Most people in D.C., Maryland and Virginia were still asleep when the Black-and-Red arrived to RFK Stadium Sunday morning for a bus to the airport. Aside from physicals and fitness tests last week, today is the day the real preseason begins.
By 8:40 a.m. on Sunday, D.C. United players and staff were already wheels-up for Bradenton, Florida, which will serve somewhat of an "RFK-South" for the next 13 days. Head Coach Ben Olsen snapped a few photos with fans on the flight, while most rested up for what will be an action filled couple of weeks.
The first order of business upon arriving was stripping off the track suits and trading them for t-shirts and shorts as the weather was in the 70’s and was a warm respite from the brisk D.C. morning.
After getting gear from the training and equipment room, the Black-and-Red squad was off to the IMG Academy for its first training session of the trip. The session consisted of a very thorough warm-up to loosen up the legs after a two-hour flight. The team then went into passing drills to make sure everyone was all on the same page and shake out any off-season rust. Then the team went into spirited and energetic small-sided games before ending the session under a setting Florida sun.
The day was long, but it was great to see everybody back and see the new faces in camp this year. Rafael, D.C. United’s new young DP, participated fully in the first training of the year. Check back here for more preseason information throughout the next 12-days as United inches toward its first game of the year.