The soccer teams of the Pacific Northwest are spending quite a bit of time jaunting off to exotic, warm locales while those of us left at home are stuck shivering in the rain and dreaming of the start of the MLS season. Here's a quick look at what the Sounders, Timbers and Whitecaps were up to last week, and where they're headed this week. Check back for more detailed news of preseason friendlies, roster cuts, and who's beating whom in FIFA 11 tournaments.
The Sounders are taking Valentines' Day off to allow their players to buy chocolates, flowers, etc rather than trudge out to Starfire. However, Wednesday and Thursday they train in Tukwila, and then the lucky dudes, who just got back from Arizona, head off to Florida. No exhibition matches this week, but next Monday they play against FC Dallas.
Seattle celebrated their last day in Arizona by beating Chivas USA 1-0. The only goal was scored by David Estrada, assisted by Miguel Montano and invitee Jonathan Prieto. The Sounders are likely to make roster cuts before heading on to Florida, with the MLS deadline for final rosters set for March 1.
The Timbers have returned from California and are stuck in Beaverton for awhile, but can look forward to heading down to Arizona on Friday while the rest of us fear the "snowpocalypse" supposedly moving into Oregon. Portland's schedule has them opening the season in Colorado on March 19, so maybe it would be smarter to stay in town?
Last Tuesday saw the Timbers come back and grab an equalizer against the L.A. Galaxy, with the match finishing at 1-1. Trialist Brian Umony netted Portland's only goal. When the team returned to the city, Kenny Cooper was waiting, having been introduced in a Thursday press conference. The forward, anxious to put his injury-laden time in Europe behind him, trained with the team on Saturday.
Another team set to head out of the drizzly, dreary Northwest, the Whitecaps leave for their second train-cation on Wednesday, also flying off to Arizona, having been away for less than two weeks. Vitamin D is important! The Caps beat Columbus 2-1 on Tuesday, with Atiba Harris and Omar Salgado the goalscorers. Salgado, the first pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, is unable to play until he turns 18 on September 10, but that hasn't stopped him from impressing this preseason.
Vancouver added two international players to its roster last week, signing Nizar Khalfan and Gershon Koffie, who both played for the team last year. That makes sixteen on the Whitecaps roster, so they've got a few more slots to fill before March 1.