MLS Preseason Tracker: Seattle Sounders prep for 40th anniversary, LA Galaxy fall to Pumas UNAM
The intensity is gradually ratcheting up as MLS preseason training continues at a variety of locations around the world. Catch all the other news and updates from MLS training camps below. And for the entire February preseason schedule, click here.
SHIPP SETS SAIL: The Chicago Fire left head coach Frank Yallop plenty of tough choices to make on Tuesday evening and of a planned trimming of the roster. The team took on Orlando City with Yallop hoping to give his fringe players a chance to show their value and they did just that with a 3-0 win over the defending USL PRO champions.
Homegrown midfielder Harrison Shipp continued his torrid preseason form when he bent home a textbook free kick in the 13th minute for his second goal in as many games, and guest player Daniel Jackson added another in the 30th off a feed from Victor Pineda. The Fire got their final goal of the evening when guest player Freddie Braun was on hand to head home a rebound after Brendan King struck the bar. Read the full recap of the match here.
The Fire face D.C. United in their Bradenton finale on Wednesday at 10 am ET, then head to Arizona.
The topics covered ran the gamut, too, from the club’s burgeoning pipeline with AS Roma to living up to the expectations set thanks to their offseason shopping spree that brought in Bradley, English international Jermain Defoe and Brazilian striker Gilberto.
Here are a few of the highlights, starting with head coach Ryan Nelsen’s wide-ranging interview:
Here Gilberto talks about coming to Toronto with the help of a translator:
And here Bradley sits down with sits down with Paul Hendrick and Adrian Serioux of GOL TV Canada:
The team unveiled an anniversary logo and announced a ceremonial match will be played Oct. 10 against Cascadia rivals Vancouver. Throughout the 2014 season, the Sounders will pay tribute to the original launch of the club in the North American Soccer League in 1974.
“We are honored to celebrate the rich and storied tradition of soccer in Seattle,” owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer said in a statement. “The Sounders have been a fabric of this community for four decades and we will pay tribute to its history and our fans all season long.”
The anniversary logo will also be featured on the club’s third kit and on their Rave Green kit for Seattle’s season opener against Sporting Kansas City on March 8. In all, the logo will appear on Sounders’ jerseys in eight regular-season matches.
DEFEATED IN DF: The LA Galaxy fell 2-1 in a closed-door scrimmage against Liga MX powerhouse Pumas UNAM in Mexico City on Tuesday morning, a preseason event intended to help the California club prepare for next month's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal showdown with Club Tijuana.
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) February 11, 2014
A late goal from rookie Kyle Venter was not enough to overcome Pumas' early lead and both high altitude and heat apparently took their toll on the visitors. Check out a social media play-by-play of the match here and a photo gallery here.
LA surely gained some useful lessons from the experience both on and off the field, and also showed their good will with a generous donation to a local charity:
McNAMARA MAKING MOVES: Chivas USA tasted victory in their Monday friendly against lower-division side Orange County Blues, and one of the main protagonists was rookie goalscorer Robert McNamara. The Goats' official website spoke to the Clemson product about his goal and how he's adjusting to coach Wilmer Cabrera, who McNamara says has been "demanding a hard work ethic."
Meanwhile, thousands of miles to the southeast, a familiar face to Chivas USA fans made his return to the pro coaching ranks. On Tuesday former Goats boss José Luis "Chelís" Sánchez Solá was introduced as the new manager of Liga MX club Veracruz, and the charismatic character quickly proclaimed his desire to lift spirits around his new team, who are nicknamed Los Tiburones Rojos, or "Red Sharks," and currently languish one place off the bottom of the Clausura standings.
"I'm a Shark and I want to bring back joy to the people of Veracruz," said Chelís.
— Tiburones Rojos (@ClubTiburones) February 11, 2014
QUAKES STADIUM RISES: San Jose Earthquakes president Dave Kaval has put his Google Glass to work documenting the steady progress of construction as the club's future home takes shape, and he posted another series of photographs from the work site to his Twitter account on Wednesday.
The Quakes will move into their soccer-specific facility next season.
— Dave Kaval (@QuakesPrez) February 11, 2014