When practice started the players were broken into three groups. Everyone that started against the Impact ran laps around the facility while the rest of the first team did individual drills and conditioning. Notable inclusions in the first team group were Mauro Diaz and Walker Zimmerman who both looked to be fully healthy, Jacori Hayes fresh off his loan to Tulsa, and academy member Brandon Terwege who has represented the US at the U20 level.
Maynor Figueroa was the only player missing from practice as he got a much needed day off after returning to play for Dallas only two after playing in the Gold Cup for Honduras. The third group of players were six academy kids, that stayed mostly on the fringes of practice and only got involved with the first team during the scrimmage.
The first team players who did not play on Saturday lined up and took part in a drill in which they would dribble past two dummies in a ten yard burst. The catch was that Marco Ferruzzi, FCD assistant coach who conducts most of the practice activities, encouraged each player to do it in a way that suited their skill set. Tesho Akindele would knock the ball around the dummy and race to the other side, while Diaz, would glide past the dummy with his close control. Even in this drill, ten yards at a time, it was up to the players to find their own path; “busca la forma.”
As practice continued the first team scrimmaged. Ferruzzi encouraged a high and disciplined back line and reminded Walker Hume more than once that even after possession was won, that a defenders job isn’t over. They must get themselves into the right position to kill any counter attack before it can occur.
The players capped off practice with their weekly team barbecue.