What a pleasure it is to step out onto a grass field out of doors in March south of the Mason-Dixon Line. This is the way soccer should be played, we just do not have the advantage of cooperative weather yet up in New England. However, it is part of our fabric, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. That said, feeling the warm sunshine and a southerly breeze is a nice preview of the weather we northerners are due sooner or later.
Wednesday’s training session was short and light, with three new faces added to the new surroundings. Joseph Niouky mixed things up with his new teammates today, while Gareth Williams and Andres Raad joined the Revs in a trialist capacity – for at least a week. A third trialist, Marko Perovic, is scheduled to join tomorrow’s training session.
After our JetBlue flight touched down at 10 a.m., the team was shuttled to our lodgings in Durham where everyone had about an hour to get settled in before lunch and a late afternoon training session. The very generous and hospitable Carolina RailHawks have donated time and practice fields to the Revolution for the duration of our stay.
The bus emptied and players strapped up their boots on the sideline before engaging in a few minutes of Monkey in the Middle. Everyone then took a few laps followed by stretching. Soon, Assistant Coach Stephen Myles had players divide into groups of three with two balls for a close control, quick reaction drill. This exercise got the blood flowing, which really seemed to be the aim of today’s session: get out on the pitch, get the blood flowing and stay sharp.
The next drill seemed to involve all 20 balls that are brought out to practice every day. The squad split the sidelines and practiced some freestyle dribble and passing, which morphed into long, arching cross-field passes. The feeling was loose, but collected as the new teammate and trialists got a feel for one another.
Finally, the last portion of practice was dedicated to a rousing game of Butts Up, which I thought may be tied to some sort lighthearted hazing ritual. But, I was wrong. Veterans and young guys alike were seen between the pipes with their derrieres facing out, taking on the business end of some laser strikes. Stay tuned to an upcoming blog post for pics and more details on Wednesday’s Butts Up festivities.
Thursday will no doubt be back to work with a morning session. Wednesday was a good day for the smooth travel and light training session as well as stirring the pot with new guys. Tomorrow’s session calls for lunch pails and hard hats.