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FC Tucson Announce 2021 Visit Tucson Sun Cup & Preseason Participants

By FC Tucson Communications, 03/03/21, 10:00AM MST


Colorado Rapids, LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, and Sporting Kansas City, plus USL sides to face off in Tucson

TUCSON, Ariz. (Mar. 3, 2021) — FC Tucson announced today the club’s plans to hold the 2021 Visit Tucson Sun Cup and MLS Preseason Event along with the official list of participants that will begin playing matches at Kino North Complex in Tucson, Ariz., on March 16, 2021. 

The preseason scrimmages will include five Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs — Colorado Rapids, LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, and Sporting KC — in addition to USL Championship sides El Paso Locomotive FC, LA Galaxy II, New Mexico United and Phoenix Rising FC. The 2021 Visit Tucson Sun Cup will consist of Colorado Rapids, LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Sporting KC and Phoenix Rising FC. This will be the 11th consecutive season that FC Tucson has hosted teams for MLS preseason, providing a further testament to FC Tucson’s commitment to being a pillar to the community through the game of soccer. 

“We are incredibly proud of the legacy of the MLS Preseason Event and are very happy to be able to bring this back to share more high-level soccer with this community after such a difficult year,” said FC Tucson Director of Soccer Operations Jon Pearlman. “I’d like to thank the Pima County Stadium District, our dedicated staff, and all of the clubs joining us this year for helping us make this event a possibility.”

Last year, FC Tucson held the 10th edition of its preseason soccer exhibitions, with Columbus Crew SC taking home the 2020 Visit Tucson Sun Cup nine months before capturing the 2020 MLS Cup. With 2020 MLS is Back Tournament winner Portland Timbers competing this year, it will mark the fifth time an MLS team has visited Tucson after winning a title the year before. FC Tucson and the club’s leadership of Owner Brett Johnson, President Amanda Powers, and Director of Soccer Operations Jon Pearlman are looking forward to adding to the long-established history of hosting MLS preseason that includes a total of 138 matches played over the first 10 years, over five thousand hotel room nights, and more than $6 million in economic impact for the city of Tucson.

A combined 16 matches will be played from mid-March and onward at Kino North Complex. The Visit Tucson Sun Cup winner will be determined by the total points earned in three matches from the final week of preseason play, ending on Saturday, April 10. Teams will earn a possible three points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss.

This news follows Major League Soccer’s latest announcement of the 2021 preseason start dates of March 1 for a seven-day quarantine and testing period ahead of team training getting underway on March 8. MLS announced a season start date of April 17 after the ratification of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the MLS Players Association.

Below is the current 2021 Visit Tucson Sun Cup schedule, subject to change:

Saturday, April 03

Sporting KC vs LA Galaxy

12:00 PM MT

Saturday, April 03

El Paso Locomotive vs LA Galaxy II

2:30 PM MT

Saturday, April 03

Colorado Rapids vs Real Salt Lake

6:00 PM MT

Wednesday, April 07

 Colorado Rapids vs LA Galaxy

3:00 PM MT

Wednesday, April 07

 Phoenix Rising vs Real Salt Lake

6:00 PM MT

Saturday, April 10

LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake

5:00 PM MT

Saturday, April 10

Colorado Rapids vs Phoenix Rising

7:30 PM MT


Due to health and safety regulations, media and limited fan attendance are soon to be determined. To stay up to date on all the latest Visit Tucson Sun Cup news, download the FC Tucson app or subscribe to the FC Tucson newsletter.


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