The 4th of July means fireworks. But for FC Tucson, this holiday brings a different kind of fireworks, as they play their rival Albuquerque Sol.
“It's huge if we can get those 3 points on the road, and come back for 4th of July, come back basically clinching the division,” says FC Tucson head coach Jon Pearlman.
We last saw Albuquerque this past weekend, here in Tucson, in the first of 3 consecutive matchups between the 2 teams. “It's tough but we'll make some lineup changes. Keep it fresh and move some guys around, it gives guys some playing opportunities,” says Pearlman.
Tucson will travel to New Mexico for a road game against their rival on Saturday, followed by a home game on Monday.But there's more than bragging rights on the line...keeping the Golden Rattler trophy, which is awarded to the series winner. “Rivalries are based on a little bit of parity, and there hasn't been as much as Albuquerque would like,” says Pearlman.
Tucson sits atop the division a full 5 games ahead of the next team. A win or a draw and FC Tucson would clinch the season series, keeping the Golden Rattler. It's worth noting, the trophy has never left Tucson.