MLS Preseason recap: TFC’s Silva shines, Johnson scores in Seattle debut, & more

Silva - Getty

By CALEB SONNELAND

Toronto FC rookie Luis Silva drew raves heading into the 2012 MLS Draft, and is beginning to show why as he establishes himself as a real threat for TFC, which posted a 5-1 victory against South Florida in pre-season MLS action.

The dynamic playmaker found himself on the score sheet early in the fifth minute as he slotted home a 1-on-1 opportunity with the USF keeper to make it 1-0. Just 10 minute later, Joao Plata, who would end the match with a goal himself, teed up Silva in the box for the latter to calmly stroke home to double his tally and Toronto's advantage.

Silva turned provider later in the half as he assisted on goals from Nick Soolsma and Terry Dunfield to wrap up a productive half for the former UC Santa Barbara man with two goals and two assists.

USF grabbed a consolation goal in the 78th minute and the final score rested at 5-1. Toronto will be in action again this Saturday at 6pm with Orlando City of the USL.

Here are some other preseason scores to get you thinking about MLS Opening Weekend:

JOHNSON NETS IN SOUNDERS ROMP

Seattle made headlines recently as it traded for Eddie Johnson while sending two fan favorites in Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle to the Montreal Impact. However, if Johnson's preseason debut goal is anything to go by, it could end up being good business.

The Sounders cruised to a 5-0 victory over Florida Gulf Coast University last Friday to improve to 3-0-2 in the 2012 preseason.

The former FC Dallas and Kansas City striker opened the scoring for Seattle in the 11th minute when he received the ball from defender Zach Scott. Johnson attacked the FGCU back line, performed a step-over inside the area before cooly tucking the ball away with his left foot for the 1-0 lead.

It wasn't all good news for Johnson, however, as the striker was removed from action after pulling up and holding his hamstring. Though post match reports and the player himself have indicated it was nothing more than a precautionary measure.

Other new-boy Christian Sivebæk notched a goal of his own from the penalty spot, while David Estrada, an un-named trialist and a FGCU own goal would round off the victory for Seattle.

SAN JOSE TOPPLES CHICAGO

First-half strikes from Steven Lenhart and Brad Ring proved vital as the San Jose Earthquakes earned a comfortable 2-0 over the Chicago Fire on Saturday morning.

In only the 3rd minute, Lenhart was found in the area with a whipped cross from Ramiro Corrales which the striker nodded to the back post for the goal.

35 minutes and several chances later, the Earthquakes came knocking again, this time through Ring. Marvin Chavez curled in a corner for the on-rushing midfielder to bang home past Fire keeper Jay Nolly for the final 2-0 scoreline.

GOAL GLUT FOR HOUSTON OVER SMU

Add the Dynamo to the list of MLS sides who recorded blowout wins, as the MLS Cup finalists smashed four goals past Southern Methodist University last Saturday.

The scoring got started in the 23rd minute when Corey Ashe sent a cross into Supplemental Draft pick Brian Ownby, who headed the ball past SMU keeper, Juan Robles.

Will Bruin got his name on the score-sheet late in the first half after he capitalized on an error from the SMU defense. Bruin took the ball at the top of the SMU box and tucked it away for a 2-0 lead to Houston.

Emerson Sato, the Dynamo's Brazilian trialist, did himself a favor just one minute later in the 44th minute as he headed home from a Kofi Sarkodie cross.

Colin Rolfe finished matters in the 49th minute with a smashed a volley into the SMU net after his initial effort was blocked.

The Dynamo will be in action again on Monday morning against the Dynamo Academy in Houston. 

WHITECAPS EDGE VIKES

A penalty from Davide Chumiento and a second-half goal from Matt Watson were enough to lift the Vancouver Whitecaps over the University of Victoria, the reigning Canadian Interuniversity Sport champions.

Nearly 3,000 spectators showed up to watch the first public game between a CIS and MLS team and were treated to a goal early after Darren Mattocks was felled in the penalty area. Chumiento tucked the ball away for the 1-0 lead.

Matt Watson pounced on a loose ball in the 52nd minute in the Vikes' box after some confusion to smash home what would become the key goal in the match.

The Vikes clawed a goal back in the 65th from the penalty spot after the Whitecaps Jun Marques Davidson hauled down Thomas Mallette. Davidson was shown his second yellow card and given his marching orders by the referee, leaving Vancouver a man down for 25 minutes.

Vancouver will take on the Montreal Impact this Friday at 8:00 PM ET.

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS Training Camp, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- Houston Dynamo, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes, MLS- Seattle Sounders, MLS- Toronto FC, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to MLS Preseason recap: TFC’s Silva shines, Johnson scores in Seattle debut, & more

  1. Spencer says:

    About what we should expect, a bunch of high scoring games against these college teams. Especially considering some of those teams do not even have anyone of pro potential.

  2. cajun says:

    Hey Caleb, with all the SBI “spies” around, why an “un-named” trialist? :)

  3. pgloerse says:

    Did i miss the Union vs Orlando City recap? 1-1 with Orlando City with the equalizer in 93rd minute – although should have two more goals earlier in the game. Union subbed liberally.

