Phoenix Rising FC assistant coaches Peter Ramez (left) and Blair Gavin are awaiting details of the resumption of the 2020 USL Championship season. (Photo by Owen Evans / Cronkite News)
Phoenix Rising interim manager Blair Gavin joined Arizona Sports’ Saturday Sacramento Republic FC and Junior Flemings to consider a USL Championship playoff match on Saturday against a six-game suspension.
Gavin, who was raised in the Valley, played professionally for Rising between 2016 and 2017, performing 45 performances with his hometown.
Rick Schneitz was appointed interim manager after being indefinitely on administrative leave for the October 1 junior Fleming incident.
Fleming was suspended for six games on Tuesday, assuring him he would miss all league playoffs. Gavin believes Rising can use the offensive balance to control the loss of the league’s leading regular season scorer.
“Junior was a big piece on and off the field and we’re still trying to find a balance in that,” Gavin said. “But this next man raises the mindset and we have some players that you saw in the last game. All these boys wore shoes that the junior had filled. Yes it is going to be difficult, there is no denying it.
“But I believe in these guys and I believe they can achieve something special based on who they are and how willing they are to play for each other.”
Gavin hinted at the fact that Fleming’s suspension would put a more humiliating burden on the back of Azerbaijani forward Rufat Dadashov, who completed the regular season with 11 goals in 15 games.
Dadashov is the only remaining Rising player to finish the regular season with a double-digit goal, with Solomon Asante finishing third on the team with six points.
Gavin expects the team to come down as a group during Saturday’s match, which starts at 30.07pm local time.
He believes that Rising will lose him on Saturday night’s match due to collusion with fellow coaches and team players.
“It’s been 100% supportive,” Gavin said. “I am bent on helping the people in this organization. Not just other coaches, but players as well. Everyone is helping me and I am thankful for that. And so far everyone has been great and I’m really grateful for that. ”
Facing the Republic of Sacramento
Gavin and Phoenix Rising will compete against the Republic of Sacramento for the first time this season on Saturday night.
The interim manager believes that Saturday’s match will be difficult to prepare due to lack of regional knowledge about the opposition.
Gavin is confident that the team’s pre-match preparations can prepare for some of that, however, with Rising’s playoff experience, winning the USL Championship Western Conference in 2018, the league’s supporters in 2019. And in Group B of the Western Conference. 2020.
Gavin said: “Having guys like that can explain how you need to start the game, how you should come out in the second half, how you need to prepare for the game. There are precious pieces for the team. ‘
“As a coach I was definitely inclined to give them a message because it’s effective when your partner is showing you a guide to self-help as well.”
Gavin added that Rising is expected to face a tough challenge from the Republic of Sacramento on Saturday night, which went 8-6-2 during the regular season.
“It’s going to be very challenging,” Gavin said. “You want to be able to identify someone’s strengths and weaknesses based on their play. But we’ve done a lot of research on them and some of the movies, and we’ve played some of the opponents that they’ve played. And tonight it’s uncertain how everything fits, but that’s the interesting part. ”
“So, all our boys are waiting for it. This is definitely a challenge, but it is also what we are and we are looking forward to it. “