Opening day 2014 is just around the corner, and MLS preseason action rolls on across Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, Oregon and beyond. Catch up with news and updates from MLS training camps below. And for the entire February preseason schedule, click here.
INSIDE A PORTER FILM SESSION: With just one season of professional coaching under his belt, Caleb Porter is considered by many as a tactical mastermind – especially among Portland Timbers fans.
So just what, exactly, is his secret? Well, a video on Timbers.com provides a behind-the-scenes look at one of the head coach’s video scouting sessions from ahead of the Timbers’ opening Rose City Invitational match Sunday against the San Jose Earthquakes.
The “spy cam” like footage is certainly a must-watch for the tactical geek out there.
Porter talks matching up against the Earthquakes’ two big playmakers: Chris Wondowlowski and Steven Lenhart.
“Wondo and Lenhart are really the key to how they play,” he said.
He also goes over a match analysis of passing channels from the last time the two teams met last season.
“Wondo, he just hangs out and then he pops up,” he said. “That’s why he’s good, he just pops up and finds his spot.”
And, at the very end, he reminds his squad of the anticipated physical nature of the matchup, which proved very true in the 1-0 San Jose victory that saw 27 combined fouls and four San Jose yellow cards.“Yeah, we play good football but we’re up for a fight,” Porter said. “No problem for us to battle, tackle. We’ll outfight teams, that’s no problem.”
Per intraleague loan rules, Zavaleta cannot play against Seattle this year.
Zavaleta, 21, Seattle’s top choice in the 2013 SuperDraft (10th overall) made five appearances in his rookie campaign. He also appeared in all 12 MLS Reserve League matches in 2013, leading the Sounders with four goals.
He previously spent a month on loan to the San Antonio Scorpions FC of the NASL last summer. The former Indiana University standout appeared in three games for Seattle this preseason, playing 120 minutes.
FCD BRING BACK HARTMAN: Kevin Hartman is heading back to FC Dallas.
The retired goalkeeper, who spent several years with the club, has been added to the FC Dallas' broadcast team for the upcoming season. Always insightful as a player, FCD fans will have the opportunity to see if the broadcast booth is a good fit as well.
QUAKES' STADIUM COMING TO LIFE: San Jose Earthquakes president Dave Kaval offered a glimpse into the future home of the club on Friday, tweeting out a picture of their in-construction stadium. It is far from finished, but Earthquakes fans have to love the progress, with the facility set to open in 2015.
KENNEDY TALKS RECENT CHANGES: If you think Chivas USA players are down in the dumps or thinking about being in limbo after MLS' purchase of the club, think again.
Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy spoke to the club's website about some of the changes going on at the club, and sounded very optimistic about the immediate and long-term future of the Goats.
“We’re all excited, and it seems that it’s creating a buzz around the league too," said Kennedy. "Certainly there’s going to be a great opportunity here. The MLS has come so far, they’ve set up the standards that they expect the clubs to be at, and I think that appointing Nelson [Rodriguez] as our president is just another way of the league showing that this is an important project and one that we need to get right.
"For us players, it feels like there’s something really special that could be in the making here.”
RED BULLS PREVIEW DISNEY FINALE: The New York Red Bulls will wrap up their preseason preparations with a Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic match vs. Orlando City on Saturday, and midfielder Jonny Steele and assistant head coach Robin Fraser took some time to preview the game against the future MLS expansion side.
You can watch the video of Steele and Fraser talking about the match and the rest of the preseason here: