FC Tucson announces schedule, teams for MLS preseason
In addition to two Desert Diamond Cup sides, 5 teams will come to Tucson for preseason workouts
FC Tucson announced today that it has finalized contracts to invite five more MLS clubs to train and play preseason matches in Tucson. The Desert Friendlies Presented by FC Tucson will feature nine friendlies open to the public over six dates in the lead up to the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup.
The five teams will be: Colorado Rapids, Houston Dynamo, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City.
In addition to the five teams training in Tucson, two Desert Diamond Cup participants will also play matches in Tucson: New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders FC.
"This kind of event doesn't happen without hard work behind the scenes and Rick Schantz has been constantly on the phone with all of these clubs to ensure they have a world-class training experience," said FC Tucson general manager Jonathan Pearlman. "Not only will the teams enjoy themselves, but soccer fans in Tucson are going to love the up close view of professional soccer.
"The field will be set up just like they were for FC Tucson matches this summer. There will be limited seats, but those who come will be just a few feet from the sidelines. They will get to experience a match closer than they ever could at an MLS stadium and it's going to be very affordable for the entire family."
Tickets will go on sale in November.
You are Number Six
This would be an expanded list from last year, with only two teams doing preseason camp here, San Jose and Kansas City, in the weeks before the Desert Diamond Cup. In addition, FC Tucson traveled up to Casa Grande last year to play against New England and second division team Edmonton FC.
Casa Grande, with its expansive soccer facility, is still expected to be a popular spot for teams, and organizers are dangling the possibility of a sixth team participating in preseason (a good assumption that that’s the “TBA” on the schedule) that would travel from Casa Grande.
This would not be unprecedented. The New York Red Bulls trained in Casa Grande and bused it to Tucson for two Desert Cup matches in 2011.
A bit busy
The teams participating for the most part have just a simple press release on their website announcing the dates. Others have nothing. In at least one case that’s understandable: the San Jose Earthquakes have a tough postseason to worry about plus the possibility that they have to host the MLS Cup final. Let’s just say that next February is far from their minds.