A few things on yesterday’s matches:
Phoenix Rising and FC Tucson: Rick Schantz and Frank Yallop were in the stands for the FC Tucson – NK Istra 1961 match. Part of the point of the match was to allow the two of them to scout potential players, so said Jonathan Pearlman:
We had some trialists the Phoenix rising wanted to look at and maybe put on their roster…Rick is one of closest friends and Frank Yallop has been a tremendous proponent of what we’ve been doing here and we have good relationships with the ownership group as well. There is going to be a good relationship and a competitive one. Obviously, if we meet in the Open Cup we are going to have our best foot forward. Our goal is to move everyone to the highest level we can…it’s going to be a very good relationship.
NK Istra 1961: Marijo Tot, the manager for NK Istra 1961, seemed impressed with the facilities and atmosphere in Tucson. He got what he wanted: plenty of games to fill his team’s schedule during the Prva Liga’s winter break. They also took in the sights, even bringing the team up to a Phoenix Suns match. Could this open the door to other Eastern European teams making the trip? Jagiellonia Białystok, please?
Dee-Fence!: One of Portland’s aims in preseason was to settle who would be playing next to Liam Ridgewell, and build a stronger bench on defense. With the injury to Gbenga Arokoyo, the needs in the back have only become more urgent. Thursday, the Timbers picked up Kansas City’s Lawrence Olum for allocation money. He’s used to playing with Chance Myers, but a source close to the team told me that they will also be looking for another defender before the preseason is out.
Do the Freddy: Freddy Adu played a half for Portland and had a lot more looks at the ball. He took two free kicks for the team, both of which ended up being serious chances for the team. I saw one point where he did a double turn to keep away from a defender. It was the sort of thing that made me go both “wow” and “come on, you aren’t showing off on a playground.” I figure he’s a serious prospect for the team if he’s made it this far. I don’t see Porter as the type to keep the guy around otherwise.