Training Notes: April 8, 2014
It was finally nice soccer weather today. It wasn’t raining, and it wasn’t snowing. The sun was hiding, and there was a light breeze.
After two days off, D.C. United got back on its grind, starting with the usual many-v-2. As is normally the case, there was an abundance of hootin’ and hollerin’. Warm up was pretty standard, featuring some agilities, sprints and volleys to get everyone some touches on the ball.
Then, moving into a passing drill, it looked effortless. Each group was given a passing pattern to complete, and the players found each others’ feet without hesitating, they were always in support of one another and the communication was constant.
Keeping the energy high, the Black-and-Red changed gears into a possession drill in which the goal was to complete passes through gates. Aiming to move the ball with speed and purpose to an open gate with a teammate available to receive the pass, the players were sharp and deliberate in their passing and movement.
Two goals were then set up with about 30 yards of space to play between them. With three teams in the rotation, one was off to the side juggling, running or doing abs, while the other two battled, and I mean battled. The energy and focus was on point today. The players were vocal and demanded more out of their teammates. With goals coming from Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon, Conor Doyle and Alex Caskey to name a few, scoring was plenty. But, so were great defensive efforts, with Steven Birnbaum’s level of play standing out.
With a win under their belts, there was definitely a sense of confidence today—confidence and determination. United’s fight for the Atlantic Cup with New York begins on Saturday, and no one is taking that lightly. There is clear improvement in D.C. United’s play, and with three more training sessions before New York, the Black-and-Red will be ready.