So, United leaves D.C. and the temperature rises to the mid-80s. Meanwhile, the club settles in Utah in advance of Saturday’s game and the thermometer tops off in the 40s? Brrr... Hello Salt Lake City.
Given the early morning and late afternoon flights available from the Nation’s Capital, Tom Soehn and his club headed west a day earlier than normal. The idea is to keep the players in a normal daily routine and, having endured a grueling match Wednesday night, United did not want to arrive late Friday night, a day before an important game. With a Thursday night arrival, the Black-and-Red can better acclimate and had an opportunity today to train on the turf at Rice-Eccles Stadium, a surface which has been difficult to tame the past couple of seasons. Given an unlikely circumstance which would see United returning this summer for a U.S. Open Cup fixture, this is the last time the club will play on the campus of the University of Utah.
Following a bit of running and stretching to get the legs going, today’s training session included a healthy dose of possession play and some finishing work. Despite the cold temperatures, the players and staff were taken by the stunning views of snow-covered mountains in the distance. This is definitely one of the most scenic cities in Major League Soccer. And with that, United will head into game day tomorrow, ready for predicted warmer weather, and planning for a result.
A few photos have been added to the Video & Pics section.
More updates coming tomorrow.