Phoenix Rising, which had player suspended for using a homophobic slur, could host USL championship game

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On Sept. 30, the San Diego Loyal decided to forfeit a game against Phoenix Rising in USL Championship play after a homophobic slur was directed at Loyal midfielder Collin Martin, who is an openly gay player.

That decision could result in Phoenix Rising hosting the USL title game on Nov. 1.

The USL Championship will hold its Eastern and Western Conference finals on Saturday. A win for Phoenix Rising means that it will host the title game, thanks in part to the three points earned in the forfeit from the San Diego Loyal.

Phoenix Rising accumulated 35 points during the regular season, tied with Eastern Conference finalist Louisville City FC. However, Phoenix Rising’s goal differential of plus-29 means it’s the top remaining seed, getting a tiebreaker over Louisville City FC’s plus-16 goal differential.

Phoenix Rising FC forward Rufat Dadashov reacts after scoring a goal in the 2020 season opener. (Photo: Rob Schumacher/The Republic)

A week after the incident against the San Diego Loyal, Phoenix Rising forward Junior Flemmings was suspended for the remainder of the season for the use of foul and abusive language. In…

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