DID YOU KNOW . . . ?

Max Shacknai 

Max Shacknai was a young talented player in the Scottsdale Soccer Blackhawks Competitive Program who tragically lost his life in July 2011. Max is remembered by the Club through the Max Shacknai Invitational soccer tournament which provides a showcase for soccer excellence and the character and athletic development it represents.

The Coin of Excellence

AGAIN THIS YEAR (Participating Coaches) – The Center Referee will receive two (2) special Tournament Coins when they receive the Scorecard for each of your upcoming matches.  These special Tournament Coins (The Coin of Excellence) will be given to the Coach by the Center Referee, one (1) each per Team, before the start of the match.  The Max Shacknai Invitational would like each Coach to present the Tournament Coin to an OPPOSING TEAM’S PLAYER after the match has concluded.  The Tournament Coin should be given to the Opposing Team Player that the Opposing Coach feels best represents excellence in the match, a high level of sportsmanship and fair play or any other criteria that shows excellence in play and / or character.  Thank you for helping to recognize the “good of the game” in our youth participants.

The Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer Foundation 

The Financial Assistance arm of Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer, the Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer Foundation, raises needed funds to provide the opportunity of youth soccer to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. 

  • A portion of Max Shacknai Invitational proceeds goes directly to the Foundation.  
  • We do not have Participation Medals for our Youth Academy teams (U7 - U10). 100% of the money we save goes to the Foundation for Financial Assistance - "Kids giving back to Kids!"



The hallmark of a positive experience, the Max Shacknai Invitational features unique Referee offerings not found at other tournaments.

  • We we have twelve (12) international Referees officiating our tournament again from Germany, Netherlands and England.  Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer is proud of the partnership it has had for over the past 6 years with Refex and the high level Referees they send each year to our tournament.  
  • We continue to draw Referees from throughout the Western Region due to the high level of competition and welcome Referees from Montana, Idaho, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington and also from Oklahoma in the Southern Region. 
  • The Max Shacknai Invitational is one of the events used to identify Referees for the upcoming Western Region Presidents Cup and Far West Regional Championships.

The 2020 Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer Max Shacknai Invitational Referee Development Academy

Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer is excited to announce that, in conjunction with the Max Shacknai Invitational, we will be holding our forth annual Advanced Referee Development Academy.  Over 30 Referees have been selected to participate in the Advanced Development Academy including some of the top Referees in Arizona and from within the Western Region including Cal North, Cal South, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, New Mexico, Nevada and Idaho.

Referees will be paired in groups of six (6) and receive coaching / mentoring from some of the best in referees in the US during each of their matches.  This year, Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer is excited to announce our Referee Coaches / Mentors are:


  • Allen Chapman, PRO Referee and former MLS Referee of the Year
  • Karen Abt, FIFA Referee
  • Cameron Blanchard, FIFA Assistant Referee
  • Alan Kelly, PRO Referee, MLS 2018 Referee of the Year
  • Alex Chilowicz, PRO Referee
  • Ray Moffatte Jr, US Soccer National Coach
  • Jeff Arthurholtz, US Soccer Coach and former National Referee 
  • Chris Greer, US Soccer Coach


On Friday, the Advanced Development Academy Referees will meet to receive high-level instruction and field training prior to the start of the tournament from our coaches / mentors using the latest video clips from FIFA and US Soccer to develop and train the Advanced Development Academy Referees.



On Saturday and Sunday, the Advanced Development Academy Referees will be working matches and afterward they will spend time with their coach / mentor to discuss and review their match.  This type of coaching / mentoring has been an initiative of US Soccer and the Western Region of US Youth Soccer.  Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer is one of the only clubs to incorporate this type of training into its annual competitive tournament.


In addition to the Advanced Referee Development Academy, we are also excited to further our partnership with Refex.  Refex offers Referees the opportunity to participate in soccer tournaments worldwide and this marks their 8th year participating at the Max Shacknai Invitational.  The addition of high-level International Referees has been a tremendous benefit to the Referees they are assigned with to work during the tournament.  This year, we are excited that twelve (12) International Referees from Germany, Netherlands and England will be refereeing the Max Shacknai Invitational. 

Added Amenities


The Max Shacknai Invitational strives to make us your "tournament of choice."  

  • Individual Player Medals for 1st and 2nd place, a Championship Team Trophy, and Championship Player Hats for all U11 - U19 Division Champions. Participation Pins for all players.  
  • The reason we have so many volunteers on our fields is so that you can see that your experience is important to us. At Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer, we take great pride in our players, our events and our Club. Don't be surprised if you are greeted with a smile and an offer to be of assistance. We hope that you have an exciting weekend of soccer and look forward to seeing you again next year!