The USL Championship, the league that Phoenix Rising FC plays in, announced Tuesday that some restrictions on small group training sessions during the coronavirus pandemic are being lifted.
The league announced recently that it’s targeting a July 11 return date to get back to playing its season, which was paused in March after one game.
Phase two protocols were implemented Monday, the league said in a press release.
Phase two allows expanded non-contact, on-field training in groups of up to 10 players. That’s up from the previous limit that allowed only four players plus one coach and one trainer.
Coaches will now also be allowed to give “technical instruction,” the league said. Weight room facilities will now open, and player treatment will also be expanded.
Phoenix Rising players began to work under the initial, more restricted protocols of training on May 11.
Rising FC head coach Rick Schantz told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf last month that he was thrilled to be back on the soccer pitch again.
“Let’s just put it this way: I have a renewed appreciation for how much I loved being on the field,” Schantz said. “When you’re a manager or a coach at this level, there’s a lot of things. You’re talking contracts, marketing, advertising, ticket sales, new players, scouting, you name it. You’re in the office all day long, you’re watching the opponents and you’re doing everything you can.
“But that 75-80 minutes you get to spend on the field is pure joy. And when something takes it away for seven weeks, to be able to come back our here with this group of players, oh my gosh, I can’t tell you how happy I am.”