Champions League under the sun
The day before game day. It often is a lighter day than usual, so that players preserve their energy levels. It was the case today, with about ten players getting an ultrasound scan to check their fitness levels almost exactly a month after the start of training camp. Training is scheduled for 5:15pm, notably to prepare for an evening game, but also a bit because of that UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie between Olympique Lyonnais and Barcelona.
On the Al Lang Stadium pitch, as the sun was setting behind our hotel just on the other side of the street, players worked on possession drills as a group, but divided in three teams, while goalkeeper coach Rémy Vercoutre pushed his pupils to new heights, as he does every day. Then, the three teams of six players played mini games on a field about a quarter of the normal size, which always yields spectacular situations, especially with the rule of two touches maximum.
Otherwise, it was the changing of the guard for Impact Media and the first training session your humble servant attended since the first part of camp, in Sarasota. We can tell you that in comparison with what was going on two weeks ago, the speed of execution and the precision of the players are much, much closer to what is required for a regular season game. It already bodes very well for the first game of the season, on Saturday, March 2 at 10pm EST against the San Jose Earthquakes, on TVA Sports.