You guys... we are officially less than two weeks until the first game against the Sounders on March 6th. It's starting to get real!
On Saturday, both the Rangers and Sporting KC played and both ended in draws.
The Rangers took on Arizona United SC and if I'm being perfectly honest, it was very clear the two teams are still working the kinks out. Neither team was ever able to get any extended possession and it was just back and forth the whole time with long, hopeful balls over the top. It was a really chippy game with a lot of terrible fouls. This is a straight football tackle (look closely at left side of the screen) and although the refs got together over on the side, they decided there was no foul on the play. The Ranger that took the vicious hit is SKC Academy player, Alberto Sanchez. It is preseason for refs as well, so let's hope they get their act together before the season starts.
You can read the team's recap right here. The reactions from Dos Santos, Oumar Ballo, and Alex Molano after the 0-0 draw are below.
Sporting Kansas City took on the New England Revolution in a 1-1 draw. Graham Zusi had a fantastic goal as he charged down the right wing and cut inside for a beautiful left-footed curler into the side netting. Highlights below.
The team has come out and said that Zusi was never really at 100% last season and that may have explained his lack of contribution (2 goals and 5 assists in MLS). If he is back healthy and able to do things like this consistently, maybe Zusi himself can make up some of the missing goals and assists that Nemeth supplied.
The draw for the 2016 Copa America Centenario was held yesterday and the field is set for the tournament this summer.
The USMNT is in Group A joined by Columbia, Costa Rica and Paraguay. You can find the rest of the draw results right here. A background of the tournament and all the answers to your questions can be found right here.
No group is easy in this tournament but, plenty of pundits are trying to paint Group A as the "Group of Death". I'm not sure about all of that, but this is a look at how the US matches up against the group opponents.
Speaking of USMNT... 17 year old American Christian Pulisic earned his first start for German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund over the weekend.
I'm really not sure why this is necessary.. but hey the refs got something right!
Steve Brisendine wrote an in depth piece on SKC newcomer Brad Davis. Right HERE are 10 things about the player you may not be aware of yet. Although Zusi was given the nickname San Zusi for the famous goal against Panama in World Cup Qualifying, it was Davis who headed home the ball from Graham.
"The goalscorer usually gets the credit," he said. "To be honest, at that point we're just out there trying to do our best, make a difference and make the team."
Brad Davis has been brought in to the KC attack and may very well be counted on to at least partially fill the void left by Nemeth. MLS's Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle took a look at SKC and thinks that finishing will be a concern for the squad.
I believe that Dom Dwyer will step it up from last season and get closer to his 2014 numbers, Graham Zusi will have a much better season than last year, and the combination of Davis/Mapp will supply goals and assists as well.
However, I do still think there is a need here up front and perhaps KC has found someone to fill that spot.
Right here is the profile for Kenny Cooper. He has been in MLS since 2006 after starting his career with Manchester United and Oldham Athletic. He is a big dude standing at 6'3" and would provide A LOT of MLS experience to back up Dom off the bench. Salloi could end up being turning heads, but he is still really young. Peterson is the other option right now and well.. he is what he is. Serviceable and will kill himself for the team, but he's not exactly lethal. Bringing in Cooper makes a lot of sense, but the question will be about money. He played all of 4 minutes last year and made $220K in Montreal. He is a great fit, but $220K is a hefty sum of the salary cap for a backup.
SPR and SKC both play again on Wednesday. The Rangers take on the Columbus Crew at 7pm and Sporting take on the Colorado Rapids at 9pm. Both matches will be live streamed.
Today at 4pm is the grand opening of the new bar in PNL, No Other Pub. Several players got to check it out in this video RIGHT HERE. If you can't make it tonight, below is a sneak peek of the new spot with Jake Yadrich.
Who is coming out and ready to lose in some beer pong tonight?