TEMPE, Ariz. – The LA Galaxy officially kicked off their 10-day Arizona training camp this morning under crystal clear skies at the training fields at Arizona State University.
After flying in on Sunday afternoon, the team went through an extra long warmup with Strength and Conditioning Coach Ben Yauss to help the players get their legs back under them. For more than 20 minutes the guys went through a series of runs, stretches and focused body movements designed to get everyone ready for the upcoming session.
The squad was then broken up into three teams of seven for multiple games of possession, giving everyone their first touches of the ball before getting down to the day’s primary work.
After playing a half dozen four minute games of possession, the team moved directly to a series of 8v5 attacking drills that featured two forwards, four midfielders and two outside backs attacking against four defenders and one holding midfielder, as well as a goalkeeper. Quick passes and movement was used to help create a number of 2 on 1 advantages for the attacking team. Perhaps nobody took better advantage of those opportunities than Juninho, who undoubtedly scored the goal of the day with a bending drive that started outside Brian Perk’s right post before curling in and dipping under the crossbar, much to the delight of nearly everyone.
WATCH: Training Update from Arizona: Day 1
The session ended with 25 minutes of game play, with the team placing goals at both 18-yard boxes and playing 8v8 inside the field of play and each team having one attacking player on either flank and Paolo Cardozo playing centrally as a neutral, meaning that he gave an extra attacker to which ever team was in possession. Juan Pablo Angel scored a pair of goals in the game, with Chad Barrett also hitting one for the team in blue, while Michael Stephens scored from long range for the opposition.
After returning to the hotel for lunch, the players had about an hour (which most used to watch the first half of Chelsea vs. Fulham match on ESPN2) before getting back into the vans and heading over to the state-of-the-art Athlete’s Performance facility in Phoenix. There, Yauss continued the players’ fitness work with three stations of lifts and workouts focused on the core muscles. The guys then had roughly 45 minutes of free time in the gym to work on anything that they desired, with most electing to either jump into the pool or one of hot or cold plunges on offer, providing the perfect end to the day’s training.
Be sure to check back here throughout the club’s trip to Arizona for all the latest news and information from Tempe.
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