This Saturday, Familiar Foes meet as head coaches John Galas and Darren Sawatzky face off in Richmond. Darren, the head coach for FC Tucson in 2019, is now in charge of the Richmond Kickers and will face his assistant from last year, and current FC Tucson head coach John Galas. The meeting on Saturday will be the first professional matchup between the two coaches, but their history on the touchline goes back much further than just last year.
Did you know FC Tucson head coach John Galas and Richmond Kickers head coach Darren Sawatzky met 11 times in the PDL before joining forces in Tucson last year? John, the head coach of Oregon PDL side Lane United had somewhat of a regional rivalry with Darren and his U23 Seattle Sounders team. Interestingly enough the first PDL battle of wits between the two coaches was won by Galas on a goal by a former FC Tucson star. A year after scoring four times for FC Tucson in 2013, Conner Bevans gave Galas and his team, Lane United, a victory in their first ever PDL match as a club, a 1-0 win over Sawatzky’s U23 Sounders FC.
Over the next 4-5 years, John Galas and Darren Sawatzky would battle a total of 11 times in the PDL, creating a familiarity that led to the two teaming up together in Tucson. When Darren was offered the job at FC Tucson in late 2018, he asked John to join him and the two became the first professional coaching staff in the club’s history. Saturday will see the two men face off for the first time in their professional careers, but the long history of playing one another in American soccer makes the matchup of former coaching mates that much sweeter. Along with Darren Sawatzky, the Richmond Kickers also secured the services of former FC Tucson captain Kyle Venter, who will play his first match against the Men in Black since leaving this past offseason.
Saturday’s match kicks off at 3:30pm PST and you can catch all the action between FC Tucson and the Richmond Kickers on ESPN+.
Link to the match: https://es.pn/2DYNePQ