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Preseason Tour Continues Tonight

FC Parma Training Session & Press Conference Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

After kicking off their three-game tour of the Dominican Republic with a 1-0 win over Atlántico FC, The Cosmos take on 2015 Liga Dominicana de Fútbol champions Atlético Pantoja at 7pm EST tonight.

And, the hosts have announced that the game will be available to steam on both their Facebook page and their official website (though at the time of writing, the official website was already experiencing issues...) We’ll just have to wait and see if tonight’s viewing will be any improvement upon the spotty stream and somewhat unusual camera angle from Tuesday night...

What we do know is that Gio Savarese will certainly be experimenting widely with personnel, and like Tuesday night will be running the rule over a number of potential newcomers. As well as notable recent signings Amauri and Menjivar, tuesday’s game featured six trialists.

AC Milan v Parma FC - Serie A
Mario Marchionni marking his namesake, Mario Balotelli, while with Parma in 2013
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

One of those was a former Juventus teammate of Amauri, Mario Marchionni, who most recently appeared for Latina in Italy’s Serie B, but has also had spells in Serie A with Parma, Fiorentina and Sampdoria. Capped six times by the Italian national team, Marchionni made his name as a winger. But at age 36, he may be better suited to a more central role, a position already congested with the likes of Szetela, Guarra and Calvillo all bidding for starting berths.

Also expected to feature are Ukrainian-American winger Eugene Starikov, journeyman Argentinian forward Emannuel Ledesma, NASL veteran Kalif Alhassan and former Portland Timber defender Taylor Peay.

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Portland Timbers
Defender Taylor Peay with the Timbers last year
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Starikov is perhaps one of the more intriguing trailists. As well as potentially providing creativity up-top, he also fits with Rocco Commisso’s bigger picture strategy of engaging the local Brooklyn market, in this case the soccer inspired Ukrainian community. Taylor Peay also provides something the team is lacking at present - competition for Ochieng and Mendes at center back. Meanwhile Ledesma remains something of an enigma, having made sporadic appearances for 13 teams in England, Italy and Greece over a 9 year career. Lastly, Khalif Alhassan, having been a key part of the Portland Timbers’ inaugural MLS season, has the unenviable distinction of playing the last two seasons in the NASL with teams that have since left the league. A trend we’re all hoping will end here.