Oct 12, 2012 1:46 AM
Tucson - FC Tucson, in partnership with Desert Diamond Casino, announced today that four teams have accepted invitations to play in the 3rd Annual FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup. The four participants, who will play at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, are the New England Revolution, the New York Red Bulls, Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders.
"FC Tucson is quite pleased to continue building upon the success of last year's tournament by welcoming back three of the four 2012 participants and introducing the community to the Seattle Sounders," said FC Tucson managing member Greg Foster. "After talking extensively with MLS, Tucson has become the "Western Hub of MLS Pre-Season" and we look forward to celebrating the world's game with our friends and family all around the region, including Northern Mexico. We also expect to see a sizable influx of fans from each team's city as we turn Tucson into a soccer mecca for the entire month of February."
The 2013 FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup will take place over the course of four days: Wednesday, February 13th; Saturday, February 17th; Wednesday, February 20th and Saturday February 23rd. The teams will play a round-robin format through the first three dates. The tournament final and third-place game will be played on Saturday February 23rd.
More announcements, including game times and ticket information, will be released at a later date during the run up to the tournament.
The New England Revolution returns to Tucson after reaching last year's Desert Diamond Cup final. The Revolution are led by manager and former player Jay Heaps, who was the 1999 MLS Rookie of the Year, and feature Honduran international Jerry Bengtson, star rookie Kelyn Rowe, MLS mainstay Matt Reis and team leading-scorer Saer Sene.
"We've very pleased to return to Tucson next February," Heaps said. "We had an incredible experience last year and the city of Tucson was a wonderful host for two weeks. The facilities and hospitality are first-rate and the ability to train on good fields and in great weather just before the start of the season is paramount for us. We're very excited to come back next year."
The New York Red Bulls will also return to Tucson. The Red Bulls are managed by Hans Backe and feature the striker duo of Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry, who are in top five in the league in goals scored, midfielder Rafa Marquez of Mexican National team fame and Australian national team member and former Everton star, Tim Cahill. The Red Bulls are currently sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference Standings.
"We are excited to participate in the 2013 Desert Diamond Cup," said Red Bulls Technical Director Ricardo Campos. "Last year, we had a very positive experience in Tucson, training in some very good facilities and playing in competitive matches which helped us prepare for our MLS season. We want to thank the tournament organizers for inviting us back."
Real Salt Lake is the third team returning to Tucson. The club is managed by former MLS star Jason Kreis and is led by current U.S National Team members Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando as well as Tucson-born Nat Borchers and Costa Rican international Álvaro Saborío, who is currently second in the league with 17 goals.
"Our club enjoyed a fantastic preseason experience in 2012 in Tucson - everything was very well-organized on the field and off," said Real Salt Lake General Manager Garth Lagerwey. "We look forward to returning to Arizona again in 2013, and expect that many of our region's fans and media that cover RSL will also make the trip to see us participate in the second-ever Desert Diamond Cup."
Seattle Sounders FC, who are new to the Desert Diamond Cup, are managed by two-time MLS Coach of the Year (1999 and 2008) Sigi Schmid. Seattle has been one of Major League Soccer's most impressive teams, averaging more than 40,000 fans per game this season and have made the playoffs in every year since their league debut in 2009. The team is led by two of the most talented strikers in MLS, Colombian Fredy Montero and US star, Eddie Johnson.
"We are very excited about playing in the Diamond Cup next preseason," said Owner and General Manager Adrian Hanauer. "The facilities at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium and weather make this a good fit for us. The opportunity to play quality competition will help prepare us for the regular season."
Schedule of Matches*
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
New England Revolution vs. Seattle Sounders
New York Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake
Saturday, February 16th, 2013
Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake
New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution
Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
Real Salt Lake vs. New England Revolution
Seattle Sounders vs. New York Red Bulls
Saturday, February 23rd, 2013
MLS 3rd Place vs. MLS 4th Place
MLS 1st Place vs. MLS 2nd Place
*Game times are TBA; schedule subject to change
About FC Tucson
FC Tucson, established in 2010, is committed to bringing the highest caliber of competitive soccer to Tucson and establishing a successful and long-lasting source of pride for city, county, state and country. FC Tucson owns FC Tucson Soccer, Tucson's top-level soccer team and the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup, a Major League Soccer pre-season tournament. Our owners, coaches, players and staff will play to win in sport, business and community connection. We recognize that our quality, commitment and passion for the game will guide our success and establish deep bonds with our stakeholders as we strive to be recognized and respected locally, nationally and internationally. To stay up to date on what is going on with the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup, check out the team's website at www.fctucson.com. You can also visit the team's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FCTUCSON and follow all of the news related to FC Tucson on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FC_Tucson.
