It's been a good week for FC Tucson and the soccer community in Southern Arizona.
Last Friday the wildly successful amateur club debuted its brand-spanking-new stadium at the Kino Sports Complex by defeating an MLS team, Los Angeles-based Chivas USA, before more than 2,400 fans.
And this morning the locally owned franchise of the United Soccer League's Premier Development League tier announced the 11 MLS clubs that will train and/or play preseason matches in Tucson in February and March.
Five pro teams will play friendlies against each other here prior to the start of the third edition of the Desert Diamond Cup, which will feature FC Tucson and MLS clubs Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake in a series of tripleheaders between Feb. 19 and March 1.
The first three sets of matches will be held in the 2,500-seat stadium on the north side of Ajo Way just west of Country Club Road, which Pima County spent $3 million to convert several fields previously used for Spring Training baseball — remember that? — into the stadium and several soccer-only practice fields.
The final matches, on March 1, will be played inside Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, which will be retrofitted from baseball to soccer.