MLS- Real Salt Lake

Four MLS clubs to play for Desert Diamond Cup this winter



PHOENIX — Four MLS teams have agreed to take part in the Desert Diamond Cup, a round-robin tournament to be held at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson, Ariz., Feb. 22-March 3.

The defending MLS Cup champions Los Angeles Galaxy, the New York Red Bulls, the New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake are the scheduled participants in a series of matches that span a week and a half.

FC Tucson, a soccer club and organization established last year that brought MLS teams to the southern Arizona city last winter, made the announcement about the tournament Thursday. There will be four sets of doubleheaders with each team playing another on two Wednesdays and a Saturday (Feb. 22, 25 and 29), with the third-place game and championship on Saturday, March 3. All matches will be played at 6 and 8 p.m. local (Mountain Standard) time.

The tournament champion will be determined via point accumulation.

With Major League Baseball spring training gone from Tucson since 2010, FC Tucson and the city hope to fill the void by becoming a destination for MLS and other soccer teams' preseason training. The Kino Sports Complex was once a spring training site. 

Tucson hosted a preseason match between RBNY and FC Tucson this past March. 

"This tournament will be a celebration for soccer fans throughout the great state of Arizona, Northern Mexico and all across the United States," FC Tucson managing partner Chris Keeney said in a statement from the club. 

Three of the four teams, the exception being the Revs, trained in Arizona for a time last winter. Real Salt Lake GM Garth Lagerwey is encouraging RSL fans to make the trip to watch the team.

"The strong field assembled will ensure a solid test from a competition standpoint and should spark interest from our fans, who we hope will make the trip to Tucson to grow the tournament and get a sneak peek at their Claret-and-Cobalt in advance of the MLS regular season," Lagerwey said.
  • bottlcaps

    This is so awesome for we football (soccer) fans living in SE Arizona.

    With a mild climate in February, Tucson is tailor made for winter playing. Since all the MLB baseball teams have abandoned Tucson for Phoenix, this could be the start of an MLS training area, especially for MLS teams from the North, East and Central US as well as Canada. In addition, although the “tourist season” starts in November/December when hotel rates go up, they are still dirt cheap compared to other warm destinations. The area has been hosting “snow birds” since the 40’s

    Casa Grande (up the road from Tucson 45 miles) has already attracted several teams to the sports facilities there, but they lack a large venue. Tucson has three; The Tucson Electric park (9000 +), Reid Park/High Corbett Field 10000+ (Hi Corbett was made famous by the movie “Major League”) and of course the 50,000+ seat UofA Wildcat Stadium!

    At one time Tucson hosted three Major League Baseball teams for spring training, in addition to a AAA or AA minor league team. They have all left, leaving Tucson wondering what to do with all those seats during the winter.

    Well, here’s hoping Tucson gets the message. The KC/NY RedBulls game last year attracted 10,000 fans so the interest is there.


  • KeatonBKoch

    TEP can actually fit 13,000+. Also, to Mr. Romero, its was two days, 4 matches last March. AZ Saguaros vs. KC Reserves, FC Tucson vs. Red Bull Reserves; AZ Saguaros vs. FC Tucson, KC 1st team vs. NY 1st team.


  • OldPuebloFC

    Such a great set-up here in Tucson. The turn out last year was awesome. Glad Tucson gets such a great event.


  • HoBo

    This is great news, get to see some good teams. not too far from Flagstaff and a nice relief from the snow! 🙂


  • fischy

    This site has a peculiar fixation on the Arizona training camps. I never see pieces on teams training in Florida. There wasn’t any piece here on which teams had signed up for the Carolina Challenge Cup, or the Disney tournament. What’s up with that?


  • MemRook

    The Revolution? Yeah I noticed that too. Maybe it’ll help them? Eh who are we kidding? Poor NER are gonna be terrible til they change things….


