Training Notes: June 23, 2014

With a focus on possession, DCU gets back to work

Following a brief break after the team’s 1-0 defeat to Rochester on June 17 in the U.S. Open Cup, D.C. United returned to the RFK training field for the first time in a week to prepare for its upcoming matchup against the Western Conference-leading Seattle Sounders (7 p.m. EST, Comcast SportsNet).

It was business as usual for the Black-and-Red, beginning practice with a standard game of 5v2 keep away. Shortly after, the team worked on a combination of dynamic stretching and ball work.

Training focused heavily on possession, passing and communication. Initially, the squad was split into two groups of eleven, with the drills focusing on one-twos and long passes.

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the field, Goalkeeping Coach Preston Burpo worked with keepers Bill Hamid, Joe Willis and Andrew Dykstra on handling crosses and close-range shots.

Following its first passing drill, the team was separated into two teams of ten, distinguishing themselves with black jerseys and blue pinnies with two neutral players in grey. The two teams were confined to half the length of a regular pitch, with the primary objective of the exercise to pass the ball as many times as possible, while the other team applied constant pressure. The neutral players aided whichever team had possession.

Each team had strong spells of possession during three five-minute intervals, constantly communicating and anticipating where each player would be to direct the next pass. After the exercise, the team cooled down and went into post-workout stretching. 

It's a battle of the firsts this weekend, with DCU holding the top spot in the East and Seattle dominating the West.  Catch all the action at RFK and Have a Beer on Us!

Training Notes presented by Orthopaedic Center.