Preseason pro soccer returns to Tucson

By BRYAN OROZOCO

The Desert Diamond Cup preseason soccer tournament will return to the Old Pueblo for the fifth year in a row.

Ten Major League Soccer teams, including the current MLS champion Portland Timbers, will compete along with three semi-professional teams throughout the month of February.

Starting Feb. 17, three tournament matches will be played every Wednesday and Saturday at 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Kino Sports Complex on both the North Stadium and the North Grandstand Stadium fields.

Each team plays every other team once in what is called the group stage. Points are awarded, with three points for a win, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss.

Five different teams have won the Cup in previous years. This year’s competition will include three past champions: Sporting Kansas City, Seattle Sounders FC and Real Salt Lake.

Many U.S. Men’s National Team stars will play in this year’s tournament, including striker Clint Dempsey, midfielder Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit fctucson.com.

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