Disney Classic: Impact's rally, Pajoy's brace rule Day 1
Sporting Kansas City and US national team midfielder Graham Zusi scored his first goal of the 2013 preseason on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to lift SKC past the pesky Montreal Impact in the teams’ first game of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando, Fla.
Instead Marco Di Vaio scored late in the first half and Andrew Wenger added another tally after the break, as the Impact rallied for a 2-1 win.
Zusi’s goal came in the 19th minute, a strike from distance reminiscent of his star-making goals from distance during the 2011 season when he broke through for Sporting Kansas City.
Di Vaio answered on the final stroke before halftime off an assist from midfielder Patrice Bernier, and Wenger put the Impact up just moments after coming into the game with a goal in the 61st minute off an assist from youngster Maxim Tissot.
Sporting Kansas City return to action on Feb. 13 against D.C. United, while the Impact take on NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies the same day.
D.C. United 4, Tampa Bay Rowdies 0
Lionard Pajoy scored two goals and SuperDraft pick Taylor Kemp added two of his own in the team’s Disney Pro Soccer Classic debut on Saturday in a 4-0 romp over the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL.
Pajoy scored his two goals in the span of three minutes in the second half to fuel D.C. United. He scored on a header in the 55th minute off an assist from Chris Korb, and then chipped Rowdies goalkeeper Andrew Fontein in the 58th minute for his second tally of the night.
Kemp added a third goal in the 65th minute with a wide open goal in front of net after Fontein was taken down in a collision, and then added another in the 73rd minute for the final margin. Kemp was taken with the 17th overall in the draft last month out of Maryland.
D.C. United return to action on Feb. 13 against Sporting Kansas City while Tampa Bay, the reigning NASL champions, take on the Montreal Impact the same day.
Columbus Crew 1, Toronto FC 0
Freshly minted defender Gláuber wasted little time making an impression for the Columbus Crew on Saturday, scoring the game-winning goal in the 30th minute in a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC in the opening game of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic.
Glauber, who signed with the Crew late last month as a center back partner for Chad Marshall, headed home a corner kick from midfielder Federico Higuaín before leaving the game at halftime.
The game also marked the debut of new Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen, who undoubtedly got a scare late in the first half when starting goalkeeper Stefan Frei went down in the 44th minute after colliding with Crew forward Ryan Finley. Frei remained on the ground momentarily before he returned to his feet, but he left the game after the injury.
The Crew return to action in the tournament on Feb. 13 against the Philadelphia Union, while Toronto take on Orlando City the same day.
Philadelphia Union 1, Orlando City 1
The Philadelphia Union sputtered out of the gate in their first game at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic on Saturday, but a sublime assist from Roger Torres and a finish from Leo Fernandes salvaged a 1-1 draw against host Orlando City.
Fernandes latched onto a chip over the top from Torres in the 71st minute, pulling the Union level after Dennis Chin scored in the 53rd minute to put the Union on their heels. Chin, who signed with the club in 2011, was the leading scorer in the USL Pro league last season.
Torres, 21, was called out by Union manager John Hackworth at the end of last season for his fitness and his commitment, but Hackworth said last week that “his fitness is the best I’ve ever seen in four years,” and that the diminutive Colombian “senses this is the time to really take this opportunity.”
Fernandes, 21, was taken during the Supplemental Draft last month, and in the process became the first player out of Stony Brook University to be drafted into MLS.
The Union return to action on Feb. 13 against Columbus, while Orlando City take on Toronto FC the same day.