MLS Preseason Tracker: Michael Bradley delivers sublime free kick strike for Toronto FC (March 3)

The 2014 MLS Preseason has come to a close and Opening Day is just around the corner. Teams have returned home in preparation for their season openers, but not before wrapping up their preseasons this past weekend. Catch up with all the news and updates from the MLS training camps below. And for the entire preseason stream schedule, click here.


BRADLEY'S BENDER A BRIGHT SPOT IN LOSSIf Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen had any uncertainty as to who should take free kicks for his club this season, Michael Bradley may have cleared it up.

Bradley delivered a bright spot for Toronto FC in their 4-2 preseason finale loss to the Fluminense U-23s on Saturday, curling in a picture-perfect free kick from about 24 yards out. Bradley looked like a player with plenty of confidence before striking the ball and his execution was flawless, which should give TFC fans even more reason to be excited as they wait for Week 2 of the MLS season to see their club in action.

You can watch Bradley's goal over and over again here:


FIRE GET COCHRANE FROM LA: The Chicago Fire aren't done dealing under new head coach and director of soccer Frank Yallop. On Monday, they acquired second-year fullback Greg Cochrane in a swap with the LA Galaxy, sending a conditional pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft back West.

“Greg is a young, versatile player with a lot of potential,” Yallop said in a statement. “He gained valuable experience during his rookie season and we’re glad to have him join our squad to provide some additional depth.”

Cochrane joins fellow new Fire men Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni and Lovel Palmer in Chicago's backline stable. For the Galaxy, meanwhile, this is likely a deal to clear space for the expected signing of veteran defender James Riley.


MASTROENI COUNTING ON VETERANS: Pablo Mastroeni is not too far removed from his playing days, so he knows all too well just how important veterans are in the makeup of a team.

Still in charge of the currently head coach-less Rapids, Mastroeni recently talked about how vital the seasoned players on Colorado's roster will be this year. Mastroeni also lauded his former teammates' preseason performances, both on the field and in the locker room.

"Being an experienced guy in the locker room comes with a lot of responsibility as I know myself," Mastroeni told ColoradoRapids.com. "I think those guys [Drew Moor, Edson Buddle] have done a really good job, including Vicente [Sánchez], Marvell Wynne – the list goes on and on.

"These two weeks [in Tucson] are long. There are so many days that you want to turn it in but there was not one day when they [veterans] did not come out with a great attitude and really took the session on or the game on. That’s what I’m proudest about and so, moving forward, we plan on using a lot of those guys in that locker room during the season, if not all of them, so they all need to be ready."


CREW WIN BIG, CLAIM WALT DISNEY WORLD TROPHY: The MLS regular season is right around the corner, and the Columbus Crew will be entering it with some preseason silverware.
 
The new-look Crew fired on all cylinders as they routed defending MLS Cup champions Sporting Kansas City, 4-1, in the 2014 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic final. Columbus got goals from Jairo Arrieta, Bernardo Añor, Justin Meram and Federico Higuaín. Hector Jimenez did not find the back of the net, but he directly assisted on two of the goals and also drew a penalty kick that was converted.

Here are the match highlights:


COOPER BACKS DEMPSEY: Clint Dempsey's absence from the Seattle Sounders' entire preseason has led to some observers questioning how well the Designated Player will fit into the club's lineup at the start of the season. But forward Kenny Cooper sees no chemistry problems on the horizon despite Dempsey being away at Fulham since the start of the new year.

EIGHT-GOAL THRILLER: The New York Red Bulls wrapped up their preseason on Saturday with a Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic match against Orlando City, and the two clubs played to an exciting and entertaining 4-4 draw that saw Bradley Wright-Phillips score a brace and the Lions a pair of nice goals of their own.

Here are the match highlights:


CHICAGO CURLERS: An impressive preseason for the Chicago Fire ended with a tournament-clinching win.

The Fire topped Chivas de Guadalajara's Developmental Team 2-0 in the Desert Diamond Cup championship match and both goals came from of well-taken curled efforts. First, Juan Luis Anangonó scored a beauty in the 15th minute, then Quincy Amarikwa put the match away in the final minute of regulation. Chicago ended their preseason with a 7-1-0 record.

You can see the goals here:

 

 


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