MLS Preseason Tracker: Chicago Fire edge DC United, Real Salt Lake don cameras
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.
The US youth international took a pass from another talented youngster, Victor Pineda, and curled a fine finish past United goalkeeper Joe Willis in the 75th minute. The Men in Red return to the Windy City this evening to briefly recharge their batteries before hitting the road again on Saturday, when they, too, jet to Arizona to participate in the Desert Diamond Cup.
In case you missed it, CF97 star and 2013 Volkswagen MLS MVP Mike Magee got to skip out on a bit of preseason labor this week as he was honored as the Fire Player of the Year at Monday night's 26th annual Comcast SportsNet Awards, an event benefiting the March of Dimes. Check out his acceptance speech here.
— Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) February 12, 2014
ORANGE UPDATE: The Houston Dynamo just wrapped up their stint in Tucson, Ariz., but before they returned to the Lone Star State, HoustonDynamo.com's Stephanie Gonzalez caught up with newcomers Tony Cascio, A.J. Cochran and David Horst (video below).
Another intriguing new face in Dynamo colors is trialist Jose "Sito" Seoane, a former member of 2013 USL PDL champions Austin Aztex, who is working hard to prove that he belongs in the Houston strike force.
The Dynamo are now back home in the Bayou City, where they take on local NCAA side Houston Baptist University in a scrimmage at Sorrel Field on Wednesday night (8 pm ET).
TRAINING CAM WITH RSL: Looking to get an up-close (really up-close) and personal perspective on an MLS training session? Real Salt Lake have got you covered today.
The defending Western Conference champions strapped a camera on a few of their players to give fans a first-person view of what the pros see in practice. Caution: This isn't for the faint-hearted, or faint-stomached.
The Claret-and-Cobalt are working out in Southern California until Thursday evening, training at Anteater Stadium in Irvine before meeting their conference rivals Chivas USA in a closed-door scrimmage on Thursday at StubHub Center. RSL will spend the weekend in Utah before flying south to Arizona on Monday to take part in the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup.
CAPS DIG CARL: The Vancouver Whitecaps have been hard at work in Casa Grande, Ariz., getting fit and soaking up new head coach Carl Robinson's philosophies.
And it turns out that no one is more thrilled about Robinson's promotion than the players themselves, who star striker Kenny Miller says were "secretly wishing" that the former 'Caps assistant got the top job even as reports linked the club to high-profile candidates like Bob Bradley and Jason Kreis. Miller and several other members of the squad spoke about "Robbo" at length this week (video below), and their words suggest that Vancouver could be a very different-looking team this season.
"Tactically, he's a forward-thinking guy," said captain Jay DeMerit of Robinson. "He's a new-school type of coach, he likes to get the ball forward and he likes to put the ball down on the floor and pass."
In other 'Caps news, defender Jordan Harvey has taken up hosting duties for the team's "Roommates on the Road" video series and this week, he visits two VWFC youngsters known as "Bro-mar" and "E-Money."
SCHOOLING THE YOUNGSTERS: As some of his Homegrown teammates looked on, veteran Seattle Sounders defender Djimi Traore showed off some of his skills during training Wednesday. He may be nearing the end of his career, but the Champions League winner isn't ready to hang up his boots just yet, and it looks like he has some magic in them yet.
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) February 12, 2014
NEW MARQUEE IN PDX: The Portland Timbers continue their workouts in Arizona with a scrimmage against new NASL club Indy Eleven on Wednesday evening (8 pm ET), and will return home to Oregon afterwards.
The Oregonian's Jamie Goldberg reports that coach Caleb Porter and his staff are working with a new partner called EXOS, a performance training company which monitors players' movements, heart rates and cardiovascular activities in order to minimize injuries and maximize fitness and performance levels. EXOS has also worked with the LA Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City.
And PTFC, too, are offering fans a first-person perspective from training, strapping a GoPro camera to newcomer Gastón Fernández to show what a finishing drill looks like in the Argentinean's own eyes. Hang on to your hats...
Back home in Stumptown, the Timbers' home is already getting new signage reflecting the venue's new identity as Providence Park: