BY DARRELL LOVELL
The Colorado Rapids 3-1 presesaon loss to the Portland Timbers Tuesday proved costly with the club announcing that creative midfielder Martin Rivero will be lost for 2-to-3 months due to a fractured right foot.
The critical play came in the waning moments of the first half as Rivero was involved in an awkward challenge that, ultimately, will cost the midfielder a chunk of his 2013 season.
Rivero was one of the bright spots for the Rapids in 2012 as the club transitioned to a possession, knock-it-around type system under Oscar Pareja. Rivero started 30 games for the Rapids and led the club with eight assists.
Where the club will go to replace the creator will be the question that Pareja has to answer, but newcomer Kevin Harbottle could provide aid while Rivero works to get back in the lineup.
PLATA TRADED TO RSL
Joao Plata’s tumultuous time in Toronto is officially over. The diminutive fan-favorite was traded from the Reds Wednesday to Real Salt Lake for a second-round draft pick in 2015.
“While Plata is a player our fans enjoyed watching, he did not figure in our plans moving forward,” Payne said in a club statement. “It made sense for our club to move him for value as we can continue to build the team we want.”
Plata’s move from TFC seemed imminent after a loan deal with LDU Quito added to a strained relationship with the club. With the divorce final, the move adds a forward to RSL’s attack that can attack defenses and has produced at the MLS level to the tune of 10 goals and nine assists in 52 appearances.
GALAXY TO HOST XOLOS
Reigning MLS champion LA Galaxy annonced Wednesday that it will host Liga MX champion Club Tijuana in a February 19 friendly at the Home Depot Center. The Xolos squad will be made up of reserves as the club will play it’s first Copa Libertadores match in Colombia against former Seattle Sounder Fredy Montero and Millonarios the same day. The two clubs clinched their respective titles in December with the Galaxy besting the Dynamo 3-1 and the Xolos beating Toluca 4-1 on aggregate.
DYNAMO STRIKE TV DEAL
The Houston Dynamo have a new television home, Comcast SportsNet Houston. According to the Houston Chronicle, the club has struck a three-year deal with the network that includes all rights to all local games, 15-20 for 2013. Included in the deal is a weekly magazine show, pre and post-game shows and the agreement that CSN Houston will handle production for all games.
The downside of the deal is the CSN Houston is currently only available on Comcast cable and several small systems in the area. The network is not currently offered on DirecTV, Dish Network or AT&T U-verse.
MATTOCKS NETS HAT-TRICK
Darren Mattocks got his preseason off to a blazing start helping the Vancouver Whitecaps make light work of the New England Revolution in a 4-1 victory in Arizona. The ‘Caps striker netted a hat trick for the Canadian club in its first game of the preseason.
Also in Arizona, the San Jose Earthquakes downed the Dynamo, 2-0, on the back of a brace from trialist Alexandre Emerson.