Arizona Exports: MLS Exports prep for friendlies and CCL, Bayona scores in blowout, Club America’s Alvarado added to list
Arizona Exports is a feature in which we track the progress of those from the state who are playing professional soccer. It is an evolving feature, as we continue to find more players who once kicked it in Arizona and are now kicking it on some of the largest stages in the game. If we’ve left anyone out (and we expect we have), please feel free to leave their name in the comments.
A brief note, all decisions as to who will be featured as an Arizonan will be made by AZKI and can be subject to debate. Understands the meaning of a “falling dust warning”? Yes. Thinks that’s something that happens when cleaning? No.
Quasi-Export Chad Barrett has officially been loaned to Norwegian club Vålerenga who will have an option to buy the forward at the end of the season. We might check in on him occasionally, but this likely concludes the weekly Barrett updates.
We were deprived an Export showdown in Commerce City, Colo. Saturday. The Seattle Sounders and Colorado Rapids traded early goals and Osvaldo Alonso’s volley won the match for the Sounders.
Tony Cascio wasn’t in the team for the Rapids. Andrew Weber was healthy enough to be named the back-up keeper for Seattle, but the Sounders normal number one, Michael Gspurning, made his return for the club after missing several months.
Brad Evans did start and went 83 minutes in getting the victory. He had a good, not great, match largely in the center of midfield and had to be subbed out after going down with an injury. It’s reported that he’s fine and the issue was fatigue and altitude-related.
Fans in Seattle can enter to win a meal cooked by Evans.
Now the Sounders look ahead to a CONCACAF Champions League match with Caledonia AIA, from Trinidad and Tobago. Not only is it a CFU team for their first opponent, but the first match is at home. While the Sounders are known for taking every competition seriously, they probably won’t be too troubled by their opposition Thursday.
Real Salt Lake is finding their stride once again, with Nat Borchers‘ club defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Friday. Borchers went the full 90 in the victory, and now he and the club begin to focus on tonight’s CONCACAF Champions League match wither Herediano. The Costa Rican champions are CCL regulars and the national stadium is never an easy place to play.
Borchers, ever faithful, still was able to fulfill his commitment to Salt Lake’s ESPN Radio station.
Pretty bad week for Alan Gordon. For Gordon, that’s pretty much any week without a goal, but this week in addition to not getting a goal he also picked up two yellow cards and was sent off. It came while the Earthquakes were still trailing by one, but later Steven Lenhart found a stoppage-time equalizer. The red card means Gordon will miss the next league match, but he could still play against Swansea in San Jose’s friendly with the Welsh club tonight.
Our trio of Exports at D.C. United hosted French club Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday as part of that World Football Challenge thing. Nick DeLeon got the start and had a pretty sweet shot saved in the 1-1 draw. DeLeon was subbed out in the 75th minute. Danny Cruz also got into the match, coming on as a sub in the 67th minute.
Brandon McDonald didn’t play for United, finally getting some rest. That’s probably a good thing.
Blair Gavin didn’t make the Chivas USA team in a 1-0 victory against Portland.
Pablo Mastroeni remains on the DL.
San Antonio Scorpions forward Esteban Bayona came on at halftime for the club and scored a goal in the 61st minute. This would probably be more significant were it not the 5th goal of the match. He got a nice pass and was one-on-one with the keeper after shedding his defender. Bayona put a left-footed finish past Ray Burse.
Of course, the Scorpions netted a few more en route to an 8-0 win. Not that we’re getting too greedy, but Bayona really should’ve had another. Instead, Campos redirected it and got credit for the score.
All goals can be viewed here on the Scorpions’ match review.
There was an Arizona flavor in the final match at Bayamon Soccer Complex before the Islanders move back into Estadio Juan Ramón. Justin Davis was all over the place for the Minnesota Stars, with two shots, one on goal, and earning a late yellow card.
Josh Hansen played in the midfield in the victory. He drew a foul in a crucial spot in the 35th minute and had a shot on goal in his 71 minutes of play. Jarad Van Schaik replaced him.
They kick off CONCACAF Champions League play tomorrow against Matapán in El Salvador.
We stalk Hansen’s injured Islander teammate, Jamie Cunningham, on Twitter. This week, more words of motivation.
Abe Thompson played three minutes as Fort Lauderdale knocked off Atlanta, 5-3.
Rob Valentino went the full 90 and had a shot for Orlando City in a midweek draw with Wilmington that ended 1-1. The league-leading Lions were a bit more convincing on the weekend, crushing the Charleston Battery, 4-0. Valentino again went the full 90 and helped the Lions to a clean sheet as they prepare for the stretch run. Valentino and the Lions are the favorites to notch a second-straight league championship.
It looks like Irving Garcia has again been left out of the Los Angeles Blues travel roster. The Blues lost to the Rochester Rhinos and the Harrisburg City Islanders this weekend, but Garcia wasn’t in the team for either match.
The Blues play again tonight against Pittsburgh.
Michael Zaher of the Rochester Rhinos remains sidelined with a hip injury.
New Export Alert! Tom Marshall, perhaps the most prominent journalist covering Mexican football in English, had a story on Ventura Alvarado. Alvarado, 19, made his debut with Club America on Wednesday night, playing the full 90 minutes in a Copa MX loss to Veracruz. Definitely check out the article. Alvarado will seek to stay with the full team as much as possible this year and hopes to avoid playing too many matches for the U-20 side. America again plays Veracruz in the home leg on Thursday, which would mark the next time we could see the Phoenix native take the field.
Last week, I buried my head in shame when I said Mix Diskerud tweeted in Italian and it turned out to be Portuguese. This week, he’s continued his trend of showing off his gear for other sports on Twitter.
Far more significantly, for our purposes at least, are reports Strømsgodset is interested in bringing Diskerud aboard from Stabæk. Scandinavian football expert Brendan Husebø thinks Diskerud would fill needs at the club and develop well under manager Ronny Deila. There has been no official bid as of yet.
Robbie Findley played the final 38 minutes of Nottingham Forest’s victory against Chile’s U-20 side in a closed-doors friendly today. He also was revealed to be Forest’s number 9 when the new squad numbers came out. This is something that hasn’t exactly delighted the natives.
We’re going to go ahead and put out an APB on Luis Robles. No news again this week.