Phoenix Rising FC has re-signed goalkeeper Rocco Ríos Novo on loan from Club Atlético Lanús of the Argentine first division, pending receipt of his ITC, the club announced today.
“Rocco was a tremendous addition for us last season,” said Phoenix Rising Head Coach Danny Stone. “We knew of his ability to help us build out of the back before he arrived, but he excelled in that area beyond our expectations. His personality made him a massive connector within the team. Being so young, we only expect that will grow. We expect the competition between him and Patrick [Rakovsky] to be just as intense it was last season.”
Novo, 21, saved two of Charleston’s five attempts in the penalty shootout to lead Rising to its first USL Championship title last season. He started 36 matches in league play, making a league-high 116 saves and recording seven shutouts.
“The team transformed into a great group throughout last season,” said Rocco. “We overcame good moments and bad moments, which made us stronger when it came to playing important games like in the playoffs or the final. The fact the team knows each other well is now a great advantage for us. We are going to work very hard during the year to try to match what we did last season and to be able to continue giving joy and memorable moments to the fans.”
Elite in his ability as a goalkeeper to play out of the back, Rios Novo ranked 29th overall amongst all players, regardless of position, in passes completed in the league during the regular season (1,285) with a 88.56 percent accuracy rate.
Rios Novo led Argentina’s Youth National Teams at the U15 level and at the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup before being loaned to Atlanta United of Major League Soccer in 2021. He made 22 appearances for Atlanta’s USL Championship affiliate in 2021-22, making 75 saves, earning one shutout and stopping two penalty kicks. Rios Novo finished his 2022 campaign with Atlanta United with two shutouts and 40 saves in 16 appearances.
Following Phoenix’s USL Championship, Rios Novo joined Argentina’s U23 team in preparation for this Summer’s Olympic games.
“Representing my country is something very special,” said Rios Novo. “This offseason, I was lucky enough to appear in four or five friendly matches with the team.”
Transaction: Rising re-signs goalkeeper Rocco Ríos Novo on loan from Lanús
Name: Rocco Ríos Novo
DOB: June 4, 2002 (21)
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California