The MLS is slated to begin the 2008 season on March 29th but teams are beginning to have scrimmages and exhibitions to try to tune up for the upcoming season. In three recent games it is interesting that the only shutout was given to another MLS team, while the American Under 17 team and even Santa Barbara City College (one of my Alma Matters, Go Vaqueros!!) managed to notch at least one goal each.
Chicago Fire 3, U.S. Under -17 National Team 1
The Chicago Fire began their 2008 exhibition schedule and it was far from a promising start. They played the U.S. Under 17 National Team in Florida and after one minute of play the Fire was losing to a team where nobody on the team can even vote. Wilman Conde made an errant pass and Donovan Henry picked it of and pushed one past Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch to give the kids an early lead. The U-17 team held their 1-0 lead until the 74th minute after the Fire connected on a long feed from the defense to tie it up. It was a promising debut for the 1st round draft pick of the Fire, as Patrick Nyarko had a pair of goals, one coming in the 79th minute and the other on a nice one-timer in the 89th minute. The Fire started sluggish but ended nicely against the Under 17 squad, who showed some fire of their own, which gives hope to the next generation of soccer in America.
Real Salt Lake 4, Santa Barbara City College 1
In a scrimmage held in Oxnard, California Real Salt Lake defeated Santa Barbara City College 4-1. The game was much like the Fire – U.S. Under 17 game, as the Vaqueros of SBCC jumped out to a 1-0 lead after only 3 minutes of action. The Vaqueros held Real for 15 minutes but after than it was all Real, as they scored in the 15th minute and then 3 times in the 40 minute 2nd half. For Real Fabian Espindola, Yura Movsisyan, Adam Acosta, and rookie Alex Nimo all notched goals. For Movsisyan is was his 5th goal in the last two matches, as he scored 4 goals the night before. Real looked impressive in the 2nd half but they still have many concerns heading into the season.
Columbus Crew 4, Kansas City Wizards 0
Columbus began their preseason in impressive fashion thumping the Kansas City Wizards 4-0. Columbus dominated the game and the scorers for the Crew were Steven Lenhart (27th minute), Guilherme (53rd minute), George Josten (80th minute), and Ricardo Pierre-Louis (82nd minute). The main concern for the Wizards coming into the season was their offense and that definitely showed in their play against the Crew, as they were shutout. Opening kick-off is still 7 weeks away, so it is not too late for the Wizards to look for some scoring help, which they sorely need.
Author: Jason Green