Tuesday marked the last day of training before the New England Revolution leaves for a 12-day trip to North Carolina and the last day of training in the Dana-Farber Field House (weather permitting). Changes are afoot in the Revolution camp and the feeling of anticipation was palpable at today’s training session. There is anticipation for the travel to a warmer climate for important outdoor training, anticipation for three scrimmages the team can use as a preseason barometer and there is anticipation for the kickoff of the 2010 MLS season only three weeks away.
Following jog and stretch, the Revs started out with a crisp session of the square passing drill, pitting players in four corners, each 20 yards apart. Edgaras Jankauskas participated for the second consecutive day, showing that he is well on his way back from the quad injury. Next, the squad broke into half-field 5 vs. 5 + 1 (neutral). Jankauskas served as the neutral, another encouraging sign for the Lithuanian. The drill split the team into three groups of five, with the third group participating in cardio exercises on the sideline under the direction of Head Coach Steve Nicol.
The final 20 minutes of training were dedicated to full-field 7 vs. 7 + 1 (neutral). Shalrie Joseph served as the neutral player here with Jankauskas heading to the sidelines. The spirited scrimmage produced action quickly when Pat Phelan took a pass from Zack Schilawski and drove an attempt off the crossbar for a near miss. Kheli Dube then scored two consecutive goals for his side. The first tally came when Mike Videira dribbled down the center of the field and found Dube cutting towards the net. Dube followed just a few minutes later when the opposition turned the ball over in its own end and Dube took advantage and scored in an unsettled situation.
Kenny Mansally tried to cut into the two-goal deficit with a 12-yard attempt, but was stopped cold by Bobby Shuttleworth on a sprawling save. Nico Colaluca closed the scoring and the scrimmage when he dribbled down the left side, beat his defender and sneaked a low shot into the far corner. The whistle blew and training was suspended until 3 p.m. Wednesday in Cary, N.C.
On the injury front, Gabriel Badilla jogged on the elliptical, Darrius Barnes continued to nurse a quad with calisthenics from the sideline and Matt Reis showed up for some bike work. Starting tomorrow, all rostered players will embark on an important Carolina tour aimed at outdoor work and team building. The trip will be a true test of where the Revs stand in their preseason training and how they stack up against other competition. The excursion will also be the first time the entire team travels together and will serve as a bonding experience for all involved.