G – Rimando, McGinty, Henson (D3 NoVA Royals)
D – Pope, Reyes
M – Etcheverry, Convey, Olsen, Williams, Alegria, Mapp, Villegas
F – Lassiter, Moreno, Curtis
Prideaux at home in KC. Nelsen worked out with weights, but not at practice. McKinley in FL. Quintinilla in El Salvador. Zambrano in Columbia. Namoff given time off after A-League Championship in Chicago. Alavanja in Indiana.
Two foreign players invited to work out in practice. Local players from Sierra Leon, Abdul and Albert (last name unknown), will practice with the team for a couple of days – no, nothing to it.
What will you be working on over the off-season?
“The off-season? . . . Relaxing . . . . Nothing . . . I try to think about the game as little as possible for the first couple of weeks. Once we’re back into it the usual for goalkeepers is a lot of footwork, a lot of handling, and then you get into the pre-season and that’s where you best react.”
Are you looking for some off-season training at a club?
“I don’t know. We’ll see what falls into my hands. I’d like to, then again I don’t – I don’t want to think about the game for a little while. Come early December, maybe I’ll go somewhere to work on my game a little. If it comes, it comes. That’s fine.”
Any truth to the rumor that you might be going to the EPL on loan?
“Keep spreading that rumor! (laugh) . . . Really? No, I haven’t heard that one yet.”
What will you be concentrating on in the off-season?
“Just next season, pretty much. I’ve got other stuff going on with the under 20’s, and this. We’ve got a lot of stuff going . . . it’s not like a typical off-season. So, I’m just focusing on getting ready for next season mainly.”
“I’ve got goals for myself to come in and be ready, and to be healthy. I definitely want to come in healthy next year.”
Any particular part of your game you want to improve?
“Finishing and being able to stay fit.”
Can you give any details about training or loan in England during the off-season?
“I don’t think they’re trying to get me there. They (Sunderland) invited me over, so I’m going to head on over for some training. It’s not something that DC wants me to do, I want to do it.”
It’s being done through your agent?
“Right after Thanksgiving. So I’m going to finish all this stuff here with the Under 20’s and this team, and head in over there.”
What is the ‘game plan’ for the team over the next couple of months?
“We’re going to get into some strength training here pretty quickly – try to build some strength. There were a few too many muscle injuries this year. When we change over the coaching staff were going to have the ‘Strength and Conditioning’ Coach much more active than he has in the past.”
“We’re going to go possibly until the early of November, then give the guys a break. The ones in town will be working with him. The others will get a program to do on their own wherever they go. A lot want to go and train with teams, such as ‘Chino’ Alegria going back to Peru. Jaime may possibly go back to Bolivia. I know Benny would like to go to back to Europe. We’ve got quite a few players involved with the Under 20’s qualifying, which goes to the middle of November. And also there’s a Project 40 trip until early December. Then Santino has an opportunity to possibly to go overseas and train. We may look into that for Bobby Convey too. We’ve got a lot of different irons in the fire with the existing players.”
“As Ray stated there will probably be some changes in the squad going into next year.”
“The off-season is important we think in just changing the mind set of where we were as the 10th place team. It just wasn’t acceptable. It happens here on the practice field.”
Do you try to maintain what you have until the New Year, or start making those mental changes now? If you’re going to have squad changes wouldn’t building a different mentality need to be done again if new players are coming into the squad?
“Definitely you’re looking to implement some changes just in the mind set. I know it’s difficult without the head coach here, but I do quite a bit for Ray anyways.”
“Tactically, the activities we did today stress once we’re up by a goal, such as the Dallas game, to hold the goal. And the just mind set of that you can put into training sessions. It’s not perfect, but we’ll do a lot of things like that, just tweaking the nature of the training to try get the thought process that when we’re up, we’ve got to stay up. Far too many times we gave up a lead this year, and then we’re chasing our tails. There’s no reason for that. Tactically we need to be sound enough, just like Chicago the other night when they got their 2-1 lead against New England, it didn’t ever look like the outcome was in doubt because of the seasoned pros they had – Nowak, Stoitchov – they just killed off the game. We’ve got to become more savvy in that respect. Yeah, we’ll take our second goal, we’ll go up two goals if it’s possible. But the key thing is that we have our goal, and we need to be able to sit on that lead. The good teams anywhere in the world are capable of doing that.”
If personnel changes are going to be made, do you think they’ll be made immediately, or wait until the beginning of next year – possible as late as the start of the season?
“The timing of it I’m not sure. I think Ray is a big believer that when you bring in ‘class’ into the team, even if you bring it in a bit late, it’s not going to make a big difference. I know when we made major changes with the Fusion, it was the middle of February before we got everybody in, and we still had a 6-week period before the season. That’s the best-case scenario. It would be great to have these players in right now for training and to get them acclimated, but that’s just not the timing of the way the league works.”
”Ray’s out there scouring Europe looking to see if there are players to make DC United a better team.”