After earning its third consecutive win on the road over the San Jose Earthquakes on July 11, D.C. United returned to the RFK training field in anticipation of Sunday’s clash with Chivas USA at RFK Stadium (8 p.m. EST, Comcast SportsNet). Fabián Espíndola participated in his first practice since suffering an MCL strain in the club’s 4-2 win over the Montreal Impact on June 11.
Practice began with a customary game of 5v2 keep away to get the players loose, before the team transitioned to dynamic stretching. The Black-and-Red then moved to a sprinting drill, where players began by tossing a medicine ball as high as possible, and with the ball in the air dashed 20 yards.
Espíndola had a lighter, individual workout on the other side of the field. In addition, the goalkeepers worked on separate drills with Goalkeeping Coach Preston Burpo.
The rest of the team split into two groups, with both performing a passing drill. Within the groups, the players were divided into two teams of five, with three neutral players. The objective was to pass the ball as many times as possible in the confined space, while the neutral players aided whichever team had possession.
Later, the squad was separated by offensive and defensive players. This time, the objective was for the six players on offense to execute a shot on goal against the four defending players, with a keeper in goal. Whenever the defense took control of the ball, they quickly cleared it into one of two small goals, placed in corners of the field, and received a point if the cleared ball landed in the net.
To finish Wednesday’s session, the team separated for an 11v11 intra squad scrimmage, distinguishing themselves with green pinnies and red jerseys. In two 15-minute halves, the red team scored the lone goal of the game. Players then cooled off with post-workout stretching, and afterward took practice shots on goal, with the keepers taking turns in goal.
D.C. United has one extra day to train this week, as the team plays host to Chivas USA on Sunday at 8:00 p.m..