Phoenix Rising FC Pick Up Striker Matthew Hurlow-Paonessa for 2017 Season

Photo Credit: Phoenix Rising FC

The only pro soccer club in Arizona is gearing up their squad for the 2017 season. The Phoenix Rising FC is working on the strike force today as they announce the signing of striker Matthew Hurlow-Paonessa. The contract is still pending league and USSF approval and the terms are not yet made public.

Hurlow-Paonessa is coming off a strong season in the Premiere Development League. Matt scored 9 goals in 9 regular season games for the San Diego Zest FC. He scored the only two goals in the playoff loss to FC Golden State Force. With one assist, 33 shots, 5 yellows and no reds in the regular season, the numbers show a well rounded attacker.

As a Chico State Wildcat, Matt had more than a few notable accomplishments. He scored the fastest goal in team history, 8 seconds into a match. Matt scored the lone goal in the 2013 NCAA Championship Tournament appearance and in 2014 led the Wildcats with 6 goals and three game winning shots. The 2015 roster at Chico State quotes #23 (his favorite pro-athlete is Michael Jordan) as saying that he wants to play soccer professionally, and also hints to his work ethic. The forward says that his best advice ever received has been, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”.

Phoenix Rising head coach Frank Yallop said in the announcement, “The more I watched him, the more I liked him. And I think his work rate and attitude should be a good asset to the club.”

According to their website, the Phoenix Rising FC now have 14 players signed for the 2017 season. AZSoccer will keep you up to date with more signings as they happen.

Tim Allen is an editor/writer for and covers all Soccer news in Arizona. He can be reached by email at

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