Posted: Feb 21, 2012 10:03 PM
Updated: Feb 22, 2012 2:51 AM
TUCSON - The world's top golfers aren't the only stars in town, some of the world's best soccer players are here now too.
David Beckham, and the MLS defending champs the LA Galaxy, touched down in Tucson on Tuesday afternoon. They'll join three other MLS teams for the Desert Diamond Cup at Kino Stadium.
Last year the Desert Cup only had two MLS teams that played on two separate nights. Now we have four teams, playing on four different nights and there's a lot more major star power.
Thousands of people will be coming in from all over the southwest, even coming up from Mexico and that means big bucks for Tucson, but it means even more to the future of soccer here and so far the players seem to like it.
Besides the media frenzy at the airport, one of the first things Beckham and the Galaxy players ran into was some great weather and players said on top of that one of the best parts is its not LA.
Todd Dunivant is one of the Galaxy defenders. He said, "For us to get out of LA is nice too. It's somewhere we can go to get away from all the distractions at home and that makes a difference."
And even though they may see Tucson as a quiet place to play they know just what this means to the community.
Dunivant said, "We can come to places that don't normally have a lot of soccer in their market and it raises awareness and it sort of opens the leagues eyes to potential new markets. That's exciting for us and exciting for Tucson, Arizona.
And with some major fire power with the likes of Landon Donovan, Thierry Henry, Rafa Marquez and of course David Beckham it's even better.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said, "It's the defending champions, and our opponents are some very good teams. We have some of the big names that will be here so I think it's great for everyone to come out and see. We're trying to sell the sport of soccer and hopefully we get a good response from the community of Tucson.
John Pearlman the GM of FC Tucson couldn't agree more. He said, "I think the fans are already excited but no doubt having names like Robbie Keane, David Beckham, and Landon Donavan also ramps up the attention and we just want this to be a fantastic event for the people of Tucson and having marquee stars like that really helps that happen.
Beckham wasn't available to talk to the media, but the good news is players and coaches said they're taking these games very seriously which means some of the top players like Beckham will be getting some extended minutes and that's great news for fans.
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