  • irishapple21

    You guys might as well hand the Desert Diamond Cup to the NY Red Bulls right now. Our team is the best at winning meaningless trophies. We have a nice spot dusted and waiting for the Desert Diamond Cup next to our Emirates Cup and La Manga Cup. Who needs MLS titles when you have that kind of stuff in your trophy case, right?


  • Rabid RBNY

    So far this is Arizona’s best attempt to get off my boycott list. I have to think about this one.


  • cheap jerseys

    FC Tucson, a soccer club and organization established last year that brought MLS teams to the southern Arizona city last winter, made the announcement about the tournament Thursday. There will be four sets of doubleheaders with each team playing another on two Wednesdays and a Saturday (Feb. 22, 25 and 29), with the third-place game and championship on Saturday, March 3. All matches will be played at 6 and 8 p.m. local (Mountain Standard) time.


  • Ivan

    Ives, how about an article on the Disney World Soccer Classic? It is expanding this year from 4 to 8 teams and it should be a blast!


  • Drizzl

    Yeah, I have a feeling my revs are gonna get spanked in this. Will we play this Tucson FC team? that could be a draw!


  • Dennis

    Can’t wait for one or more of Marquez, Ballouchy, Tamu, Solli, Alverez, Espinola, Gonzalez, Morales, Olave, Saborio, Cardoza, Leonardo, Lopez, Caraglio, Fagundez, Mansally, or Nyassi to get pulled over for a traffic violation and then be hauled into jail for a few hours to prove their legal status.


  • bottlcpas

    As long as they stay in Tucson, South Tucson or most of Pima County, they’ll be OK, as these jurisdictions don’t regularly enforce any of the leftover provisions of SB1070, the ” your papers, please” statute that was largely gutted by the courts. Phoenix and Maricopa’s Sherriff Joe’s army is where they might be stopped.

    It will be interesting if Sheriff Joe’s anti-immigrant army shows up for the US/Venezuela game. In the previous US/Mexico game, there was a truce and Arpaio and his troops did not pull out the patrolling dogs and check papers. But this is an election year so all bets are off.


  • Leo


    With drastic demographic changes in Arizona(and the entire United States), the Neo-Nazi law you are referring to will soon be a thing of the past, just another example of bad politics, fear-mongering and hate. In Arizona, whites are all retiring baby-boomers who will be kicking the bucket soon and disgusting creatures such as Brewer and Sherrif Joe will have no place in deciding the future of the state. They already “deported” Senator Russell Pearce last month, with more to follow…


  • Ossington Mental Youth

    curious to see if they have sheriffs and state police circling practice everyday, running on the field asking players for their id


  • Zac

    I’m with you. Even though Tucson is a bit longer drive than Casa Grande coming down from Phoenix, the atmosphere (lack of seats, etc) in Casa Grande makes it less than ideal for spectators. That said, I’m just enjoying having AZ become the unofficial spring training spot for our league!


  • bottlcpas

    Normally I would agree with Sam BUT….This is SOUTHERN ARIZONA/ TUCSON ad we are heavily democratic down here. Go Gabby Giffords!!! Most of the idiots we call legislative branch that voted for the AB 1070 are Republicans from Phoenix and some rural areas. The Sheriff of Pima County, Clarence Dupnik, which Tucson is a part, was openly contemptuous of 1070 and vowed not to enforce major provisions if they were enacted (they were not). He then became a target of Fox News wrath when he called for a reduction of the hate rhetoric that preceded the Giffords shooting and what even the shooter admitted, influenced him.

    We are not the same officious snobs who have passed those divisive laws.

    And Mr, Russell Pearce, the Arizona Senate President who introduced and shepherded 1070 into law? Well he was recalled last month….

    If any are considering not supporting the Desert Shield Cup because of the seemingly racist attitude of certain Arizonans…? Wee I invite you to come down here to Tucson and enjoy our liberal oasis in the desert of modern day conservatism. Besides if you come and meet up with me and other local SBI’ ers.. The beers are on me…(certain conditions apply)…LOL


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