I wanted to do next and am really excited about the opportunity at Phoenix Rising FC," said Drogba.

"After seeing firsthand the potential for expansion of the sport in North America and getting to know the ownership group in Phoenix, I am convinced that I can help them develop their organization on and off the pitch.

"I look forward to their continued success in the USL, and no city is better positioned than Phoenix for expansion into the MLS."

Drogba - a two-time African Footballer of the Year – scored 23 goals in 41 competitive appearances for the Impact, having won four Premier League titles and the Champions League among other trophies with Chelsea.

"We want our club and our city to be synonymous with international excellence, and Didier Drogba is a testament to Phoenix Rising FC's commitment to that mission,” said Phoenix Rising club governor Berke Bakay.

"Soccer is an international language understood by sports fans all over the world, and we want to help inspire fluency among new fans everywhere we play throughout North America."

Drogba won't be the only notable figure associated with the desert club. He's joined on the roster by former Manchester City and Chelsea player, Shaun Wright-Phillips, and former Mexican national team member, Omar Bravo, who both arrived in February.


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