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FC Tucson taking a shot as a professional soccer team

Posted at 4:55 PM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 20:36:06-05

TUCSON, Ariz — FC Tucson is training for the upcoming season as it does each year, but this time the soccer team will be playing a much longer season involving twenty eight games.

"I think there is a lot of excitement and a lot of anticipation to see what type of team we are going to field out here," said Jon Pearlman, Director of Operations.

Jon Pearlman was part of FC Tucson's original management team, trying to help grow soccer in the community, and help his players advance.

"For us to take it to the next level, we really needed an investor that was in it for the long haul, and had large goals for Arizona soccer as a whole."

And then, in late 2017, Phoenix Rising FC, part of the USL Championship League, and just one step down from MLS soccer, bought FC Tucson. The deal essential made FC Tucson two steps down from MLS soccer.

Veteran Darren Sawatzky joined FC Tucson to be the first head coach in its professional era.

"Well, I think the level of play is going to go up," said Sawatzky. "We play an exciting, attacking brand of soccer."

The plan is for Phoenix Rising FC to become a Major League Soccer team, and then FC Tucson would take its place in the USL Championship League.

"To completely give us the opportunity to invest the time, the energy, and the focus," said Pearlman. "Not just developing our pro team but youth soccer in the community, but the facilities and infrastructure. It's amazing that we have this group behind us and the ability to do what we want to do, now."