Soccer: Brutal eight-day stretch tests FC Tucson's depth

"Every game, we have to play," David Clemens, left, said. "There's not a game that we can't show up for." Clemens, who also plays at Virginia Tech, and his teammates will play four road matches in the next eight days.


Hang around sports enough, and you hear the word almost every day: Opportunity.

Since I started working here eight years ago, I’ve used the word in 286 stories. (Make that 287). I looked it up.

Opportunity is both a motivator and a concession to the sporting gods. Work hard enough, and you’ll be ready for capital-O Opportunity — if it ever comes.

I can’t think of a bigger Opportunity than the one that awaits FC Tucson Wednesday.

The local soccer club, composed mostly of college players, will play at the defending MLS runner-up, Houston Dynamo, in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, a tournament that pits America’s soccer clubs against one another, regardless of size.

Winning at BBVA Compass Stadium — more than 20 times the size of FC Tucson’s Kino Sports Complex home — would be the greatest thing to ever happen to the club, which played its first match two years ago.

It would be hard to top that, ever, even if the club continues another 50 years.

“My competitive juices would be going,” Arizona Wildcats volleyball coach Dave Rubio said. “I’d be pretty fired up.”

It’s the memory of a lifetime.

“That’s ‘Rocky,’ man,” UA baseball coach Andy Lopez, who won the College World Series last year, told me.

“I love those stories.

“I got a spot in my heart for people who say, ‘That’s not possible.’”

Read more about FC Tucson in Wednesday's Arizona Daily Star.