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Mattocks hits hat trick in first 15 minutes
by Paul Kennedy, January 30th, 2013 12:37AM

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TAGS:  mls, portland timbers, san jose earthquakes, seattle sounders, toronto fc, usl, vancouver whitecaps

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[MLS 2013 COUNTDOWN] MLS preseason action heated up with four games Tuesday in Arizona. Jamaican Darren Mattocks stole the show with a hat trick in the first 15 minutes of the Vancouver Whitecaps' 4-1 win over the New England Revolution.

Mexican-American trialist Alexandre Gonzalez, who spent the last two years in the Mexican second division had both goals as the San Jose Earthquakes opened preseason play with a 2-0 win over Houston.

And Argentine import Diego Valeri set the tone for the Portland Timbers with the first goal on a free kick in their 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids.

Host FC Tucson capped the evening with a 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson.

MLS PRESEASON RESULTS:
Tuesday, Jan. 29
Portland 3 (Valeri, Kalif Alhassan, Valencia) Colorado 1 (Brown).
Portland report | Colorado report
San Jose 2 (Gonzalez 2) Houston 0.
San Jose report | Houston report
Vancouver 4 (Mattocks 3, Miller) New England 1 (Tierney).
Vancouver report | New England report
FC Tucson 1 (Wallen) Sporting KC 1 (Saad).
Sporting KC report


PORTLAND. There were lots of positives Timbers coach Caleb Porter could draw from his first game in charge, a 3-1 win over Colorado. Besides Valeri, Colombian forward Jose Valencia, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, scored a goal and an assist, and Ghanaian midfielder Kalif Alhassan added a third goal. For Porter, preseason is all about improving one day to the next:

“What I was looking for, mostly, was progress. We had eight days to train and we have focused on certain things -- every day is a building block. And this was another building block. We wanted to see that there was a positive performance based on our good preparation leading into the game, and I thought, overall, we saw that.”



Portland-Colorado Highlights:


SAN JOSE. Never heard of Mexican-American Alexandre Gonzalez? The 20-year-old trialist had both goals as the San Jose Earthquakes opened preseason play with a 2-0 win over Houston. Gonzalez was born in San Jose and moved to Mexico at the age of 13. He played last season for second division Necaxa.

SEATTLE. The new on Patrick Ianni's foot injury was not good. He'll be out 4-6 with a broken foot suffered during a jump test in training. Having traded their Defender of the Year Jeff Parke to Philadelphia, the Sounders suddenly find themselves short-handed at center back. But Coach Sigi Schmid did not sound like he'll make a rash move to replace Ianni:

“Like I said [on Monday], we go on. We have some internal options to look at. If something looks right, certainly we won’t ignore it. But we have to look at the long haul. We can’t just focus on what’s going to happen at the beginning of the season or what’s going to happen in the first series of games. We can’t do something that maybe solves an immediate problem if it creates a longer-term problem.”



TORONTO FC. Ryan Nelsen played his last game for QPR on Tuesday before heading to Florida, where he will take over as head coach of Toronto FC. Nelsen went the whole game in a 0-0 tie with second-place Manchester City. After the game, Nelsen's teammates formed a guard of honor as he left the field and the fans at Loftus Road chanted his name. Nelsen, who retired after eight years in the EPL with Blackburn Rovers, Tottenham Hotspur and QPR, turned down a request from the New Zealand national team to remain with the All Whites until the end of the World Cup 2014 qualifying.

VANCOUVER. Mattocks' goals came in the 2nd, 5th and 11th minutes. Gambian teenager Kekuta Manneh set up Mattocks for the first goal in the 2nd minute, and the Jamaican followed with goals in the 5th and 15th minutes.

Vancouver-New England Highlights:


MLS PRESEASON SCHEDULE:
Wednesday, Jan. 30
Chicago vs. Columbus at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Chivas USA vs. FC Santa Clarita Storm at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Thursday, Jan. 31
*Houston vs. Colorado (The Desert Friendlies) at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.
Friday, Feb. 1
Columbus vs. New York at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
D.C. United vs. Malmö FF at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Los Angeles vs. U.S. U-17 national team at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
*Sporting KC vs. Portland (The Desert Friendlies) at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.
*Streamed on mlssoccer.com


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