Pickens, on 'excused absence,' tries out at Stabaek

[MLS 2014 COUNTDOWN] Veteran Matt Pickens lost his starting job in goal for the Colorado Rapids to young Clint Irwin in 2013 and he's been giving permission to try out with Norwegian club Stabaek, coached by American Bob Bradley.

Pickens was in goal Saturday as Stabaek fell to Lillestrom, 2-1. Bradley had called Pickens into the January 2011 U.S. national team camp but he was never capped for the USA.

“We’ve been working with Matt to find a solution that is positive for both him and the club, so we’re allowing him to explore his options,” Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo told ColoradoRapids.com. “He’s been a great pro for this club, and we want to help him find a situation where he can play matches. We remain in contact with him and will continue working to find the best fit for him moving forward, whether it is here in Colorado or elsewhere.”

-- The Rapids tuned up for Sunday's Las Vegas Pro Soccer Challenge against Chivas USA with a 2-0 win over UNLV thanks to second-half goals by Martin Chavez and Vicente Sanchez.

GALAXY WINS BEFORE FRESNO SELLOUT. The LA Galaxy got goals from Marcelo Sarvas and Gyasi Zardes to beat the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1, before a crowd of 12,659 fans -- a sellout -- at Chukchansi Park in Fresno and win the first Central California Cup.

After both teams made mass lineup changes, Earthquakes academy defender Josh Morton, who is committed to Cal, scored to reduce the Galaxy's lead.

In the evening's first game, the PDL Fresno Fuego beats the Quakes' reserves, 2-1. Two days earlier, Galaxy II, the Galaxy's new USL PRO team, had made its debut with a 2-1 win over the Fuego.



MLS PRESEASON WEEK 3, Schedule:
Feb. 16 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Chivas USA vs. Colorado
Feb. 16 in Victoria, B.C.
Univ. of Victoria vs. Vancouve

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