CARSON, Calif.— After taking the weekend off to recover from an intense week of training last week, the team returned to the pitch Monday under clear skies at The Home Dept Center where much of the focus was placed on preparation for Wednesday night’s match against Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente in San Diego.
The guys opened training with warm-ups, light jogging and stretching to get loose led by Strength and Conditioning Coach Ben Yauss. Head Coach Bruce Arena then broke up the team into two groups of eleven for a full-field game during which he emphasized defending and spacing to get the team ready for the upcoming match. The game was played at a slower pace to allow the guys to focus on playing balls in behind the backline and letting the defense focus on moving as a group. After about 10 minutes of that, the team split into groups of ten for a 4 v 4 possession drill with two neutral players helping out whichever team had the ball.
The session concluded with a series of half-field 7 v 7 games with three teams of seven, one team rotating on after each of the five games. First-round draft pick Paolo Cardozo impressed with a shot to beat Donovan Ricketts, with other noteworthy goals coming from Michael Stephens, Juan Pablo Angel, and Chad Barrett.
At the conclusion of training, the team was given 25 minutes of free time, with Angel, Barrett, Landon Donovan, Todd Dunivant, Miguel Lopez, Frankie Hejduk, and Bryan Jordan choosing to work on crossing and finishing before heading inside to put in time in the weight room. Donovan and Angel demonstrated the on-field partnership they have already begun to develop with Angel finishing multiple crosses from Donovan.
The squad will be back on the field tomorrow before heading South on the I-5 Wednesday for their 7 p.m. match at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego. BUY TICKETS