By Keave Tollington – Twitter: @KeaveT
With preseason drawing to a close and the start of 2015 MLS season just 8 days away, the next week is bound to be the busiest the clubs have experienced so far in the offseason. The Desert Diamond Cup comes to an end this weekend, allowing the five MLS teams involved to return back home before the opening weekend.
This Saturday sees the Colorado Rapids play Real Salt Lake in the Desert Diamond Cup Final. For the past 10 days, 6 teams (5 MLS as well as FC Tucson) have battled it out in what might be considered the climax of their preseason campaigns, competing for the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup.
While it is still a title, it is only a small preseason tournament and most teams will now be looking forward to getting the real action started in just over a week.
The results so far:
February 18, 2015: Colorado Rapids 2–2 Sporting Kansas City
February 18, 2015: Real Salt Lake 1–0 New England Revolution
February 18, 2015: Seattle Sounders FC 6–0 FC Tucson
February 21, 2015: Colorado Rapids 1–1 New England Revolution
February 21, 2015: Real Salt Lake 3–1 FC Tucson
February 21, 2015: Seattle Sounders FC 2–3 Sporting Kansas City
February 25, 2015: Colorado Rapids 1–0 FC Tucson
February 25, 2015: New England Revolution 2–1 Seattle Sounders
February 25, 2015: Sporting Kansas City 1–2 Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake were successful in all 3 of their scrimmages, putting them in top position for a spot in the final. Colorado Rapids won just one of their games but were still able to progress through.
This final is especially unique because it is a warmup to the ‘Rocky Mountain Cup’ game between the sides in the regular season, a match considered to be a local derby between the two mountain states of Utah and Colorado. Preseason friendlies are often harder to predict than regular season matches because head coaches use these games as trial runs for potential signings and reserves.
However Saturday’s final marks just 7 days until each team’s opening game and will be the last chance for management to make final tweaks and changes before the 2015 MLS campaign begins.
This time next week, the outcome of the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup will not matter a whole lot to any of the 5 MLS clubs who have taken part. However finishing off the preseason on a positive note will instil an aura of confidence among the players in time for the opening weekend.
Who will win the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson?