Preseason Roundup - February 13

It’s Monday and there’s plenty from over the weekend to catch up on. We’re now less than 20 days away from the start of the season!

This wrap-up is intended to help you stay up-to-date with the major happenings across the league so you’re fully informed and ready when March 3rd rolls around.

Game Results and Details

Saturday Games

Atlanta United FC 4 – 0 Chattanooga FC

Yes, it was against a fourth division team. But Atlanta looked good. Really good. The star power was on display early as Miguel Almiron set up Hector Villalba for Atlanta’s first goal in the 9th minute. Yamil Asad followed with a stunner. Then it was the kids’ turn to impress with first-round SuperDraft pick Julian Gressel and highly-touted, US U20 forward Andrew Carlton completing the scoring. Equally impressive, were the nearly 12,500 fans who showed up for the game. Next up: Atlanta’s first taste of MLS competition Wednesday at the annual Carolina Challenge Cup.

Dirty South Soccer has a nice, in-depth breakdown of just how good Almiron and Carlton were.

San Jose Earthquakes 1 – 0 LA Galaxy

There was no stream for this one, unfortunately. LA put out a strong lineup that included marquee offseason signing Jermaine Jones. The interesting formation/lineup note: With Jones and Husidic manning the center of the park, Sebastian Lletget was pushed out to a wide role. Lletget could very well start for the US Men’s National Team in a must-win game against Costa Rica as a replacement for Jones. But it appears his future with his club may be as a wide attacker. San Jose countered with a strong lineup of its own, but it was Olmes Garcia who scored the only goal of the game late in the second half.

Highlights from the game.

Sunday Games

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 – 1 Real Salt Lake

Both teams gave their reserves the majority of the minutes. RSL’s depth looked much better than the ‘Caps, with Jamaican teenager Omar Holness impressing for the second game in a row. Vancouver still has questions at forward and playmaker, but Yordy Reyna doing this on a consistent basis would sure help. Of note on the RSL side was Jordan Allen scoring RSL’s goal and running with the first team for the final 30 minutes.

Portland Timbers FC 2 – 2 Minnesota United FC

Minnesota’s attack roared to life against the Timbers. Johan Venegas scored two goals, the second of which was set up beautifully by new signing Bashkim Kadrii. Jack McInerney pulled on back for the Timbers before Portland’s starters came in for the final 30 minutes and absolutely dominated. Sebastian Blanco and Alvas Powell terrorized Minnesota’s left flank with the two combining to set up Fanendo Adi’s equalizer. Encouraging signs on offense, concerns on defense for both teams.

Notable Player Movement

Fredy Montero Reportedly Headed Back to MLS

The former Seattle Sounders forward is reportedly close to signing with the Vancouver Whitecaps. The ‘Caps will likely have to work a deal with Minnesota for the top spot in the allocation order, but it’s worth it. Vancouver needs a striker in the worst way and Montero is a proven scorer and creator in MLS. Now if only they could land that rumored center mid…Atiba Hutchinson, perhaps?

Maxi Moralez to be NYCFC’s Third DP

Defense? Who needs defense? NYCFC is reportedly adding another attacker to an already stacked group. Moralez is an Argentinian winger who’s had stints playing in Italy’s Serie A and, most recently, Liga MX. The 29-year-old is certainly talented, but has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career.

US International Josh Gatt Signing With Minnesota                                                 

Gatt has long teased U.S. Men’s National Team fans with his potential. Unfortunately-timed injuries derailed a promising national team career, but Gatt is still just 25. If three surgeries on the same knee haven’t robbed him of his speed, Gatt could be a nice pickup for the expansion side. He can play as a winger or as a fullback.

League News and Notes

More new kits! Atlanta United FC’s first-ever kit headlines the latest round of releases.  You can see them, along with all of the kits that have been released so far, here.

Great news for the Rapids, if Bruce Arena is to be believed. The new national team manager said on a conference call last week goalkeeper Tim Howard is on track to start week one of the MLS season. Howard is recovering from surgery on a thigh injury that prematurely ended his 2016 season.

Another update in the seemingly never-ending DC United Stadium saga. The Washington Post’s Steven Goff writes the club expects to get final approval Thursday from the D.C. Zoning Commission for a proposed stadium at Buzzard Point. Approval would mean the start of actual construction within several weeks.

Looking Ahead

Preseason kicks into high gear this Wednesday with the Desert Diamond Cup kicking off. You’ve got eight games to choose from.

Wednesday

Orlando City SC – Philadelphia Union (1 p.m. ET)

Colorado Rapids – Sporting Kansas City (1 p.m. ET)

Toronto FC – Miami FC (3 p.m. ET)

New York City FC – New York Red Bulls (4 p.m. ET)

Chicago Fire – Montreal Impact (TBD)

Houston Dynamo – New England Revolution (7 p.m. ET)

Minnesota United FC – Real Salt Lake (8 p.m. ET)

Portland Timbers FC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10:30 p.m. ET)