By CALEB SONNELAND
Toronto FC rookie Luis Silva drew raves heading into the 2012 MLS Draft, and is beginning to show why as he establishes himself as a real threat for TFC, which posted a 5-1 victory against South Florida in pre-season MLS action.
The dynamic playmaker found himself on the score sheet early in the fifth minute as he slotted home a 1-on-1 opportunity with the USF keeper to make it 1-0. Just 10 minute later, Joao Plata, who would end the match with a goal himself, teed up Silva in the box for the latter to calmly stroke home to double his tally and Toronto's advantage.
Silva turned provider later in the half as he assisted on goals from Nick Soolsma and Terry Dunfield to wrap up a productive half for the former UC Santa Barbara man with two goals and two assists.
USF grabbed a consolation goal in the 78th minute and the final score rested at 5-1. Toronto will be in action again this Saturday at 6pm with Orlando City of the USL.
Here are some other preseason scores to get you thinking about MLS Opening Weekend:
JOHNSON NETS IN SOUNDERS ROMP
Seattle made headlines recently as it traded for Eddie Johnson while sending two fan favorites in Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle to the Montreal Impact. However, if Johnson's preseason debut goal is anything to go by, it could end up being good business.
The Sounders cruised to a 5-0 victory over Florida Gulf Coast University last Friday to improve to 3-0-2 in the 2012 preseason.
The former FC Dallas and Kansas City striker opened the scoring for Seattle in the 11th minute when he received the ball from defender Zach Scott. Johnson attacked the FGCU back line, performed a step-over inside the area before cooly tucking the ball away with his left foot for the 1-0 lead.
It wasn't all good news for Johnson, however, as the striker was removed from action after pulling up and holding his hamstring. Though post match reports and the player himself have indicated it was nothing more than a precautionary measure.
Other new-boy Christian SivebÃ¦k notched a goal of his own from the penalty spot, while David Estrada, an un-named trialist and a FGCU own goal would round off the victory for Seattle.
SAN JOSE TOPPLES CHICAGO
First-half strikes from Steven Lenhart and Brad Ring proved vital as the San Jose Earthquakes earned a comfortable 2-0 over the Chicago Fire on Saturday morning.
In only the 3rd minute, Lenhart was found in the area with a whipped cross from Ramiro Corrales which the striker nodded to the back post for the goal.
35 minutes and several chances later, the Earthquakes came knocking again, this time through Ring. Marvin Chavez curled in a corner for the on-rushing midfielder to bang home past Fire keeper Jay Nolly for the final 2-0 scoreline.
GOAL GLUT FOR HOUSTON OVER SMU
Add the Dynamo to the list of MLS sides who recorded blowout wins, as the MLS Cup finalists smashed four goals past Southern Methodist University last Saturday.
The scoring got started in the 23rd minute when Corey Ashe sent a cross into Supplemental Draft pick Brian Ownby, who headed the ball past SMU keeper, Juan Robles.
Will Bruin got his name on the score-sheet late in the first half after he capitalized on an error from the SMU defense. Bruin took the ball at the top of the SMU box and tucked it away for a 2-0 lead to Houston.
Emerson Sato, the Dynamo's Brazilian trialist, did himself a favor just one minute later in the 44th minute as he headed home from a Kofi Sarkodie cross.
Colin Rolfe finished matters in the 49th minute with a smashed a volley into the SMU net after his initial effort was blocked.
The Dynamo will be in action again on Monday morning against the Dynamo Academy in Houston.
WHITECAPS EDGE VIKES
A penalty from Davide Chumiento and a second-half goal from Matt Watson were enough to lift the Vancouver Whitecaps over the University of Victoria, the reigning Canadian Interuniversity Sport champions.
Nearly 3,000 spectators showed up to watch the first public game between a CIS and MLS team and were treated to a goal early after Darren Mattocks was felled in the penalty area. Chumiento tucked the ball away for the 1-0 lead.
Matt Watson pounced on a loose ball in the 52nd minute in the Vikes' box after some confusion to smash home what would become the key goal in the match.
The Vikes clawed a goal back in the 65th from the penalty spot after the Whitecaps Jun Marques Davidson hauled down Thomas Mallette. Davidson was shown his second yellow card and given his marching orders by the referee, leaving Vancouver a man down for 25 minutes.
Vancouver will take on the Montreal Impact this Friday at 8:00 PM ET.