A Mickey Mouse Cup / Disney Soccer Classic Preview
What could make Disney World even better than Gay Days?
No, not more princesses…you got it, pro soccer. More specifically, MLS teams playing in a pre-season tournament. Instead of heading for the Carolina Challenge Cup like we have for the past four seasons, the Reds are heading to Florida for a third straight year for the 2012 Disney World Pro Soccer Classic.
It’s a bigger tournament than last year, where there will be eight teams competing instead of the four last time out. Five other MLS teams (Vancouver, Montreal, Dallas, Houston and KC), one USL Pro side (Orlando City) and one side from the Swedish Allsvenskan (BK Hacken) will join the Reds in a two-pool round-robin tournament: four teams to a pool, as follows:
Pool A: Houston, Montreal, Vancouver, KC
Pool B: Dallas, Hacken, Orlando City, TORONTO
This will be perhaps the first (and potentially, last) opportunity for the rookies and the newcomers to impress. For one, we will get to see Geovanny Caicedo, Miguel Aceval (new signings), Aaron Maund (Superdraft) and Michael Green (from the Supplemental Draft in action for the same time — 33 players are looking for jobs in the starting roster come March 7th.
Here is Toronto’s full lineup in Orlando…
GK – Chad Bush, Stefan Frei, Milos Kocic, Quillan Roberts
DF – Miguel Aceval, Geovanny Caicedo, Adrian Cann, Richard Eckersley, Ty Harden, Doneil Henry, Aaron Maund, Ashtone Morgan, Tyler Pasher
MF – Eric Avila, Elbekay Bouchiba, Efrain Burgos, Jr., Sergio Camargo, Jay Chapman, Oscar Cordon, Julian de Guzman, Terry Dunfield, Torsten Frings, Michael Green, Reggie Lambe, Luis Silva, Matt Stinson
FW – Jordan Hamilton, Ryan Johnson, Danny Koevermans, Keith Makubuya, Nick Soolsma, Joao Plata, Stefan Vukovic
And of course, the schedule:
25 February: Toronto vs. Orlando (6pm ET)
28 February: Toronto vs. Hacken (6pm ET)
1 March: Toronto vs. Dallas (6pm ET)
The match to watch for is definitely against Orlando City. No offense, Dallas — but playing against a lower league opposition will give us much more insight into how the team is gelling. If we destroy them, then we may be looking good. Letting them cut it too close, and something could be off in the chemistry. The bonus match will be against BK Hacken, who are a mid-table side from the 24th best league in UEFA.
Plus, this could be the first opportunity for Brian Ching to face his old team, barring of course if a deal sending him back to Houston is not already done before the first ball is kicked in anger, of course. Either way, it’ll be good to see how a calm offseason roster wise will do for the Reds…even if this is a Mickey Mouse Cup.
(P.S. — all matches will be on MLSsoccer.com. Whew!)