Major League Soccer is in the midst of preseason and today will mark the start of the Desert Diamond Cup. For the next two weeks, 10 teams, mostly from MLS, will descend onto Tucson, Arizona to gear up for the upcoming season.
Most of these teams were already here since the beginning of February and participated in scrimmages. Now, it gets a bit more serious as most teams will play in four friendlies (Wednesday’s and Saturday’s for the next two weeks) and will compete for an actual trophies.
This is arguably one of the more stacked preseason MLS tournaments in the country. Other teams have gone to other places but the Desert Diamond Cup include U.S. Open Cup champion Sporting Kansas City along with their brand new USL team, Swope Park Rangers. MLS Cup runner-up Columbus Crew SC as well as Eastern Conference rival New England Revolution. The Colorado Rapids, Real Salt Lake and Houston Dynamo are also participating In addition, local teams Arizona United and host FC Tucson is participating.
Like with any preseason camp/friendly/friendly tournament, the most important aspect of the next two weeks is making sure these teams are ready for the start of the MLS season on March 6. When this tournament is over, the season starts Sunday. So, once teams play their final Desert Diamond Cup friendlies, they should be at just about 100% ready for the season.
The Desert Diamond Cup starts Wednesday and will take place every Wednesday and Saturday for the next two weeks. 32 Flags will be covering the tournament in Tucson, both on the site and on social media. Most games will be livestreamed but we will be there in person as we gear up for the start of the MLS season.