Schantz to the Valley of the Yakes

I’m sure you read my article in the Sentinel (and if not, here’s your chance). Rick Schantz is leaving FC Tucson for the glitz and glam of Phoenix Rising FC.

Schantz is leaving a club he helped found back in late 2010 having also put his mark on the local scene with Ft. Lowell Soccer club as well as with the old Tucson Amigos. His record with FC Tucson is 71-22-17, and includes three runs in the US Open Cup as well as three division championships.

Schantz has had a strong relationship with Rising’s coach Frank Yallop. He told me about a long chat with Yallop after one of Rising’s face-offs with FC Tucson last year when they were still Arizona United SC. In retrospect, the fact that Yallop would be interested in hiring Schantz should be no surprise.

Schantz will be dealing with a similar playing pool that he had with FC Tucson, a bit older, but still guys that are looking at moving up. Given Rising’s lackluster performances, he’s got quite a challenge. Yallop is probably glad that he’s got a guy he won’t need on-the-job training.

I spoke with Jonathan Pearlman this morning about the move. He says that they have already gotten one resume for a new coach. He also pointed out that assistants Jose Miranda and Alex Rangel are staying on, and mentioned that U of A goalkeeper coach Paul Nagy may have a role.

Schantz will be hard to replace given his strong ties to the local soccer community and his deep love for Tucson. I’d like to thank him for always being up for an interview and for our talks about the game we love.

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