About New England Revolution
The New England Revolution is the Northeast region's premier professional soccer team, owned and operated by the Kraft Family, which also owns the New England Patriots. The Revolution is based at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., where the club plays its home games and where its executive offices are located. A founding member of the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer in 1996, the Revolution has played in the MLS Cup championship match four times in the last decade - including three straight from 2005 to 2007 - while advancing to the Eastern Conference Championship game in an MLS-record six straight years (2002-07). The Revolution also won the 2007 U.S. Open Cup and the 2008 SuperLiga title. The team's roster includes such stars as Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph, Matt Reis, and the up-and-coming talent, Diego Fagundez, just 16 years old, In addition to players from New England, the U.S. as well as Argentina, Denmark, France, Gambia and Zimbabwe. For more information, visit revolutionsoccer.net, or interact with the Revolution on Facebook (facebook.com/nerevolution) or Twitter (@NERevolution).
About New York Red Bulls
The New York Red Bulls is one of 19 teams that comprise the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States - Major League Soccer. On the field, the team is led by FIFA World Cup, European Championship and UEFA Champions League winner Thierry Henry, Mexican National Team standout Rafa Márquez and Australian National Team veteran Tim Cahill. The team is coached by third-year manager Hans Backe, a finalist for the league's Coach of the Year award in 2010. In March 2010, the Red Bulls moved into their new home, Red Bull Arena, a 25,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in Harrison, NJ, known as the top venue of its kind in the country. The Red Bulls have qualified for the MLS Cup playoffs for two straight seasons and eight of the past nine years. The New York Red Bulls are owned by Red Bull GmbH, the world's No. 1 energy drink maker. For more information, log onto www.newyorkredbulls.com or call 1.877.RBSOCCER.
About Real Salt Lake
In July of 2004, Utah native and sports business visionary Dave Checketts announced that the dream of bringing world-class soccer to the Beehive State had come to fruition, as Major League Soccer's 12th franchise - later known as Real Salt Lake - was born. Since its inception, RSL has steadily grown to become a perennial contender for domestic and international trophies, all while cultivating a vibrant and knowledgeable soccer culture in the Intermountain West. Real Salt Lake's on-field accolades include the squad's first MLS Cup title in 2009 - the first championship for a Utah-based professional team in nearly 40 years - and a groundbreaking run to the Finals of the 2010/11 CONCACAF Champions League, North America's club championship tournament. On Saturday, RSL clinched its fifth consecutive MLS postseason berth, the longest active streak in the league, and became just the second club in MLS history with three consecutive 15-win seasons. RSL continues to impress off the field as well, garnering the Salt Lake Chamber's prestigious "President's Award" for excellence in small business in 2010 and regularly selling out the club's gleaming, 20,000-seat home of Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
About Seattle Sounders FC
Seattle Sounders FC is a professional soccer club based in Seattle and competes in Major League Soccer (MLS), the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. Sounders FC was established in November 2007 as a MLS expansion team, making it the 15th team in the league. Fans chose the Sounders name through an online poll in 2008, making the Seattle Sounders FC the third Seattle soccer team to share the moniker. The team is owned by movie producer Joe Roth, former head of Disney and Fox Studios, local entrepreneur Adrian Hanauer, comedian Drew Carey and businessman, investor, and philanthropist Paul Allen.
About Kino Sports Complex
The Kino Sports Complex is the largest professional sports venue of its kind in Pima County. It includes the 11,000-seat Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, 12 baseball fields (five with lights) and lighted softball and soccer fields. With its panoramic view of the Santa Catalina Mountains, it is a natural fit for youth, amateur collegiate and professional sports. To learn more, go to www.kinosportscomplex.com.