Whanganui's expat All White defender James Musa is enjoying the view from the top as his Phoenix Rising FC club is well ahead of the rest of the Western Conference points table in the 2019 USL Championship.
The 27-year-old is in his second season with the Arizona-based club, who play in the second tier of the United States soccer league system, with USL having 36 clubs split into two conferences.
Although Musa did not play in the Phoenix's 3-0 away win over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at the weekend, their victory extended his team to a 19-5-2 record to already qualify for the playoffs with seven regular season games remaining.
The top six teams automatically go into the quarterfinals for their conference, to be joined by two other teams who make it through an added 'play-in' round between the sides ranked 7th-10th.
Most impressively, Phoenix's current 17-game winning streak this season is a record for professional soccer in the United States.
They have scored 71 goals so far while conceeding only 25, with their +46 differential dwarfing the statistics of the conference's current second-placed team Fresno FC (13-8-4, +16).
The team is also being embraced by its community as Phoenix average just over 6700 fans for their home games at Casino Arizona Field, which is a privately-funded temporary stadium that officially has seating capacity for 6200.
The club will build a permanent facility if they are promoted into Major League Soccer (MLS), having first applied in 2017 to be considered if MLS is expanded, although four other clubs have been chosen to join from 2020 to 2022.
So far in the 2019 season, Musa has made 21 appearances, 15 of them as a starter.
In his 1339 minutes, he has scored two goals from three shots on target, both with his left foot, plus one goal assist.
The team's captain Solomon Asante has scored 20 goals so far, a club record.
Musa is part of a defence in front of goal keeper Zac Lubin that has helped him keep 12 clean sheets so far this season.