You know that quote from Dumb and Dumber when Jeff Daniels says, “I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this,” as they unknowingly drive through the plains of Nebraska? We had a similar reaction upon waking up this morning to overcast skies, strong wind gusts and temperatures in the mid-40s.
We expected Georgia to be a little warmer than this.
Nevertheless, the players and staff bundled up and made the short drive over to Kennesaw State University, where the Revs conducted the first training session of their 11-day trip on Friday morning. While today’s session was conducted on an adjacent practice field, we all got a glimpse inside the KSU Soccer Stadium, home of the Atlanta Beat (WPS) and the site of upcoming matches against the Columbus Crew (March 9) and Houston Dynamo (March 13). The place looks pretty amazing.
We’re all looking forward to getting the games underway – beginning with Sunday’s match against the Crew in Chattanooga, Tenn. – but in the meantime, here are some notes from today’s session …
- The Atlanta Beat was just finishing up an early-morning training session as we arrived at the field, and the players crossed paths as we walked in and the Beat walked out. The recently-signed Cat Whitehill was a recognizable face, while many of the Revolution’s younger players (including rookies A.J. Soares and Stephen McCarthy) briefly caught up with players they knew in college.
- Nigerian midfielder Michael Augustine joined his new teammates for training just hours after stepping off a plane from Africa. The 18-year-old outside midfielder arrived in the Atlanta area at approximately 5 a.m. and was given the option to skip today’s workout as he adjusts to the time difference, but he chose to participate and took full part in the session. As expected, Augustine played right midfield during today’s full-field scrimmage.
- Former Winthrop University defender Otto Loewy trained with the Revolution today and will remain with the club throughout its stay in Kennesaw. Loewy – who is originally from Lawrenceville, Ga. – was invited to participate in the 2009 MLS Player Combine after a standout career at Winthrop, but was forced to miss the event because of injury. During today’s full-field scrimmage, Loewy started at right back but also spent time at center back.
- While every player in Revs camp was present and accounted for at today’s training session, four players remained on the sidelines while nursing injuries. Kevin Alston (L hamstring strain), Ousmane Dabo (R quad strain), Didier Domi (R knee soreness) and Kheli Dube (R ankle sprain) were all reluctant bystanders for today’s workout.
- With the cold temperatures in mind, the players were put through an extended warm-up this morning before getting into the meat of training. Once they did get into the serious ball-work, one of the most entertaining parts of today’s session was a 3-v-2 odd-man rush shooting drill. Kenny Mansally looked particularly dangerous, which was a good sign considering his recent recovery from a quad strain.
- As has become the norm in recent weeks, today’s session finished up with a full-field scrimmage. There were no goals scored, but Shalrie Joseph came the closest with a late drive off the outside of the right post following some link-up play with Ilija Stolica. Recently-signed Ryan Kinne displayed his versatility by playing on the left side of midfield, while Stephen McCarthy was strong in central midfield, winning just about every aerial challenge.
- The Revs will be back on the training field on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. as they gear up for Sunday’s meeting with the Columbus Crew.