PHOENIX RISING FC

Coach on Phoenix Rising’s MLS goals: ‘I think it’s just a matter of time’

Feb 14, 2019, 11:04 AM | Updated: Feb 15, 2019, 10:39 am

(Photo courtesy of Phoenix Rising FC)...

(Photo courtesy of Phoenix Rising FC)

(Photo courtesy of Phoenix Rising FC)

Phoenix Rising FC head coach Rick Schantz grew up in Tucson and knows the state of youth soccer in Arizona well. He worked up the food chain to become the FC Tucson head coach before making the leap to join the Rising’s staff just two years ago.

Now the Rising’s head coach, he’s in charge of leading a USL team through a successful stint.

Further success includes more winning, but it also involves empowering and improving the youth soccer programs in the state.

“First and foremost, Phoenix Rising, the mission statement has been to kind of unite and inspire Arizona soccer,” Shantz said on Doug & Wolf during 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Newsmakers Week. “It’s not necessarily (about being in the) MLS or USL. It’s to create a professional team that brings the whole state together.

“Soccer in Arizona for many, many years has been splintered. You have all these youth clubs, different organizations. Everyone’s fighting over the same 20 kids to be the best. For us it’s kind of: let’s make a pyramid. Let’s get focused on one goal.”

It’s a business, however.

And the next big thing for a USL team that has built a strong fanbase playing off the Loop 202 and made a 2018 appearance in the league’s championship game is obvious.

“From a business perspective, MLS is our ownership’s goal,” Schantz said. “It’s where they want to be and what they want to do. They’ve done everything. They check off all the boxes. I think it’s just a matter of time now before we get it.”

Phoenix Rising FC

Arizona Coyotes CEO and president Xavier Gutierrez...

Arizona Sports

Report: Group eyes pro soccer stadium in Phoenix area, legislation that could impact Coyotes arena

A group led by a former Arizona Coyotes leader is eyeing land and legislation to potentially bring a pro soccer stadium to the Phoenix area.

2 months ago

The all-new 2024 Phoenix Rising "Todos Rojos" home kit. (Image via Phoenix Rising FC)...

David Veenstra

Phoenix Rising FC reveals new kits for 2024 USL Championship season

Phoenix Rising Football Club revealed new uniforms for the upcoming season on Thursday at Marquee Theatre in Tempe.

3 months ago

Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort chats pregame...

Arizona Sports

Full Arizona Sports’ 2024 Newsmakers Week schedule

Leaders from the Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona State Sun Devils and more join Bickley & Marotta.

3 months ago

Phoenix Rising FC's press conference announcing the move to Gila River's Wild Horse Pass. (Arizona ...

Arizona Sports

Phoenix Rising FC no longer pursuing women’s team in USL Super League

Phoenix Rising have backed out of creating a team in the USL Super League despite approval of Division I status by U.S. Soccer for the league.

3 months ago

An exterior view of SoFi Stadium prior to a game between the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams a...

Associated Press

US men to play 3 West Coast games in 2026 World Cup group play

The USMNT will play three games along the West Coast in its group stage for the 2026 World Cup; two in Los Angeles and one in Seattle.

3 months ago

Danny Stone, Phoenix Rising FC...

Vincent DeAngelis

Phoenix Rising FC hires new head coach Danny Stone

A new era for Phoenix Rising FC has begun as Danny Stone was named the new head coach on Thursday.

4 months ago

Coach on Phoenix Rising’s MLS goals: ‘I think it’s just a matter of time’