Sporting Kansas City had been slowly leaking out preseason games over the last few weeks but made their schedule official this week. As previously reported they will play half of their games in Tucson, Arizona — the regular location for games -- and the other half in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Phoenix Rising FC (USL) have bought USL PDL club FC Tucson and as such have moved the previous MLS preseason event to the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex -- at least partially moved. On top of that they’ve done a huge upgrade to the size of the tourney as a record number of MLS clubs will participate making it the largest MLS preseason tournament in the world. They’ve also re-branded the event to the Mobile Mini Sun Cup for 2018.
Sporting KC will play four MLS teams (the fourth is TBD and could be a repeat), a USL team, a NPSL team and a team made up of USL trialists.
Here is Sporting KC’s full schedule:
- Saturday, January 27th — Phoenix Rising FC trialists -- 12 PM CT — Scottsdale
- Wednesday, Jan. 31st — Sporting Arizona — 12 PM CT — Scottsdale
- Sat. February 3rd — Colorado Rapids — 11:30 AM CT — Scottsdale
- Wed Feb 14th — New York Red Bulls — 6 PM CT — Tucson (time updated)
- Sat Feb 17th — Phoenix Rising FC — 4 PM CT — Scottsdale
- Wed Feb 21st — New England Revolution — 12 PM CT — Tucson
- Sat Feb 24th — To Be Determined — Time TBD — Tucson
As of right now, only the games on the 17th and 24th of February have tickets for sale through SKC’s site. This would appear to mimic what FC Tucson did last year when they only sold tickets to the Saturday games during the Desert Diamond Cup and one set of “Desert Friendlies.”
It appears there will be a variation of Desert Friendlies again, but they are in Tucson on the 3rd. Phoenix Rising is including all three of their games against MLS teams (NYRB and Rapids are the other two) in their season ticket package as well as selling individual tickets. But there is currently no info out about the games not involving PRFC.
We have reached out to Phoenix Rising for clarification but haven’t heard back at press time.
As a Phoenix Rising season ticket holder and member of the media, I will do my best to get into all the games and report back any details I can. Last year on a whim, I turned on Periscope through Twitter and had my little brother hold my phone for the entire game in a scrimmage that was closed to the public. It was blurry, a bit shaky, the sound quality was poor, but a few people caught a glimpse of a game not streamed anywhere else (here is that story with those Periscopes).
It seems likely most of these games won’t be streamed again, or at least the friendlies that aren’t in the major stadiums, though nothing has been announced yet. I’d like to be better prepared for this preseason so if anyone has any suggestions on possible solutions, I’m open to it. Worst case I get a tripod/stand for my cell phone but I do own a DSLR I just have no idea how long it can take video and where to upload what I assume will be huge files (and of course that wouldn’t be live). Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, or email me directly. Who knows if I’ll even be allowed to bring that stuff in.