2022 Preseason



Morning Training

Today’s session was no lighter than the first. In fact, it may have actually been more demanding as players began to face off with one another for the first time.

Many of the drills the team went through were about one-on-ones and winning your individual battle, something that is required heavily in Matias Almeyda’s system. The first drill saw one player weave through cones before playing a pass to Almeyda. After receiving a return pass, they would send a long ball to their opponent and sprint to meet them. The two players would then engage in a one-on-one, with the attacking player attempting to maintain possession through the endline. Among the fiercest individual matchups were Cade Cowell vs. Oskar Agren and Jeremy Ebobisse vs. Paul Marie. Agren later faced off against fellow first-round SuperDraft pick Ousseni Bouda in a clash of rookies.

At the conclusion of that drill, the players moved to the far side of the field for another. This one required they complete two volley passes and a header before dribbling 40 yards towards Almeyda. Once they reach him, they give up the ball and Almeyda can choose to send a leading pass to an available player on his left or right. The player who began the drill now needs to sprint back and attempt to prevent the attacker from scoring. The drill simulates a turnover at pace and a necessity to recover quickly.

The team wrapped up the session with full-field runs and stretching.

Afternoon Training

The team returned in the afternoon and it appeared, at least from the sidelines, to be less strenuous than previous sessions. Some light possession drills were followed by rotating rondos, where two defenders would try and steal the ball from a group of four. Upon winning the ball, they would run to a second group and later a third.

The training session was concluded with a half-field scrimmage that featured full-sized goals (and goalkeepers) as well as small goals in all four corners. Will Richmond scored the first two goals of the game, one with his right foot and one with his left. Jan Gregus and Paul Marie then pulled the match level with a pair of long-range passes to a small goal. Bouda (x2) and Cowell also scored.