This is it. For four months we've been waiting to hit the start button and the time has finally come. The Men In Black were poised yesterday when they arrived at the Tucson International Airport in preparation for the long flight to Florida. It's surreal flying across the country during a pandemic but these players have prepared themselves both mentally and physically to take on one of League One's newest expansion teams, Fort Lauderdale CF, who is coming off a 2-0 loss versus Greenville Triumph SC.
The Men In Black are playing in the brand new 18,000 seat Inter Miami CF stadium behind closed doors. If you tune into the match tonight, you'll see a gorgeous soccer-specific stadium with seating that has been sprinkled pink. For some of our players, this will be their first professional match and for a few others their first time playing in a stadium of this size. The boys will have to do their best to imagine the roar of the crowd and sites of a rowdy supporters section.
This season opener also marks Coach John Galas' Head Coaching debut. In 2019, John Galas was FC Tucson's Assistant Coach and brings more than 20 years of coaching experience. In case you missed it, we've been building our roster with some experienced pros and fresh talent that will be sure to give FC Tucson the edge and depth that will be required to be competitive in this 16 game season. A week ago we announced the signing of a first-year pro out of Michigan, Sam Beik, and second-year pro, Jordan Hill. This week, we announced the signing of another Development Academy player, Tommy Silva. Tommy is an aggressive Left Back that's going to add some speed and intensity to our back line. Currently, Tommy is committed to playing at UCLA this fall and we're lucky to have him join the squad.
"My players have been nothing short of exceptional in navigating the last four months while dealing with this devastating pandemic."With the addition of both Jordan Hill and Samuel Biek, we’ve added quality and depth within our squad. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, we’ve had a close look at both players and they’ve proven they can contribute to our team and help us achieve our goals this season. They are both tremendous professionals on and off the field, and are a welcomed addition to the club,” said Head Coach, John Galas.
This year, FC Tucson will have both a club and team captain which were announced this past week. Niall Logue will be wearing the Captain's armband on the pitch while Raheem Somersall will be wearing the armband off the pitch as an Ambassador to the community. To learn more about the club captains, check out Thursday's press conference which featured remarks from club President, Amanda Powers; Head Coach, John Galas; and insights from Niall and Raheem. For more info about our roster please go to our website, https://www.fctucson.com/playerroster. We will announce the Starting XI today one hour before kick-off around 3 pm PST.
We are excited to see the boys play and you can tune in to watch the match tonight on ESPN+ here, http://www.espn.com/watch?id=f0aad3eb-2192-4089-80bf-dd4a88842b27. All matches are streamed live and available on the app for one week before they are featured on YouTube. All 2020 and 2019 matches can best be accessed through the League One Match Center page.
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