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Rapids' Mastroeni likes to mix it up
by Paul Kennedy, February 22nd, 2014 9:41PM

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TAGS:  colorado rapids, mls

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[MLS PRESEASON: Desert Diamond Cup] As MLS inches closer to the start of the season, now only two weeks away, many coaches have begun to divide their squads into two, using their Saturday games to give their starters their first extended work. Colorado's Pablo Mastroeni has taken the approach of mixing things up, and he thinks it is important as he builds his Rapids, who pulled out their first win at the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup with a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup:
Feb. 22 in Tucson, Ariz.
FC Tucson 0 Chicago 2
Colorado 1 Real Salt Lake 0.
Chivas USA 3 New England 2

Dillon Serna, one of the young players Mastroeni has been giving a chance, set up Deshorn Brown, last season's revelation up front, for the only goal in the second half.

"From the first day," says Mastroeni, who has been running the Rapids in preseason, "what I've said is that it's about the team. We've played every game with a mixed group. And I feel it is important that we build a team, and not simply a starting 11 or first 18. Obviously, when the season starts, there are only 11 players on the field, but I think at that point everyone would have been given a great opportunity to show what they have and print their own name on the starting 11."

Mastroeni says he doesn't have a clue who'll be starting when the Colorado season starts on March 15. (Its March 9 game against San Jose was pushed back because of the Earthquakes' Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal match in March 11.)

"The great thing is that we have a lot of options and opportunities," he added. "That's why the spirit of the group is so important in preseason."

Chicago improved to 6-0-0 with a 2-0 win over host FC Tucson on goals by Alex and Bakary Soumare in the opening game of Saturday's tripleheader.

Juan Anangono, Patrick Nyarko and Jeff  Larentowicz all hit the woodwork for the Fire, which played the entire game with mostly projected starters. They tired in end of their first full game of preseason, forcing goalie Sean Johnson to make several saves on breakaways.

-- Mike Magee, the 2013 MLS MVP, will join the team next week. He had been in New York for the MLS media events. Grant Ward, the Tottenham academy player who had impressed during his two-week trial -- he scored from outside the area in the 2-1 win over Colorado on Wednesday -- returned to England. Austrian outside back Thomas Piermayr remains with the team.

Chivas USA is also unbeaten in preseason at 4-0-2 thanks to its 3-2 win over New England, rallying from 2-0 down on goals by Erick Torres, Carlos Alvarez and Mauro Rosales.



Feb. 22 in Tucson, Ariz.
FC Tucson 0 Chicago 2. Goals: Alex 19, Soumare 43.
FC Tucson -- Rodriguez; Duininck (Campbell 46), K.Smith (Carter 46), Reyna (Hamer 46), Rincon (Robinson 46); Kelly (Silveira 46), Montes (Bolden 46), Gracia (Romero 46), Acosta (Galbraith-Knapp 46), Rapella (Phillips 46); Antoniuk (Salticcia 46) (R.Smith 70).
Chicago -- Johnson; Palmer, Ianni, Soumare, Segares; Larentowicz; Nyarko, Rolfe, Alex, Duka; Anangono.

Feb. 22 in Tucson, Ariz.
Colorado 1 Real Salt Lake 0. Goal: Brown 69.
Colorado -- Irwin (Nasco, 70); Sturgis (Edward, 70), Wynne (Van De Casteele, 70), Moor (Watts, 70), Klute (Burch, 70); Jose Mari (Guzman, 68), LaBrocca (Hairston, 68); Chavez (Eloundou, 61), Hill (Powers, 61), Serna (Torres, 70); Brown (Buddle, 70).
Real Salt Lake -- Rimando (Fernandez, 62); Beltran (Balchan, 62), Schuler (Borchers, 46), Salcedo (Maund, 62), Wingert (Mansally, 62); Beckerman (Grossman, 62); Grabavoy (Stertzer, 62), Velasquez (Mulholland, 62); Morales (Mares, 62); Plata (Garcia, 62), Saborio (Sandoval, 60).

Feb. 22 in Tucson, Ariz.
Chivas USA 3 New England 2. Goals: Torres 25, Alvarez 54, Rosales 74; Nguyen 11, Bunbury 20.
New England -- Shuttleworth, Smith (Woodbine 63), Goncalves (Sundly 63), Soares (Barnes 58), Alston (Sanchez 63), Caldwell (DelPiccolo 63), Fagundez (Imbongo 63), Rowe (Kobayashi 31; Herivaux 79), Nguyen (Neumann 63), Mullins (Bengtson 63), Bunbury (Ogunjimi 46).
Chivas USA -- Jackson (Spangeuberg 46), Avila, Burling, Jean-Baptiste, Lochhead, Minda (Delgado 88), Fragoso (Alvarez 46), Rosales, McNamara, Fondy (Barrera 68), Torres (Tyrpak 84).


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