After standing through the brisk winter weather in Columbus Wednesday, hanging out at practice today was pleasant to say the least.Ê To say the most it was downright enjoyable.
TR wasn’t at practice.ÊA family member is ill and he is back in Holland.Ê Best wishes go out to him and his family.
- Etcheverry in Bolivia
- Albright was out of practice sick.
- Olsen is somewhere between LA and Nottingham Forest, either injured or healthy.Ê Nobody seemsto really know.
- Pope and ‘Bobbinho’ are out in LA for the USA v. Brazil game.Ê There is some expectation that Convey will see time during the game.
- Talley is still hampered by the groin strain.Ê It is day to day, up and down for him.Ê Kicking isn’t a problem, but constant running puts a great deal of strain on him.
- The most troubling is Moreno.ÊHe is back in Bolivia.Ê Hisclean-up surgery on his knee was said to be similar to what Pope went throughlast year.Ê As everyone remembers, while Eddie P. came back fairly quickly, it wasn’t at 100%.Ê Moreno is progressing "slower than expected" but it isintentional by the team.Ê The mainconcern of the team is to bring him back to 100% and not force him to play at 90% health or not in game shape. The final prognosis is that he is expected back sometime in April – maybe for the first game, maybe not.
- Also, RDA wasn’t at practice.ÊApparently the same day that Seattle had its earthquake, El Sal suffered a tremor also.Ê He hasn’t heard from hisfamily and is going back home to check things out.
- Added to the team today was a kid from American Univ.Ê His first name is either Brian or Ryan.
- Also with the team on a part-time basis as an assistant/scoutis Todd West.Ê West is the current head coach of American Univ.
Curt Onalfo led the practice today.Ê It started with the standard warm-ups that moved into 7 v. 7 keep-away between teams on a 1/2 field.Ê There were three iterations of this starting with two-touch, then one-touch then unlimited touch.Ê The one thing that strikes me is that the touch on the ball forthe most part is significantly better than last year’s similar games.Ê There seems to be better anticipation by the passing player leading others to open spaces.ÊI’m particularly impressed with Namoff’s ability.Ê Also, ‘Chino’ holds the ball at his feetbetter than most.Ê Combined with his ‘grass-cutter’ passes, it makes him an outstanding ball holding midfielder.
Then the team went into a small side scrimmage of 7 v. 7 w/GKs.Ê The only rule was that in thedefensive end only two touches were allowed.ÊFor the most part it was a strong defensive affair on both sides (seebelow for teams).Ê One beautiful shot, with an equally beautiful save came off an out of the air one timer by Nelsenand a lay-out save by Hannig to push it around the far post.Ê At half time you saw both sides huddlingaround and discussing tactics and such.ÊIn particular you saw Nelsen talking with Salas (which apparently worked- see below) and J.Cooks talking with Norkus – lots of hand motions talkingabout potential runs etc.Ê Almostscarily reminiscent of J. Wolff’s run during the US v. Mexico game, after receiving a pass from Nelsen, Salas took the ball into the far corner.Ê As Goodlett posted against him, Salas squeezed around Goodlett along the back line, centered the ball to an onrushing Nelsen who slotted it home not giving Ammann any chance at stopping it.
The warm down consisted of the team breaking into threegroups, finishing, free kicks and long ball passing.Ê I was closest to the free kick that included Nelsen, Denton and Kamler.Ê None of them have the ability to dip the ball up and over a wall.ÊHowever, the accuracy was particularly good from the latter two.
You wanted uniform numbers?ÊHere’s what they are using at the moment:
Conteh – 20
Nelsen – 7
Namoff – 26
Denton – 5
Watson – 4
Ziadie – 19 – BTW pronounced "Zay-dee"
Norkus – 27
Salas – 28
M.Cooks – 33
Goodlett – 24
Kamler – 8
Alegria – 13
J.Cooks – 6
Simpson – 2
Ammann – 1