Sometimes preseason matches don’t feel like preseason matches. Yesterday’s Desert Diamond Cup opener falls in that category.
The New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders, two teams that don’t have a history of bad blood, were involved in a heated match that saw two ejections and six other yellow cards. But it was an Osvaldo Alonso tackle on the Revolution’s Chris Tierney – it injured his ankle enough to put him on crutches – which didn’t sit well with New England manager Jay Heaps (watch the incident here).
“One of the plays where Chris got hurt is not needed in any game, never mind preseason, professional soccer or Under-12,” Heaps told RevolutionSoccer.net. “It’s just a bad play.”
“You hate to see a guy get really hurt, and Tierney got injured pretty badly," Heaps told the press in Tucson, Ariz. "We reacted. You just feel for Chris because he's not a guy who goes down. When he gets hit like that, you're just upset."
WATCH: Tempers flare in Tucson
We’ll wait for word on the extent of Tierney’s injury. And in case you were wondering, the two teams meet just once during the 2013 regular season: April 13 in Seattle.
On the field, the Sounders finished 2-0 winners, helped by this pretty goal from USMNT forward Eddie Johnson. Here’s the full recap of the two openers, which included a 2-2 tie between Real Salt Lake and New York, with RSL getting its goals inside the first three minutes.
At the Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando, the Philadelphia Union were once again less than convincing, while the Columbus Crew used the Finley & Finlay show to register another shutout, 4-0, over their Eastern rivals. “There were not a ton of positives,” lamented Union manager John Hackworth.
Winger Ethan Finlay sent a pointed message to anyone wanting to call yesterday’s group a reserve side: “We didn't skip a beat today, if you want to call us the second team," Finlay said. "I think we'll have another good team, another deep team this year. Because of that, I think we can make a run to MLS Cup and also in the US Open Cup."
The Montreal Impact also hung a four-spot on Matchday 2, downing the Tampa Bay Rowdies 4-1 with two goals by designated player Marco Di Vaio. Here’s the full roundup of the quadrupleheader. This is what Montreal manager Marco Schällibaum said following the match. (VIDEO)
But the goal of the night in Orlando was scored by Toronto FC Academy midfielder Jonathan Osorio, who skipped past a group of Orlando City defenders and buried the ball in a 3-0 win. Here’s how Osorio himself reacted to the goal after the match. (VIDEO)
The LA Galaxy crushed UCLA 7-2 on Wednesday and the match saw one of two new Brazilian trialists on show for the defending MLS Cup champs. Find out who the two youngsters are here.
One team believes in Brazilian players, another in Ghanaians. The Vancouver Whitecaps are hoping to find another Gershon Koffie with the two players they have in camp in Charleston, S.C.
The Portland Timbers went with known quantities on Wednesday, at least as far as manager Caleb Porter is concerned. The former Akron coach landed two of his former players, sealing trades for midfielders Michael Nanchoff and Ben Zemanski.
Add another to the growing list of big-name trialists involved in MLS preseason camps. The Chicago Fire have English Premier League veteran Pascal Chimbonda in camp. He wasn’t the only imposing figure at training yesterday in Charleston: In fact, no one was more menacing than the alligator that showed up just a few feet away. (VIDEO)
For those clubs hoping for Alejandro Bedoya to return stateside, the US international has apparently re-upped with Helsingborg this morning. (SWEDISH)
Back in the US, today the Colorado Rapids will scrimmage UNLV in Las Vegas ahead of Friday’s matchup against Chivas USA in the Las Vegas Pro Soccer Challenge.
Who knew that the novelty of witnessing a renowned American broadcaster call a UEFA Champions League knockout tie would be as big a story stateside as the match between giants Real Madrid and Manchester United? You didn’t get to watch Gus Johnson call yesterday’s match? MLSsoccer.com’s own Charles Boehm reviews his performance here and so did plenty of readers, who left their commentary.
SI.com media critic Richard Deitsch spoke to Johnson’s boss, who gave this take: “I was pleased with Gus doing a broadcast that was solid. On March 5 for the return match, I think everyone will see a big improvement."
No improvement for the US men’s national team in the latest FIFA world rankings. You have to click to Page 2 of the rankings to see the USA show up this month.
The Honduran national team wants to sink the US further down the chart in their return World Cup qualifier on June 18 on US soil. A Honduran federation executive says that no matter where the US decide to play the match, they won’t be able to keep away the Catracho fans: “What’s the problem? I’m sure that the Honduran fans will be buying tickets for the game and will travel to whichever site.”
Staying with the Honduras media, a report claims that Guatemalan legend Carlos Ruiz is in Dallas and is in talks with MLS. (SPANISH)
MLS can’t get enough of "El Pescadito," just like the world just can’t get enough of the "Harlem Shake:" This version comes to you courtesy of the KICKTV crew in a sports bar. Watch it here.
Get the Kick-Off delivered to you!
Enter your email address and favorite team below to sign up for The Kick-Off mailing list and get it delivered to your inbox every morning.