Desert Friendlies: Rivero impresses in debut for Caps
Barnes scores for Houston, Rosales remembers snow in Tucson
The New England Revolution got a chance to roll out returning player Juan Agudelo in a soccer scrimmage against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday morning. Agudelo was a major scoring threat for the Revs in his first stint with the team in 2013, but it was a new signing for their opponents that carried the day.
Uruguayan Octavio Rivero scored two goals for the Caps, both coming in the second half of the scrimmage. Rivero, born in Treinta y Tres, was only signed by the team in December.
“I’m sure it will give him confidence,” said coach Carl Robinson of the striker that last played for Chilean club O’Higgins FC. “We work a lot at finishing in training and he’s got a natural instinct. If you look at his record, he scores goals. It’s hard to do.”
Rivero’s performance will not guarantee him a starting spot. Trialists Robert Earnshaw and Dane Richards, who each got time on the field as well, are proven goal scorers in MLS.
Quakes vs. Creamsicles
Just south of Field 5, the Houston Dynamo and San Jose Earthquakes had a simultaneous scrimmage. Houston edged out San Jose by a score of 3 – 2, with Giles Barnes, entering his fourth year as a member of the Dynamo, scoring a goal and an assist.
Snow fun in the sun
Our February weather is a big selling point for tourism boosters. The next few days are predicted to have temperatures in the 80s. Our rains this weekend were a reminder that some of our wildest weather comes in February.
Or, you can think back to 2013. Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Mauro Rosales was playing for the Seattle Sounders back then. He and his teammates were ready for a warm Tucson week when they came down for the Desert Diamond Cup that year.
“I remember that we had a day off the day before. We were in the swimming pool,” said Rosales. “The next day it was snowing. It was crazy to see that.”
Crazy is one word for it. The Feb. 19 storm led to one of the few blizzard warnings for the Tucson area in living memory. The two inches of snow that were measured in some areas was a big deal for a city that has only recorded 71 instances of measurable snowfall since records were first kept in the 1890s.
The storm led to the cancellation of the area’s other big sporting event that day, PGA Match Play, but soccer players are made of sterner stuff and two games that night were played as scheduled.
“We played against Red Bull in the snow,” said Rosales. “It was a crazy, crazy night. We got used to it, but it was cold to play soccer. It was difficult to see the ball. It was strange, but we got some experience.”