Tag: FC Tucson

MLS Preseason Returns to Tucson

TUCSON — For decades, Major League Baseball teams have escaped to the Arizona desert for Spring Training and for the past six years, Major League Soccer has also warmed up to the desert.

When Tucson lost their lost two Spring Training teams after the 2010 season, the City of Tucson knew that it needed to lure pro sports teams to the Old Pueblo during the late winter and early spring—enter FC Tucson and Major League Soccer. The once-home of the Arizona Diamondbacks is now home to Jon Pearlman and FC Tucson.

Completed in 2013, the North Stadium at the Kino Sports Complex comfortably sits 1,800 fans with two loges, a press box and an overhang that blocks out the blistering sun and the occasional rain storm.

The Past Two MLS Cup Champions will meet

Over the years, the Desert Diamond Cup has become the premiere preseason event for Major League Soccer with six teams playing playing in a double-elimination format on February 18 and 25.

In addition to the Cup, there will be three other matches including four additional MLS teams.

The action gets underway on February 27 at 6:30 pm at Kino North Stadium when the Portland Timbers face off against the New York Red Bulls.

The opening ceremonies will honor several people that have made soccer in Tucson not only a possibility but the success that it is today.

Tucson Legends of Soccer

A total of 18 community leaders, six coaches, nine current and former players and five referees will be recognized for their efforts in helping make Tucson and southern Arizona a thriving soccer community. Three members of the local sports media will be honored including Dave Ord and Greg Hansen from the Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Sentinel’s Ted Preselski.

Former FC Tucson players now playing in the bigs will also be honored including New York Red Bulls’ Luis Robles, Real Salt Lake’s Justin Glad and Ricardo Velazco. It will be a triumphant homecoming for Velazco who played at Sunnyside High School and Tucson Soccer Academy before spending three seasons with the men in black.

Desert Friendlies

Following the recognition of the Tucson Legends of Soccer, it is time to get down to business.

The top-ranked team at he end of the regular season in 2016, the New York Red Bulls will take the pitch against the Portland Timbers. The Timbers won their first MLS Cup in 2015 and always represent well in Tucson.

The following Friday night, February 4 will see a preview of the Cascadia Cup. In a rematch of the largest crowd ever at Kino North Stadium last year, rivals Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers will clash with more than just pride on the line.

This marquee matchup pits the top two teams of the past two years with the Timbers winning the MLS Cup in 2015 and the Sounders as the defending MLS Cup champion.

This game was intense last year and both teams will be looking to admonish the other and claim dominance in the desert.

Tickets for both games are $15.50 for children, $22.00 for adults of get a four-pack for $70.50.


Desert Diamond Cup

The Wife & Me Last Year

If you are looking for more bang for your buck ,the Desert Diamond Cup offers up three games for the price of one on February 18 and 25.

Beginning at 1:00 pm at Kino North Stadium, the New England Revolution take on Tim Howard and the Colorado Rapids. Howard, if you don’t recall, was the goalie for the U.S. Men’s team in the 2010 and 2014 World Cup.

The New York Red Bulls take on 2013 MLS Cup champion, Sporting Kansas City at 3:30 pm with New York City Football Club and the Houston Dynamo providing the nightcap at 6:00 pm.

The following Saturday will offer up three more games with the No. 5 and No. 6 teams playing at 1:00 pm, No. 3 vs. No.4 at 3:30 pm and the top two seeds playing at 6:00 pm.

“This event is important to the community because it has brought groups together that are vital for the success of Tucson as a city,” FC Tucson General Manager Jon Pearlman said. “Through private and public partnership, great sponsors, the work of Pima County, the City of Tucson, Visit Tucson, and the Town of Oro Valley, FC Tucson is proud to again be the MLS Western Hub of Preseason and bring the beautiful game to Southern Arizona.”

FC Tucson Begins Playoff Push on Friday


FCTucsonAfter a convincing 5-0 victory over Albuquerque Sol FC to clinch the top seed in the Western Conference, the Men in Black could relax in its season finale against the Ventura County Fusion.

There was no relaxation on Saturday night at Kino North Stadium.

After a first half that saw the teams tied at one apiece, the Fusion jumped out to an early second half lead and looked to secure a spot in the playoffs themselves. It wasn’t until the 77th minute that FC Tucson opened the scoring flood gates and hammered the Fusion into submission with four unanswered goals including a hat trick from Afonso Pinhiero.

FC Tucson

FC Tucson

“When you go through moments like this, something you’ve been striving for, you start to think about your family, the ones who love you and the ones that are back home,” Pinheiro said as he shed a tear. “It’s been really hard to be away from home and I know all my family’s been at home watching the games.”

The PDL is the Premier Development League for players under 23 years old and is divided into four conferences and 10 divisions divided geographically. Of the 49 teams in the league, 22 of those advanced to the playoffs including seven teams from the four divisions in the Western Conference.

FC Tucson and the Charlotte Eagles out of the South Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference are the only teams with a first-round bye while six teams from each conference will battle for a semifinal berth. The smaller Southern and Central Conferences only send four teams to the postseason with the Conference champions taking on the Eastern and Western Conference champions respectively.


Men in White?

The Men in Black will face the winner of the Calgary Foothills and Seattle Sounders U23. The two teams finished the season as the No. 1 and 2 teams in the Northwest Division after Calgary bested Seattle 3-2 on Sunday. Thursday’s match between the teams will be the third consecutive match with Calgary winning the previous two meetings.


The playoffs are nothing new for FC Tucson as they have finished atop their division for three consecutive seasons. Unfortunately, they have yet to win a conference championship losing in 2014 to the Kitsap Pumas and last year to the aforementioned Seattle U23 squad.

Tickets for Friday’s games can be obtained by calling (520) 334-115, by e-mail at sales@fctucson.com or online here.