training picture in the rain chris pontius and nick deleon
Rebecca Payne /

Training Notes: August 12, 2014

Mother Nature was rather uncooperative Tuesday as D.C. United returned to the RFK training field to begin preparing for its game against the Colorado Rapids (Sunday, Aug. 17, 8 p.m. EST, CSN).

In a steady downpour, practice began with a typical game of 5v2 to get loose, before transitioning to dynamic stretching and agility drills. The team then moved to a simple one-two passing drill, where the players worked on give-and-go’s and quick, clean touches. On the far side of the field, goalkeepers Bill Hamid and Joe Willis were training with Goalkeeping Coach Preston Burpo.

Next, the players were separated in to two teams of five for a possession-focused drill. Using two equally sized grids of the field, the players distinguished themselves with blue and red pinnies, leaving Chris Pontius and Nana Attakora to play the neutral role in grey. The objective was to pass the ball three times before sending it across to the opposite section for a point. Pontius and Attakora aided whichever team had possession.

Following the drill, the neutral players joined a side, allowing for a standard game of 6v6 to a goal. In addition to playing with two small goals, the guys were constricted to a maximum of three touches.

Once the ‘keepers were warm, they joined the squad for the remainder of practice. Half the pitch was set up for another 6v6 scrimmage to goal, with  Willis in one net for red and Hamid in the other for blue. After three games with five-minute halves, the blue side ultimately prevailed, outscoring its opponent 3-2. The first two matches ended in draws, 2-2 and 0-0, respectively. However, the blue team stole the lone win in the end, 1-0.


Training Notes presented by Orthopaedic Center.