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.
STEPHENSON ON TRIAL WITH QUAKES: Former San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Khari Stephenson is on trial with his former club and featured in the Quakes' 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers at the Rose City Invitational preseason tournament Sunday. Coming off the bench, the veteran played the final 27 minutes of the game and picked up a yellow card.
The 33-year-old played most recently for Real Salt Lake, but was released after last season. With San Jose from 2010-12, the Jamaican scored eight goals in 69 appearances. Earthquakes head coach Mark Watson said Stephenson was among the players the team was evaluating during the preseason tournament hosted by the Timbers.
REVS BRING LA LIGA VETERAN LARREA IN ON TRIAL: Could the New England Revolution be looking to add a Spanish presence to their midfield? By the looks of it, it's possible:
One addition to the preseason roster today: 29-year-old Spanish midfielder Gorka Larrea, most recently w/ Numancia. #NERevs— Jeff Lemieux (@jeff_lemieux) February 25, 2014
Larrea is a former Spanish youth international who has also played for Real Sociedad, where he came through the youth system, Almeria, and Levante.
FIRE PART WAYS WITH PUPPO: So long, Federico Puppo.
The Chicago Fire announced Monday that they and Puppo have mutually agreed to terminate his contract. The 27-year-old Uruguayan forward made just 11 appearances for Chicago since signing with the club in January 2012, and spent much of the past two seasons on loan at Defensor Sporting and LDU Quito.
The move was done to help improve the FIre's salary cap situation.
“Parting ways with Puppo allows us to get closer to cap compliance,” said Fire head coach and director of soccer Frank Yallop in a statement. “We wish Federico well.
“I want to express my thanks to ownership for this significant undertaking. It’s part of a number of difficult moves which help our team going forward.”
HURTADO READY TO TURN THE PAGE: Vancouver Whitecaps striker Erik Hurtado tells the team's website he enters his second season with a fresh start under new head coach Carl Robinson, and he's making the most of the opportunity.
“He’s been great,” Robinson told reporters after the team's 5-1 win over Portmore United in Portland Sunday. “Since the start of preseason and since I took the job, he’s come in with a renewed attitude. I think he has a hunger back in him.”
In the article, Hurtado also discusses growing up in Portland and going back there for the preseason Rose City Invitational tournament.
That message was apparently ignored later in the day. That, or a determined alligator just wanted a close-up of his favorite MLS team.
Here are Yallop and Bakary Soumare talking about the Desert Diamond Cup win:
PAINTBALL TIME: The Seattle Sounders' players received a bit of down time on Monday, and some of them figured there was no better way to use it than by going to a paintball range and firing away. No word yet as to who is the best marksman on the squad, but DeAndre Yedlin could be an early favorite.