SOCCER

Phoenix Rising FC part ways with coach Rick Schantz

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Phoenix Rising FC have “mutually agreed to part ways” with manager Rick Schantz, the club announced on Wednesday amid a turbulent 2022 USL Championship campaign.

Assistant coach Danny Stone will take over until the PRFC appoints a new head coach.

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“I would like to thank the owners, the staff and above all all the players I have had the chance to work with over the past five years,” Schantz said in a statement. “I poured my heart and soul into Phoenix Rising. Now is the time to give this amazing club a new voice. I will forever remember the great times we had together.

Schantz’s tenure at the helm ends with an 80-34-21 record in all competitions, two Western Conference championships, a regular season title and the 2019 Coach of the Year award .

“Rick Schantz has raised the bar to a whole new level, not just for Phoenix Rising but for the entire USL Championship,” PRFC general manager Bobby Dulle said in the statement.

“The 20-game winning streak, two conference titles, being the most successful team in North America in each of the last three seasons – the success that Rick has helped this club achieve is astounding. I want to thank him on behalf of our owners, front office, and fans for all he accomplished at Phoenix Rising. We all wish him the best of luck for the future.

Schantz’s departure comes after the team’s recent abysmal form saw the club fall below .500 for only the second time since 2017 – both of which occurred this season – when the Tucson native had yet to serve. his first of two interim stints leading PRFC.

Phoenix currently sits 8W-5D-11L (29 points) and 10th in the Western Conference standings, four points from a playoff spot with 10 games left this season.

After starting the 2022 1W-0D-2L campaign, Phoenix Rising went a perfect 6-0-0 in all competitions en route to Schantz being named April’s Coach of the Month and the team advances to the 32nd in US Open Cup final. first time since 2014.

But since the start of May, the PRFC is 3W-5D-10L in all compositions, including a nine-game winless streak and a four-game losing streak. Rising also lost three straight home games during that span, two of which were ruled out in back-to-back games.

However, it must be said that Phoenix faced many key starter absences due to injuries, red card suspensions and international duties during this period, including the 7-0 loss to New Mexico United in which the ‘USL had to make an exemption for Stand Up to bring eight players from the academy – some who graduated from high school two days later – in order to field a team when the previous maximum was five.

Schantz had been with the club since the 2017 season during which he made two interim spells after the departure of Frank Yallop (April 2017) and after the departure of Patrice Carteron in June 2018. The Tucson native led Phoenix Rising to his first of two Western Conference titles. and the first-ever USL Championship final that year and was officially named the club’s fourth manager for the 2019 season.

In his first full year at the helm, Schantz was named Coach of the Year after Phoenix Rising enjoyed the greatest regular season in league history en route to winning the club’s first-ever Supporters’ Shield. . The 2019 campaign saw the PRFC break USL records for wins (24), points (78) and goals (89) in a single season, including a North American football record 20 consecutive wins.

The following year – which was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic – Phoenix Rising played in the 2020 Finals against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, but the game was not played due to positive COVID-19 cases. 19 in the TBR camp and no winner has been declared. However, the USL League One awarded the champions Greenville Triumph SC after Union Omaha was unable to make their final for the same exact reason.

Phoenix Rising also forfeited the right to host its first-ever Finals of 2020 after the three points the club received for forfeiting San Diego Loyal SC gave PRFC a two-point lead over Tampa Bay.

The forfeit came following former Phoenix Rising winger Junior Flemmings’ alleged homophobic insult to San Diego’s Collin Martin – who is openly gay – which saw Flemmings suspended for six games and Schantz placed on administrative leave for three games before returning for the Western Conference Finals.

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