Whanganui's expat All White James Musa's regular season campaign with Phoenix Rising FC has already seen them claim with their first silverware for 2019 in the USL Championship.

An extradionary 90th minute goal by team mate Joey Calistri in Albuquerque against home side New Mexico, after repeated team near misses and saves, saw Phoenix secure a 2-2 draw on the weekend.

The result meant Phoenix cannot be caught at the top of the points table in the 18-team Western Conference for USL, which is the second tier competition of the United States soccer league system, despite still having three regular season games remaining.

They will therefore lift the Supporters' Shield as the top qualifier for the playoffs, being uncatchable on points by the teams in the Eastern Conference either.


While Phoenix also won the Western Conference last year, in Musa's debut season for them, this campaign they have amassed an excellent 22-6-3 record – the highlight of which was the phenomenal winning streak of 20 consecutive games from May 5 to September 21.

The 20 straight wins is a record for all professional soccer in the United States, eclipsing the previous mark of ten games, set last year by FC Cincinnati in the Eastern Conference of USL.

Coming into the weekend, 27-year-old defender Musa has played in 26 of Phoenix's regular season games, starting 19 of them, for 1746 minutes on the field.

He has scored two left-footed goals, while covering at the back has seen him make 19 clearences, five blocks of shots on goal, and 22 interceptions.

Musa had good success with his tackles, completing 68.4 percent successfully, as well as his aerial duels (61.7 percent), while it has been more even with the one vs one duels on the ground (50.5 percent success).

His distribution has been strong, making 896 successful passes from 1064, at 84.2 percent.

Having secured home advantage for the USL playoffs, Phoenix have their final road game of the season away to the 12th-placed Portland Timbers 2 this coming weekend, having previously beaten them 4-2 in June.