After visiting BMO Field and topping Toronto FC 2-1 on July 5, D.C. United returned to the RFK training field in preparation for its west coast trip to face the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium (11 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network).
Looking to keep its top spot in the Eastern Conference, the demeanor was all business for the Black-and-Red as they started practice with a routine game of 5v2. Shortly after, the team performed a dynamic stretching warm-up before transitioning into agility exercises. Players were split into three lines, using agility ladders and cones. Keeping a steady pace, the team maneuvered through each before finishing out with a short jog to a cone.
Next, the field players were split in to two groups of ten for a possession-focused drill. Using two equally sized sections of the field, the players distinguished themselves with blue and yellow pinnies while four players were left to play the neutral role. Five players from each team went to one section, while the remaining players went to the other. The objective, five consecutive passes before sending the ball across to the opposite section before they could advance to goal. After the drill, the team saw its first well-deserved water break of the day.
Once the keepers were warmed up, having run their own drills with Goalkeeping Coach Preston Burpo, they joined the team for the remainder of practice. The field was set up for a 7 v. 7 scrimmage on half the pitch, with Joe Willis in one net and Andrew Dykstra in the other. In the first match, the black team scored the lone goal. Then, in the second match, the yellow team improved its play and won 1-0 courtesy of a Kyle Porter goal. In the final game, the black team earned a 2-1 victory.