Drogba dedicates Phoenix Rising’s debut win to Cheick Tiote

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Michael Rincon
The Chelsea legend dedicated the win to the former Newcastle United midfielder who recently passed

Legendary Ivorian attacker Didier Drogba scored on debut for the American club he co-owns and captains Phoenix Rising and dedicated the win to his former Ivory Coast international team mate Cheick Tiote.

The well-travelled veteran scored the opener in the 40th minute and setup the winner as Phoenix beat Whitecaps FC II 2-1.

Tiote, aged 30, died after collapsing while training in China.

"I want to dedicate this to Cheick Tiote who passed away doing what he loved," Drogba posted on Instagram.

"My thoughts and condolences go out to his family, the Ivory Coast and the whole of Africa, mourning the passing of one of their own."

Phoenix are in their fourth season in the Western Conference of the United Soccer League and hope to become one of four planned expansion teams in the MLS over the next three years.

Prior to his move to Phoenix, the 39-year-old, had not played competitively since leaving MLS club Montreal Impact in November 2016.

 

He rejoined to the Blues, where he won three Premier League titles and the Champions League, for the 2014-15 season, and added seven goals to the 157 he scored in his 341 appearances prior to his departure.

He has also turned out for Shanghai Shenhua in China and Turkish side Galatasaray and currently hold the record as the Elephants record goal scorer with 65 goals in 104 appearances.

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