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Soccer notes

Desert Diamond Cup tickets go on sale Wed.

Individual ticket sales begin at noon, plus FC Tucson builds squad

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FC Tucson announced that single-day tickets for the 2012 FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup will go on sale Wednesday at noon at www.fctucson.com.

A single-day ticket allows for an entire day’s scheduled matches, which will include all four teams. Prices will be $20 corner flag, $30 endline/sideline, $40 premium and $75 VIP.

Last year, organizers located VIP seating in what would have been right field when Hi Corbett hosted baseball games. They have done much the same this year with the move to Kino Stadium, offering what they call “a unique fan experience,” close to the match and able to see pre-match warm-ups.

Oh Reed, please be careful

So far, only “Fantastic Four Packs” have been on sale, along with special offers to important community and business partners. These packages offer the same seat for all four dates and will continue to be on sale.

“The response to this event has been nothing less than outstanding,” FC Tucson Managing Member and Chief Business Officer Chris Keeney said. “We’ve been selling tickets to fans all over the country and Mexico. And the people of Southern Arizona are clearly fired up about these games, teams and players. Now, the entire stadium is available to all and we are only six weeks away from kick-off."

Tucsonenses bolster ranks

Although they aren’t one of the four teams featured in the tournament, FC Tucson will be fielding a team in reserve matches. We’d like to think that what brings these teams to town is the prospect of not having to spend late February in Salt Lake City or Boston, or at least our Sonoran-style cuisine.

The main reason why these teams are coming is the complete training package that was offered. That includes weather, facilities and quality competition. FC Tucson will have to bulk up to provide credible competition for the MLS reserve squads.

To this end, the team has been having tryouts, which have included players like Pima College standout Declan Fulton. Even with local talent, assistant coach Jonathan Pearlman’s responsibility has been to also look further afield.

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“I just got off the phone with ten or twelve coaches,” Pearlman told me in what was his 11th or 13th call Tuesday morning.

Pearlman’s responsibilities this week have included keeping an eye on the MLS player combine, which culminates in the MLS Super Draft on Thursday. He’s had an odd role, figuring out which players are good, but who for one reason or another are not going to get drafted so he can be ready to invite them out to play for FC Tucson, at least during Desert Cup.

The watching won’t end there: USL-Pro, the league just above the Premier Development League that FC Tucson plays in, will have their own combine in Charleston on Jan. 20-23. There also are players that will get called into camp for the pros, only to be cut during camp.

It may seem a bit strange: why would someone who was hoping to have a pro career come down and play for FC Tucson, even temporarily?

Well, even though the team will only play in reserve matches, these will still be seen by coaches and scouts. A player that didn’t get a good look during the combine can get a second one during Desert Cup.

It worked in 2011: Three FC Tucson players were called into camp in with the New York Red Bulls after Desert Cup.

And they ruin the day of this reporter

On a personal note: As one obsessed with trying to prove to doubters that soccer has some strong historic roots in this country, I was happy to see the official logo of the Cactus Pricks, FC Tucson’s fan club. I was thrilled to see the colors red and black.

Why?

Those were the colors of the Tucson Amigos, who were Tucson’s soccer team from 1989 – 1999 and made the final of what was then called the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues (now called the USL) back in 1992.

I was ready to write a long article about this brilliant homage to Tucson’s footballing heritage. “It’s not black, it’s a dark navy,” said Vicente Fuentes, member of the Cactus Pricks and designer of the logo.

So, now what will I write about?

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1 comment on this story

1
35 comments
Jan 11, 2012, 9:27 am
-0 +1

Well considering there is no such color as black, only very dark blue I think you can let that one pass. 

The Cactus Pricks, FC Tucson’s supporters group are also offering ticket packages.  Go to http://www.cactuspricks.com for more information.

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Josh Pearson/TucsonSentinel.com

FC Tucson hopefuls assemble during try-outs Jan. 4 at Rillito Race Track.

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About the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup

The event will feature four double-header matches Wednesday and Saturday nights during a two-week span from Feb. 22 through March 3. The round-robin tournament will crown a champion on the final evening through a point accumulation system. All teams will make their final preparations for the 2012 MLS regular season by training on the world-class fields and facilities of the Kino Sports Complex.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 22
  • 6 p.m. New England Revolution vs. L.A. Galaxy
  • 8 p.m. New York Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake
  • Saturday, Feb. 25
  • 6 p.m. L.A. Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake
  • 8 p.m. New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution
  • Wednesday, Feb. 29
  • 6 p.m. Real Salt Lake vs. New England Revolution 
  • 8 p.m. L.A. Galaxy vs. New York Red Bulls
  • Saturday, March 3
  • 6 p.m. MLS 3rd Place vs. MLS 4th Place
  • 8 p.m. MLS 1st Place vs. MLS 2nd Place
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