United in Florida: Day 1
D.C. United has escaped the cold and settled inLakewood Ranch, Fla. The Black-and-Red will call Florida home until February 2.
After arriving at Sarasota-Bradenton Internationalairport on Monday afternoon, the team got acquainted with the Premier SportsCampus and finished the day with a team dinner in the hotel.
Tuesday marked the first full day of the preseason camp in Florida and the beginning of two-a-day training sessions. Head Coach Ben Olsen did not waste any time with thefirst session, as players were put to the test with fitness exercises and fast-pacedpossession drills. The squad was then divided into three teams and training continued with small-sided matches and shooting drills. New acquisitions, Maicon Santos and Danny Cruz were energetic and fit in well with the team.
“We had a great morning session, it was good to move theball around and get our legs going for the beginning of preseason,” saidSantos. “We have a great team, great players, and I find myself enjoying theplays, as well as trying to get involved with other players [beyond former Toronto teammate DeRosario]. I hope to get fit as quickly as possible so I can help the team witheverything, on and off the field.”
The morning’s high intensity session ended with anafternoon session in the pool. Players performed a series of regeneration exercises in the water led by Head Strength Coach Pete Calabrese.
Midfielders Branko Boskovic and Perry Kitchen showed nosigns of their respective ACL tear and turf toe injuries, and were able toparticipate in every training exercise.
Offensive midfielder Chris Pontius (right tibia fracture),defender Ethan White (right PCL tear) and 2012 SuperDraft pick Nick DeLeon(right quad strain) continued their recovery with United’s athletic trainers.
Forward Stefan Jerome joined United’s preseason camp from SKSigma Olomouc of the Czech Republic's Gambrinus Liga. He has been playing thereon loan from Fort Lauderdale Strikers since 2010. The young forward has alsoplayed for the U.S. Men's National Team at the U-17 and U-20 levels. In 2009, he participated in the FIFAU-17 World Cup in Nigeria, where he played three matches and registered 202minutes on the pitch.
Preseason training will resume on Wednesday with a morningpractice at the Premier Sports Club and an afternoon weight lifting session atthe gym.