First-team in the morning, reserves at night. That's the procedure followed by coaches Tom Soehn of D.C. United and Preki of Chivas USA Wednesday during their week-long stay in San Antonio for the Texas Pro Soccer Festival.
Concerned by the narrow, bumpy surface at Steele High School in Cibolo, Texas, the coaches elected to play a first-team scrimmage in the morning at another site and use reserves for the evening competition. D.C. United won both contests by 2-1 scores.
After spending most of the offseason wondering if Brad Guzan would be sold to a European club, Preki may be in the market for a goalkeeper anyway. Guzan didn't play for Chivas USA Wednesday in either contest and has returned to Southern California for treatment of an MCL sprain he apparently suffered Monday at Home Depot Center prior to the team's departure for Texas.
Quevas Kirk and trialist Cesar Hermengildo scored for D.C. in the night match after a left-footed volley by Jorge Flores had given Chivas USA a 1-0 lead.
Santino Quaranta started for D.C. but came off in the 33rd minute after playing the final 18 minutes as a sub in the morning scrimmage staged at the Soccer International Complex that all four teams are using for their training sessions. D.C. won despite an ejection of midfielder Fred in the 70th minute with goals by Luciano Emilio and Franco Neill. Paulo Nagamura scored for Chivas USA.
Neill started the night encounter and came off for Guy-Roland Kpene in the 59th minute. In the morning scrimmage he had replaced Jaime Moreno with 18 minutes left and scored the winning goal on assists from Quaranta and developmental player Dan Stratford.
Chivas USA midfielder Raphael Wicky started the first-team scrimmage and lasted 85 minutes. He has spent much of the preseason rehabilitating after undergoing foot surgery. Two recent acquisitions started for Chivas USA: defender Jim Curtin (ex-Chicago) played in central defense alongside Claudio Suarez, and forward Atiba Harris (formerly of Real Salt Lake) teamed with Ante Razov up top.
On Friday, the Texas Pro Soccer Festival features two intraconference games. Chivas USA plays Houston and D.C. United goes up against Toronto FC. Preki plans to use two groups of players, 45 minutes each; Soehn will use mostly reserves for both games to save his first-teamers for their CONCACAF Champions' Cup series against Jamaican club Harbor View that gets underway next week.