Phoenix Rising manager Rick Schantz named 2019 USL Coach of the Year
The accolades just keep on coming for Phoenix Rising.
Manager Rick Schantz was named as the 2019 USL Championship Coach of the Year on Wednesday, just one week after four Rising players were named to USL’s All-League first or second teams.
“This is an amazing honor considering how many fantastic coaches there are in USL Championship,” Schantz said in a press release.
“I’m humbled but I know that this award is truly a team award. This would not have been possible without the players, support staff, assistant coaches, front office, amazing owners and the best fans in the league. I am thankful to lead this club and strive every day to make our community proud.”
In just his first full season at the helm — he was interim in 2018 — Schantz led his team to the greatest regular season in league history.
Not only did Phoenix win the Supporters’ Shield, but Rising also set USL single-season records for wins (24), points (79) and goals (89).
And who could forget the win streak?
From May 10 to Sept. 14, the club won 20 consecutive matches to set the all-time record for the longest winning streak in both North American soccer and Arizona professional sports history.
To put that number into perspective, Phoenix accumulated 60 points over those 20 matches, a total that only five of the league’s other 35 teams managed to accomplish in the entirety of a 34-game season, just one of which was in the Western Conference.
Schantz had four players earn 2019 USL Championship All-League honors in forwards Solomon Asante and Adam Jahn (first team), and goalkeeper Zac Lubin and defender A.J. Cochran (second team).
Asante is also one of three finalists up for league MVP, which will be announced on Thursday. The captain is the favorite to take home the award after winning the Golden Boot (22 goals) and setting USL’s single-season records for assists (17) and combined goals and assists (39).