Sounders FC is one of four participating teams in the 2013 FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup for preseason preparation, as announced Thursday.
Real Salt Lake, the New York Red Bulls and the New England Revolution — which all played in the event earlier this year — will also take part from Feb. 13-23 at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium.
According to a news release, announcements on game times and ticket information will be released at a later date.
Coach Sigi Schmid talked about the news after Thursday’s practice, particularly in the context of preparation for the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
“We know we’re in a tournament, we know we’re playing games against MLS teams, we know where we’re going to be going, so that part of it is nice,” Schmid said. “In terms of CONCACAF, we have the freedom within the tournament structure to still try and schedule outside of it. So we can still try and schedule a Mexican or Central American team to sort of show that style and try to do something — even in that area if we wanted to. So those are options that are open to us.
“It’s also great being able to announce it this early. It’s great for our fans because our fans know where we will be and if they want to get away a little bit for February, it’s a little bit almost like a spring training thing. So it should be something nice for the Seattle community and the fans of the Sounders.”
This will be the first preseason tournament the Sounders have participated in since the 2010 La Manga Cup, unless I’m mistaken.
“We are very excited about playing in the Diamond Cup next preseason,” said GM/owner Adrian Hanauer in the release. “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.”
Here is the schedule:
* * *
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