[MLS 2013 COUNTDOWN]The Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo took to the field on Thursday and prevailed over its academy team, 3-0, in the first action of the MLS preseason. The game was notable for the presence in the starting lineup of forward Calum Elliot. The 25-year-old Scotsman had considered coming over to try out in 2012 but moved to Zalgris Vilnius in Lithuania, where he scored 17 goals.
While big-name Scots like Barry Robson and Kenny Miller at Vancouver and Kris Boyd at Portland were disappointments last season, Elliot hopes to come in under the radar like Houston midfield star Adam Moffat did when he arrived from the Scottish minor leagues at the age of 21.
Moffat was one of four starters from MLS Cup in the lineup against the Dynamo's academy team. Draft pick Jimmy Nealis also got a start. Jermaine Taylor, Cam Weaver and Warren Creavalle scored for the Dynamo.
Goalie Tally Hall and forward Will Bruin are with the U.S. national team, and midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia is with Honduras at the Copa Centroamericana.
-- Houston waived 24-year-old midfielder Josue Soto. He was signed to a homegrown contract out of SMU two years ago but never played a game for Houston. He spent the majority of the 2012 season on loan to the NASL San Antonio Scorpions.
FC DALLAS.Coach Schellas Hyndman has handed the FC Dallas captain's armband to David Ferreira. Ugo Ihemelu was the captain in 2012 until a concussion sidelined him. “It’s a huge responsibility for me,” Ferreira told fcdallas.com. “Being captain, I’m the voice of the team to the coach.” In particular, the club's Latinos will look to Ferreira for leadership.
PHILADELPHIA. The Union signed Mexican-American Alex Mendoza, who spent time in the Mexican second division with Pumas Morelos, UNAM's farm team. The midfielder is a product of the Harrisburg City Islanders academy program.
-- The Union will give a tryout to former University of Virginia goalie Diego Restrepo, who has spent time in Colombia and Venezuela. He began the week at D.C. United's training camp.
REAL SALT LAKE.RSL's training camp at the Grande Sports World gives the club a chance to look at some of its academy players in residency with RSL AZ. Seven players took part in training at the beginning of the week: U-18s Andrew Brody (committed to Louisville), Ive Burnett (South Carolina), Coco Navarro (Marquette), Benji Lopez, Jon Zabasajja and Jose Hernandez and U-16 star Sebastian Saucedo. U.S. U-18 Jordan Allen (Virginia), who also took part in training, has returned home to Rochester, N.Y., to finish high school.
Friday, Jan. 25
New England vs. Sporting KC at the Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Ariz.
Saturday, Jan. 26
Columbus vs. D.C. United at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Houston vs. Houston Baptist Univ. at Houston Amateur Sports Park in Houston
Sunday, Jan. 27
Chicago vs. FGCU at North Park in Ave Maria, Fla.