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Free tickets to Sounders-Veracruz match Friday

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Desert Diamond Cup

Free tickets to Sounders-Veracruz match Friday

Fans of professional soccer have a cheap date Friday night: free admission to the Seattle Sounders-Veracruz Tiburones Rojos contest at Kino North Field 5.

The friendly rumble will kick off at 7 p.m. Local club FC Tucson and Pima County announced the free tickets Tuesday morning.

"FC Tucson SoccerFest has enjoyed tremendous support from the community," said Greg Foster, a co-managing member of the team, in a news release. "Offering free tickets to this international match is a way for us to say ‘thank you’ to the region’s soccer fans."

"We have enjoyed our time here at the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup," said Seattle coach Sigi Schmid. "Tucson has been very supportive of what we have done here, so it's a great way to give back to the fans for their support."

"Fans will get to see one of MLS’s best clubs prepare for the CONCACAF Champions League against a challenging Mexican side in Veracruz," Foster said in announcing the game last week.

Seattle is scheduled to begin the quarterfinal round of the CONCACAF Champions League against another Mexican team, 2011 Apertura champion UANL Tigres.

Tickets are available through FC Tucson’s radio partners, ESPN Deportes (990 AM) and La Caliente (102.1 FM), and at the FC Tucson box office at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily begining Tuesday.

A bit of history

The Tiburones Rojos, or red sharks, of Veracruz aren't a team as familiar to fans outside of Mexico as Pumas or Chivas. They had their heyday back in the late 1940's and early 1950's. They won the Copa México in 1947 and enjoyed such a domination in the following years that they recorded the most lopsided victory in the history of Mexican soccer: a 14-0 victory over Monterrey.

It wasn't to last. They won the league title in 1950, financial and managerial problems caused the club to be relegated the following year. It has spent the decades since bouncing between the first and second divisions of Mexican soccer. Still, the club could boast of serious stars in its ranks. Legendary Colombian goalkeeper René Higuita had 30 games between the pipes for the team, and Mexican goal scoring leader Luis Hernández spent time there in the waning days of his career.

Ted Prezelski contributed to this report.

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