Phoenix Rising FC and midfielder Sam Stanton have mutually agreed that the club will not exercise the option on his contract for next season.
“We wish Sam all the best and thank him for his efforts in helping us to win our second Western Conference Championship during a difficult 2020 season,” said Rising General Manager Bobby Dulle. “Because of the projected late start to the 2021 USL season due to COVID-19, it was best for Sam to return to Scotland, where he can continue playing immediately. He had a very strong finish to his 2020 season. We agreed to give him the opportunity to use that momentum to advance his career.”
Stanton joined Rising on January 23, 2020. He logged 1,312 minutes in 18 appearances, scoring three goals and an assist. His first goal of the year did not come until September 11, but Stanton then scored twice in a 4-1 win against LA Galaxy II on October 3 and started every match for Rising on its way to the 2020 Western Conference Final Championship.