Hit the jump for a report from Tuesday's training session.
Conditions: Not a cloud in the sky, but there was a crisp wind whirling about. Nice if you're playing, but if you're standing around off to the side? Not so much.
Theme of the day: Don't get hurt. There weren't a lot of bodies today at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. With the reserve game in Chicago taking away a total of thirteen senior team players, Tuesday's session provided a more intimate feel for those in attendance.
Training: First, the personnel. Despite Jon Kempin and Jimmy Nielsen being in Chicago, there were still four goalkeepers today. Eric Kronberg, obviously, and three guests. One of the guests was Taylor Vinnage, current 'keeper at Rockhurst University and Sporting KC Juniors product.
|"Campeones!" - Collin|
--Training began with a lively bit of attacking and finishing. Each player started at one of two goals, had a go 1v1 against the goalkeeper, then had to recover quickly across the grid to close down and defend an attacker that had left going the opposite direction. Some quality finishes, particularly from Kamara, Bravo and Stojcev.
--After the blood was flowing a bit, the group split into three teams of four, and would remain in those groups for the rest of the session. The next 20 minutes or so were spent on a possession game in a small grid with one of the teams trying to win the ball from the other two. Teams were as follows:
Green: Espinoza, Arnaud, Bunbury, Cesar
Orange: Harrington, Bravo, Kamara, Collin
Blue: Zusi, Diop, Stojcev, Auvray
--The day finished with some round-robin tournament play to big goals. In the end, after much deliberation on goal differential from Aurelien Collin, it was the Orange team who were crowned champions. As you can tell from the photo, it was a moment they will savor for years to come.