It isn't even the MLS Cup Playoffs yet, but the Seattle Sounders today announced that they are one of the four teams partaking in the 2013 FC Tuscon Desert Diamond Cup. This will be the third annual tournament, but the first time that Seattle travels to Tuscon for a portion of its preseason action.
"We know we're in a tournament. We know we're playing games against MLS teams. We know where we're going. So that part is nice.We have the freedom within their tournament structure to still try and schedule something outside of it, so we'll still try to schedule a Mexican or Central American team to show that style. We'll try to do something even in that area if we wanted to," Coach Sigi Schmid noted after Thursday's practice. "It's great 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 fans of the Sounders."
With the Sounders in the knockout round of the CONCACAF Champions League their level of preseason competition will be important. Salt Lake also has a chance at making that same round of the CCL. Adrian Hanauer via the press release noted that the weather, quality of facilities and the quality of opponents all played a factor in Seattle's participation in the event.
In 2012 the LA Galaxy won the tournament, while in 2011 Sporting Kansas City finished with the best record. For 2013 the tournament will be a round robin between the three clubs with the final day being a 3rd place match and a Final.
Sounder at Heart is already working with a travel partner to set-up a trip watch a couple games in the sun of Arizona, enjoy an offseason with you and maybe more. We will of course share details as they come.