The practice consisted of a light workout followed by general drills. Coach Rongen split the team up into three groups and rotated them through various exercise stations.
For the most part the players looked OK and sharp. They certainly need to start working more to get into a "game" rhythm. United will travel this week to Florida where they will play a couple of informal scrimmages against the Miami Fusion and an ALL Star central American team. After that they will return to the area and will resume training at George Mason University in preparation for the upcoming CONCACAF Champions Cup.
In attendance where pretty much all of the regular United players. The only notable absences from today’s training were Mark Simpson, who just had his wisdom teeth removed so understandably he was taking a little time off and Ben Olsen, who we all know is having a good time in the Forest.
AJ Wood was sporting a menacing mask through out the drills. He had surgery recently to repair some sinus problems he suffered after breaking his nose. The mask is simply worn as a precaution. No word for how long he will have to wear it. Convey is still wearing a bandage on his wrist ad should be fully recovered from his injury soon.
Diaz Arce was a little hard to spot. For a while I thought he was holding out due to the League’s request to re-negotiate his contract, but it turns out he’s got so many blonde streaks that I didn’t recognize him. Whatever is going on does not seem to be affecting him right now, I think. He seemed quick and responsive in the drills.
El "Chino" looked sharp as well. He is Peruvian all the way. The walk and mannerisms are all there, trust me on this one.
Seeing the team today together for the first time in a while made me a little anxious. Can’t wait for next season. Enough with football and Christmas already, bring on MLS 2001!
It will be very exciting to watch this team next year. Seeing all the young faces running around the field today was good, Otero, Salas, Convey, El Chino and Albright should bring the team a good energy level next season. All the newfound experience Ben is picking up in England along with the solid experience base that was on the pitch today should give United an Edge.
Let’s just hope that Rongen and Yallop can inspire and motivate these guys enough and put together a winning squad that makes United what it Used to be, and not what it was last year.