Seattle 2-0 New England
The FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup may just be a part of MLS preseason, but the tournament kicked off with a chippy affair when Seattle Sounders FC defeated the New England Revolution 2-0.
The match featured six yellow cards, two red cards and one almost bench-clearing fight between the two clubs. The physical play shut down clubs’ attacks, but the Sounders were able to make the most of their limited chances.
Brad Evans converted on his penalty kick in the 27th minute while Eddie Johnson found the left side of the net when he was given enough space on the right side of the box to fire a shot.
Brad Evans, Seattle Sounders FC
On the best part of coming home:
It’s great to be back home obviously. I missed the first trip to Casa Grande, a little bit closer to home but, we’ll get some good quality family time in now.
On how MLS preseason helps Arizona soccer:
I mean even when I was growing up I always saw Arizona as a top club say, for youth players. I just remember my ’85 team, the ‘86s, 84s. It was a waist of talent almost because there’s no division 1 soccer. Nobody can go anywhere you know, unless they pay $40,000 to go out of state and that’s not really going to happen unless it’s on the rare occasion. So, you know it’s good to raise the awareness and obviously with the Phoenix team coming in and with FC Tucson, every year it gets better and better.
On whether MLS preseason in Arizona give kids hope:
Yeah of course, I mean any time. I didn’t know about MLS until I went to college, I didn’t know. I mean, I would watch MLS Cup but I couldn’t have told you five teams when I was sixteen, seventeen years old. So, for these kids that are ten years old, that they get to come out and watch MLS soccer, just to raise the awareness is huge.
On his U.S. Men’s National Team Experience
Obviously any time you get called in, you hope it’s not once in a lifetime. Once you go, you get hungrier and hungrier and you know the first two were a bit of a learning curve and a new experience and getting used to kind of that level and this last camp, I kind of told myself, I want to replicate kind of what Graham did last year and kind of take the bull by the horns and kind of make the most of it and I thought I did that. I put myself out there and kind of became a leader on the field and it translated into a trip to Honduras.
On the U.S. Men’s National Team camp
Of course. In my last interview that’s what I said. It’s no longer considered, all you read is that it’s the cupcake camp and all this that and the other. It’s just because US soccer has to do it. It’s not that anymore and guys recognize that. From day one the pace was fast because guys know there’s spots up for grab. MLS isn’t getting overlooked anymore and that’s something that Jurgen said is “we’re watching every game that you play” and they have tabs on every single player and if you’re playing well, you’re leading your team and you’re confident, you’re going to get called in. If you do well there, you’re going to get called in again, to the A Team.
On the match’s intensity:
It is what it is. It’s pre-season and it seems like every year you have one of these games in pre-season so I’m not surprised at all. You just have to keep your head. There’s no reason for rash challenges and things like that. Unfortunately we were on the wrong end on a couple of them. I was the instigator on a couple as well so we’ve got to keep our head, keep the composure. The main thing is to get fitness and stay healthy, number one, because you don’t want something stupid leading up to the first game in almost two and a half weeks now. We have to stay smart and keep our head and focus on what we need to work on and that’s possession and keeping shape and getting our fitness.
On how hard it is to get better during a match with a lot of fouls:
Yeah, because as soon as you get a good run of play, the other team is just fouling you and they’re all over you. You’re going to face it throughout the season though. There’s going to be times that at one point are probably 3-7, 3-10 and the season’s almost a wash at that point so they’re going to come out and disrupt you so we’ve got to be able to, like I said, keep our head and keep our composure, play our game and hopefully get away with a win.
Real Salt Lake 2-2 New York Red Bulls
RSL made late-arriving fans (and the New York defense) pay when the club scored two goals in the match’s first three minutes. Joao Plata’s opening tally occurred in the first minute, less than 30 seconds into the match.
But on their heels, the Red Bulls didn’t give up much more ground and become the better attacking team the rest of the match. New signee Jamison Olave cut RSL’s lead in the 31st minute. Then Michael Bustamante tied the match when he connected on a picture-perfect cross from teammate Roy Miller and beat the RSL goalkeeper.
Carlos Salcedo, Real Salt Lake
On his performance:
It feels good, we started really good with two goals right at the beginning of the match. It feels good to have the starters from New York and us and playing together, at first winning to zero and then last minute they scored but everything is good and I feel we are getting better everyday.
On the difference between the players he plays against now and those he played against 8 months ago:
It feels good, but at the end of the day we are all professionals and all sacrifice a lot of things when you are over there at the academy and it pays off and now it feels really really good to be out on the pitch against those guys.
Robbie Finley, Real Salt Lake
On if he expected to ever play preseason soccer in Arizona:
No, to be honest. I’ve heard that for the past couple years they have been coming here and I was kind of jealous, but it is good to be back here in Arizona and hopefully my family can come and see me in the next couple days.
On how MLS preseason helps Arizona youth soccer player:
We’ve also got the academy out in Casa Grande too so just starting from an early age and getting them to how whatever club and area their from plays and how their system works, it is important from a young age and that they learn it as soon as they can early.
On what he saw at the RSL Academy:
There is a lot of talent there at a very young age and as time goes on they’re only going to learn more. It’s looking positive.
On how MLS preseason is different:
It’s been a couple years, but no, you know, you’ve got the double days and the hard days and then the games, but it’s just a time for everybody to get on the same page and learn the system and how we play and that’s what we’re doing right now.
Jason Kreis, Real Salt Lake
On the overall performance:
I’m really really pleased with how they started the game, terrific they got themselves out with a 2-0 lead but then they weren’t quite sure what to do with it, I think they were as surprised as everyone else that they got themselves into that position. I still credit them for what they did in the first 15-20 minutes.
On what he tells players after taking a quick lead:
It’s about the tactical aspect of the game then, how do you want to manage being up 2-0, do you want to become defensive and put yourselves in a shell and invite pressure, because that’s what they did, and my answer would be no. I would like to see us continue to pass out of things and play soccer and take advantage of the space given to us because I feel there was more soccer to be played after minute 20. You also have to look at the team you’re playing against and say their a pretty decent team with some pretty decent players out there to put us under the pressure that they did.
On how much preseason has changed since his playing days:
I think the first preseason I was at I stayed in a hotel next to a train track in Ft. Lauderdale and now we’re staying in Tucson at the La Paloma Westin so the facilities are just immeasurably better they way the players are treated and the way they treat themselves as well as the staff and support around them and all the people that put on these tournaments; we’re hundreds of times better off now than we were 18 years ago.
On RSL’s future relationships with FC Tucson and Phoenix FC:
We’re still thinking about the relationship with Phoenix FC, the league has brought about this new rule where we can have very firm relationships with USL teams. The team in Phoenix will be something that we will consider, and the team in Tucson offers a different opportunity and offers and opportunity for college players that we’ve got our eye on to come and play for. In particular, now that we are two years into our academy, there are some players that you are going to sign and other players that you think it is a different avenue for them to reach professional soccer and that may be to go play college soccer for 1, 2, 3, or 4 years so if we could have somewhere to put those players during the summer and play that would be really nice for us and potentially FC Tucson could be that place.