The MLS playoffs are still in progress, but preparations for the 2013 Desert Diamond Cup have already started. The preseason tournament is scheduled for Feb. 2013 at the Kino Veteran Memorial Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. Four Major League Soccer teams have announced that they will be a part of the event, and recently five more teams revealed they will participate in friendlies.
The 2013 Desert Diamond Cup
The 2013 Desert Diamond Cup will be held from Feb. 13 through Feb. 23 at the Kino Veteran Memorial Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. FC Tucson hosted the first Desert Diamond Cup in 2011 and will continue to do this next year. It has finally gained the approval of Major League Soccer as it declared the Cup a “Western Hub of MLS” during the preseason.
Four teams will be participating in the 2013 Cup: the New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders FC. Several of them will be making their second appearance at the tournament. FC Tucson recently confirmed that five more MLS teams have agreed to take part in friendlies. The Houston Dynamo, Colorado Rapids, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City will take part in friendly matches at Kino Veteran Memorial Stadium. The clubs will be training and playing from Jan. 29 through Feb. 8.
FC Tucson and Major League Soccer
FC Tucson is part of the USL Premier Development League, but it will become a preseason host for MLS for the third time in 2013. The club was founded in 2010 and has quickly filled a niche for the league. The Cup has become Major League Soccer’s version of the MLB’s Cactus League. As more teams turn to the Desert Diamond Cup in the preseason, the popularity of FC Tucson grows.
There have been rumors that FC Tucson is interested in eventually joining MLS, and its goal is similar to the ambitions of many other teams. MLS has selected New York City as the next location for the expansion, so Tucson is not likely to become the 20th team in the league. However, it is possible that the club may join MLS in the distant future.
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Lana follows MLS, UEFA and FIFA. She has been a faithful fan of the Chicago Fire since 1998. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.