Tuesday's post-practice scrum with the media was a little meatier than normal so I have plenty of leftovers for stuff that won't make the MLSsoccer.com articles. Here's a few of the nuggets:
You spent more time with the reserve group on Tuesday, was that by plan and who impressed you?
If I get too focused with just the first team players then sometimes they might feel ignored and they need to know that I'm always paying attention so today my intent was to spend as much time as I could with their training sessions so we established two different sessions. Both gave us the same demands they wanted.
Some of the guys that I've really been impressed with was Kellyn Acosta being one. For being a young player 17 years of age, he's really playing above his age playing with a lot of maturity, self-confidence and he's going to be a player that I think is going to learn how to play and adjust to his body.
I like Bradlee, he's doing some good things in the attack, but again it's a different level and we're asking him to hold the ball a little bit better, making his decisions a little bit quicker. London Woodbery, another academy player, is showing some good qualities. He needs to just adjust a little bit more to the speed of the game and closing people down.
Then of course Kyle Zobeck, the goalkeeper that's in, we like him quite a bit. He's doing extremely well and as we all know Richard is going to be gone so much this year with the U20's it may behoove us to keep a fourth keeper right now so we're trying to make that decision. Kyle right now is doing enough for us to consider.
Cameron Brown is adjusting, TJ Nelson from SMU is doing well and we have Cam Wilder from Kentucky who is working extremely hard. I like what I'm seeing as far as their energy and effort but time will tell if they're quite good enough to make the roster but it's great to see them come out work hard and have a smile on their face.
It's going well, they're working extremely hard. The game is the best teacher and the best observer, that's when we evaluate the players. In exercises they're doing well, there's a smile on their face and theyre working hard. We will continue to look for players, I still think that we're probably one player away from having our full team so we're trying to make that happen shortly.
If you sell Brek you have a lot of money to work with, is that a way to help balance out the roster even more?
I don't know if we have a lot of money to work with but we have more money to work with. But let's put it this way, Yes. Exactly. We've been aggressive to do a wish list of players, but this was before the Brek thing even came around, if we can get this player we'd love to get this player or hey this player, unfortauntely some of those players have been traded off to other teams and we've lost that opportunity. I think as I said to the players today, I think we'll be ok whatever happens because we do have a list of players we want to aggressively go after.
Ryan Hollingshead is back in the states as of today, has the Brek stuff put talking to him aside for a few days?
It has put Hollingshead aside. We know where he is and we’ll be making contact with him. Of course if we do lose Brek this would be a perfect player and that’s why we drafted him because he is a very good player. It may be a place for him but whatever happens that’s his calling and his decision. We can only control what we’ve got in our locker room right now.
Is the trip to Cancun at the beginning of next week when you really start to ramp up the intensity of training or has it already happened?
Last week was an excellent week for us in training, we backed off of just throwing so much fitness and hard work into the training where we picked up a lot of injuries. Instead we gauged it on heart monitors and zones meeting with our strength coach and trainer to discuss what our training is going to be and get on the same page.
We went through last week with no injuries, wow in pre-season that’s unheard of. So we’re raising the level this week and already we’ve got a tight hamstring and a little ankle knock with Blas. With more intensity and shorter space and more combative exercises to demand fitness, you risk that…What we have to do is make sure that when we go into the season and start our first game, that their fitness level will match the demands of the game. Whatever fitness they have they can match the demands of the game and our fitness level will not be inferior to an opposing team where we end up losing because they’re more fit than us. Even though it’s a short pre-season we have to prepare ourselves for the long term.