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Soccer notes

Wildcat soccer's final home weekend features Stanford, Cal

Sun Cup starts Saturday; Doubts raised about 2021 U.S. Open Cup

Yes, our Wildcat basketball team takes on Connecticut on Friday night with a spot in the final on the line, but you will still be able to catch the soccer team face off with Stanford at 8 p.m. The match will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.

Friday’s match will begin the final weekend of games at Mulcahy Field for the season, and the team is still looking for a second win in Pac-12 play (a defeat of ASU on March 19 was not recorded as a conference match).

Stanford is a perennial powerhouse in college soccer on both the men’s and women’s side, but they don’t seem to be the same unstoppable juggernaut this season with losses to Oregon, Oregon State and California. It’s hard to pick out one particular player as their offensive focus (forward Samantha Williams and Civana Kuhlmann have combined for six goals), but goalkeeper Katie Meyer has started all of their matches and logged an impressive .88 goals against average.

The Cats close out their home season on Sunday with a noon game against California.

Sun Cup kicks off with SKC, LAG, RSL and Rapids

The annual Sun Cup tournament begins on Saturday. It’s the eleventh season that Major League Soccer teams have come to Tucson for a preseason tournament.

Other preseason matches have been hosted at Kino over the last few weeks, but they have been closed to the public. Pima County, which manages Kino North Stadium, is going to allow for 10 percent capacity at Sun Cup matches.

This year’s Sun Cup starts with a match between two MLS Cup champions. Sporting Kansas City and LA Galaxy play at noon on Saturday, followed by a match between the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake at 6 p.m.

Doubts about 2021 Open Cup

One of the side benefits of FC Tucson shaking off being owned by Phoenix Rising is that they can once again participate in the U.S. Open Cup. The knock-out tournament for teams in all levels of men’s soccer has been held since 1914. FC Tucson made its best run in 2013, making it to the third round before falling to goals by Houston Dynamo’s Hugh Dixon and Giles Barnes.

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2021 could be a chance for FC Tucson to repeat, but now there is a chance that the tournament might not be held at all this year.

The US Soccer Federation, which runs the tournament, was already looking to have a scaled back 24 team tournament this year, but the lack of amateur teams that could participate meant that they cancelled the planned opening round, leaving it as a 16 team tournament.

TheCup.us reported on Thursday that the United States Adult Soccer Association, the governing body of amateur soccer, is calling for the tournament to be cancelled in its entirety. The tournament was also cancelled in 2020.

John Motta, USASA president, not only pointed to how few amateur teams could participate this year, but that a number of lower division professional sides (including Phoenix Rising) pointed out the difficulty and expense of competing in the tournament given COVID protocols.

The tournament is currently scheduled to start on May 18th.

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Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.com

Arizona forward Jada Talley in action against ASU in a win on March 19th.

2021 Sun Cup schedule

All matches at Kino North Stadium

Saturday, April 3rd

  • Noon - Sporting Kansas City vs LA Galaxy
  • 6 pm - Colorado Rapids vs Real Salt Lake

Wednesday, April 7th

  • 3 pm - Colorado Rapids vs LA Galaxy
  • 6 pm - Phoenix Rising FC vs Real Salt Lake

Saturday, April 10th

  • 5 pm - LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake
  • 7:30 pm - Colorado Rapids vs Phoenix Rising