MLS Preseason Tracker: Columbus Crew hit Orlando, Chicago Fire hail traveling superfan (Feb. 18)
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.
CREW HIT ORLANDO: Coach Gregg Berhalter has led his squad to central Florida ahead of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, which kicks off Wednesday with the Crew's match against Toronto FC (1 pm ET). The Gold-and-Black ran through their first Orlando training session on Tuesday (photos below).
Meanwhile, back in Columbus, striker Dominic Oduro has earned some local exposure via an in-depth profile in Fit Columbus magazine, and Crew beat reporter Ashleigh Ignelzi appeared on a local radio station to talk about the upcoming season.
— Columbus Crew (@ColumbusCrew) February 18, 2014
REVS RE-UP WITH RHINOS: The New England Revolution were pleased with the results of their player development partnership with USL PRO's Rochester Rhinos in 2103, and confirmed on Tuesday that the clubs have renewed the arrangement. New England will loan at least four players to Rochester for the upcoming season.
“We believe our partnership with the Rhinos was mutually-beneficial in 2013 and we’re looking forward to the continued relationship in 2014,” Revs general manager Michael Burns said in a statement. “Having the ability to get players consistent and meaningful playing time is important to their development, and we saw the benefits of it last year with a few of our players when we needed to recall them for first-team games.”
Meanwhile, the Revolution continue to work out in Tucson, Ariz., ahead of the Desert Diamond Cup, which kicks off on Wednesday (check out a day two session photo gallery here). The Revs will meet Real Salt Lake at 8 pm ET in the final match of an afternoon tripleheader that also features Chivas USA, the Colorado Rapids, Chicago Fire and local PDL side FC Tucson.
Notably, New England have brought in striker Marvin Ogunjimi, a 26-year-old Belgian international, on trial this week as the hunt for Juan Agudelo's replacement continues.
FIRE SALUTE SUPERFAN: Upon their arrival in Tucson, the Chicago Fire were greeted by the familiar face of Ray Cook, one of their most loyal fans, who has made visits to Fire preseason trips a winter ritual.
Cook rode an Amtrak train to Arizona to escape the Windy City's ice and snow and take in some of this week's training, as he has done every year since 2000. His dedication has taken him to a range of destinations like Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Jackson, Miss., New Orleans and even Guadalajara, Mexico.
ANOTHER 'KEEPER IN VANCOUVER: The Whitecaps added a dose of MLS experience to their goalkeeper corps on Tuesday, announcing that former Chicago Fire netminder Paolo Tornaghi has signed on with the Canadian club.
A former Italian youth international, Tornaghi is a product of the Inter Milan system who joined the Fire in 2012 as the understudy to Sean Johnson. He made nine appearances over two seasons for Chicago, making 26 saves and allowing 16 goals in 810 minutes for a 3-4-2 record.
"Paolo is a goalkeeper with great size, MLS experience, and a fantastic upbringing within the Inter Milan youth system," said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson in a statement. "I brought him in because I want to have three good goalkeepers on the roster and I expect him to push David Ousted and the already talented pool of goalkeepers that we have."
BACK TO WINTER FOR UNITED: D.C. United escaped to Florida during the waves of snowstorms that hit the nation's capital this month, but the Black-and-Red are now back in town for a few days before they fly south again for the Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston, S.C.
And for Tuesday's training session, that meant coach Ben Olsen's side had to don a few extra layers and step over the piles of snow that lined the synthetic-turf fields at a park complex just across the Potomac River in Northern Virginia.
United depart D.C. for Charleston on Thursday, and open their CCC campaign vs. the Houston Dynamo on Saturday (5 pm ET).
FCD IN FLORIDA: FC Dallas are spending this week at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. The North Texans arrived on Monday, trained Tuesday and will scrimmage the University of South Florida Wednesday (3 pm ET).
Coach Oscar Pareja's squad will also meet the NASL's Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in Bradenton on Saturday (6 pm ET) before returning to Dallas/Ft. Worth on Sunday. Both scrimmages are tentatively scheduled to be streamed online by IMG.
FCD has posted a photo gallery from Tuesday's training session, which included recent acquisition Hendry Thomas and two of the club's academy players, Coy Craft and Aaron Meyer.