Didier Drogba is not done with playing just yet, and he might not be done with MLS, either, if things go the way of Phoenix Rising FC.
Drogba has joined the USL club as a player-owner, and he'll play for one season with the second-division club before transitioning into an executive role in aiding the organization's quest to secure an MLS expansion franchise.
Drogba, who turned 39 last month, was most recently with the Montreal Impact after a decorated career with Chelsea.
“I have taken my time in deciding what I wanted to do next and am really excited about the opportunity at Phoenix Rising FC,” Drogba said. “After seeing first hand 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.”
Phoenix Rising FC is one of 12 bids for four MLS expansion berths that the league will grant in its growth to 28 teams.
“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 owner Berke Bakay.
Drogba joins manager Frank Yallop's intriguing roster, which includes his former Chelsea teammate Shaun Wright-Phillips and accomplished Mexican striker Omar Bravo.