  4. Award says:

    Johnon already scoring goals. Well thats a good sign regardless if it’s pre-season or not. You want your FWDS scoring period.

  5. Award says:

    “Johnson”

  6. blag says:

    Maybe the trialist actually has no name, haha.

  7. pgloerse says:

    Is it the artist formerly known as Prince?

  8. chris says:

    Well UCLA tied inter milan two years ago and BYU beat mexicos u-21

  9. Jay says:

    I think its more about helping the colleges by having them play pros and maybe attract new players to the college. I mean MLS teams could go to Australia or tour South Africa but why not give back. That said I think they should not go so college heavy in preseason a few real pro teams would be great help.

  10. The Imperative Voice says:

    Why was Johnson playing the week he was signed?

    Ownby appears well on his way to jumping from supplemental pick to the Dynamo roster.

  11. The Imperative Voice says:

    Maybe if the MLS teams get more European (or other) linkups they can do trips abroad more often, at lessened expense. But generally speaking you run into the issue of how our schedule meshes with theirs, best you can hope for is that tournament in Spain or playing reserve sides.

    In terms of college, from the pro perspective (a) you’re going to see MLS for months, (b) playing MLS is not necessarily the best way to judge marginal players, eg, draft picks, and (c) pro teams are usually just ramping up in terms of fitness right now. I think the college and youth NT sides show up fit, motivated, and relatively organized, and maybe in their earnestness can expose some issues a calmer arms-length pro preseason game might not expose. The games may in fact turn out lopsided but the idea to me is to test them with something different, and maybe give a chance for the picks and trialists to get more of a look.

    From the college perspective, having played pro teams in our spring, it’s a definite test and someone different than the usual local college rivalries you bang your head against. And mutually it’s nice PR for each organization. It connects the pro team with the college and its fans, and offers an added, often regular benefit to the college program. “We usually play MLS in the spring” is hardly a bad sales pitch.

  12. AC says:

    Even though it was against inferior competition, Johnson’s goal was pretty nice. A couple quick stepovers, etc….Where has that been? Hopefully he’ll remember everything isn’t a given and finally learn to work hard.

  13. Air Jordanz says:

    There is still a lot of value to this type of friendly.

    First, you get PT in a competitive environment, regardless of the quality of the opposition. If you don’t crush a college team, something’s wrong.

    Second, it allows players to get their scoring touch going in a low(er) pressure environment. If you get on a roll in preseason, maybe you don’t flub that sitter in the first few weeks of the actual season.

    Finally, these matches improve player fitness.

    Not saying that this time wouldn’t be better spent playing against professional teams, but playing college teams isn’t useless

    I for one think teams should schedule more friendlies with Scandinavian teams who are also in preseason (a la Malmo FF and Philly a few weeks ago).

  14. Air Jordanz says:

    At this point, I think Arreola and Ownby look most likely to get inked.

    It would be a shame if Creavalle doesn’t since a 2nd round pick was used on him.

  15. The Imperative Voice says:

    I don’t know exactly how the roster sits but a look at the website suggests Rolfe has already been signed and for likely better-than-reserve money, and they apparently only have 22 players rostered so far, not all of whom are probably considered senior players.

    Of the holdovers — and Navas Cobo, Newton, and Graye got cut — I think just Deric, Dixon, and Soto are the remaining reserves, and only Soto (based on last year) is at 25-30 player slot money. The other two earn too much and count on the 1-24 list. So in theory that’s 4 slots at $32-42K.

    Regarding Creavalle specifically, I don’t know what to say, but he has been playing consistently all preseason — some of the other picks don’t see his level of PT — and he does have some versatility and looks like the 3rd choice right back, Hainault then Sarkodie then him. Sarkodie has shown so little return to date that they might keep him around as someone to develop and press Sarkodie for a spot.

    From what little I’ve seen of highlights J. Soto has impressed me with his deadball touch, but Kinnear always struck me as pro-veteran, so I don’t know if he breaks through.

  16. Zeke says:

    It looks like TFC would do well in the Big East Conference.

  17. TSG says:

    ORLANDO CITY!!!

  18. pgloerse says:

    GO LIONS!

  19. Sims says:

    How does San Jose not notice this guy at UCSB???

  20. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Again with this re-hashed untrue rumor that Eddie Johnson does not work hard… If you can find me one quote indicating that he does not work hard.. I will shut up but all you guys on here say he is lazy… NO Freddy Adu was lazy, Jozy Altidore was lazy… Eddie is not even remotely lazy.. every manager he played under in Europe said he worked so hard in training but was just not quite good enough to see the field…

    The Puebla “unfit” scenario was a scheme by the manager to avoid signing a player that his GM tried to force on him… Eddie was never allowed to succeed in that little trial as the manager was in a power struggle with the club director…

    Eddie keeps himself in very good shape and was at IMG working out the entire month before he went to Puebla…

  21. marco says:

    Sigi told reporters on 2/20/12 that the EJ trade was done because OBW is still out injured, and Ochoa is out of shape, not game fit. So what was offered up by the media as an aggressive move to challenge for the cup, was a move merely made out of necessity.