Real Salt Lake gets ready for the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup

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Real Salt Lake headed back to Arizona on Monday, this time they are setting up camp in Tucson at the Kino Sports Complex, which will be the home of the 2012 FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup tournament. That tournament will feature RSL, the defending MLS Cup Champions the LA Galaxy, the New York Red Bulls, and the New England Revolution. What a great chance for fans in a non-MLS market to get a chance to see some of the biggest names of the Major League Soccer, as Thierry Henry, Landon Donovan, David Beckham, and others will be a part of the tournament.

This tournament will be the final warm up before the Major League Soccer season kicks off on March 10th, and for RSL they will be facing their first two regular season opponents as part of the tournament. RSL will open their season on March 10th against the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center, before starting their home campaign on March 17th against the New York Red Bulls.

For Real Salt Lake the focus will be building on the defensive work that has been done so far in camp and now moving to a more offensive mindset, for many players the next few days of practices and matches will be the deciding factors in their fight to get a contract for the 2012 season.

Currently RSL has 21 players (to the best of my knowledge) under contract for the season, which means they will likely sign at least 5 more before the roster and salary cap compliance date on March 1st. With the number of injuries that RSL is carrying the choices made on contracts this year could play a huge role in how the team looks and performs over the first month of the season.

After the jump, the full schedule of the event, details on catching the action, and the most current RSL roster for the tournament:

Here is the schedule of matches:

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

6:00 PM New England Revolution vs. LA Galaxy

8:00 PM New York Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

6:00 PM LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake

8:00 PM New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

6:00 PM Real Salt Lake vs. New England Revolution

8:00 PM LA Galaxy vs. New York Red Bulls

Saturday, March 3rd, 2011

6:00 PM MLS 3rd Place vs. MLS 4th Place

8:00 PM MLS 1st Place vs. MLS 2nd Place

So if you are going to be in Tucson, you can still get tickets for the matches at the fctucson.com site or if you are like me and unable to make it to the live matches, well you are still going to be able to enjoy the action as the matches will be streamed live at mlssoccer.com and realsaltlake.com

For Real Salt Lake they will be bringing in 30 players for the tournament, with 21 of them currently under contract for the 2012 season, and expectation that a couple others will be signed before the tournament is over. Here is the RSL roster for this tournament (players in bold are signed):

Number

Name

Pos.

1

Lalo Fernandez

GK

2

Tony Beltran

DF

3

Diogo de Almeida

DF

4

Jamison Olave

DF

5

Kyle Beckerman

MF

6

Nat Borchers

DF

7

Fabian Espíndola

FW

8

Will Johnson

MF

11

Javier Morales

MF

14

Yordany Alvarez

MF

15

Alvaro Saborio

FW

16

Nico Muniz

MF

17

Chris Wingert

DF

18

Nick Rimando

GK

19

Enzo Martinez

MF

20

Ned Grabavoy

MF

21

Luis Gil

MF

22

Jonny Steele

MF

23

Paulo Jr.

FW

24

Kyle Reynish

GK

26

Sebastian Velasquez

MF

27

Cody Arnoux

FW

28

Chris Schuler

DF

33

Leone Cruz

DF

34

Kasali Casal

DF

35

Emiliano Bonfigli

FW

40

Lance Laing

DF

41

*Jordan Allen

MF

52

*Carlos Salcedo

DF

53

Terukazu Tanaka

DF

*Jordan Allen and Carlos Salcedo are players from the RSL Academy

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