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Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)
Sometime this week, the merger of Tucson's two largest soccer clubs — Tucson Soccer Academy and Tanque Verde Soccer Club — should be announced.
The consolidated group — which is likely to have 1,800 to 2,000 soccer players — will be called FC Tucson Youth Soccer Club and will be aligned with the United Soccer League's Phoenix Rising franchise and FC Tucson's minor-league franchise.
It will be the largest recreational sports program in Southern Arizona.
The merger will mean that youth soccer in Tucson will have the developmental and competitive capacity of most larger cities. It will be equipped with a clubhouse, a fitness center, a computer/video room, and be able to attract a larger and more capable pool of coaches.
Pima College Hall of Fame soccer coach Dave Cosgrove will be the director of coaching. Tucson attorney Ted Schmidt, whose devotion to Southern Arizona youth soccer has been dynamic, will be president of the new group.
This merger and the connection to Phoenix Rising, could someday soon lead to a USL franchise in Tucson. It would first require Phoenix to become part of Major League Soccer. If and when that happens, FC Tucson would probably become Tucson Rising.
It's a grand plan for Tucson's soccer future, all triggered by the merger of Southern Arizona's two leading youth soccer leagues.
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