New England Soccer Today

Preseason training notes 2/7

New England Soccer Today’s Brian O’Connell caught up with the New England Revolution for Monday’s preseason training session and humbly submits the following observations from this morning’s session.

-As opposed to last Monday’s teeth-chatteringly cold session, the Field House was noticably warmer and a jacket, mittens, and scarf were happily rendered unnecessary upon arrival.

– The team began the session with the usual stretching exercises and jogs before splitting into groups of four for passing drills.

– After passing drills were completed, the nets were brought in for odd-man attacking drills. Ilija Stolica, Stephen McCarthy, and Steve Perry all pounded some impressive shots through.

– For the final hour of practice, the team was split into groups of three for 7 v 7 scrimmages. Marko Perovic, who donned the neutral blue pinnie, played the attacker role for all three groups. Meanwhile, Shalrie Joseph looked like his old self directing his group in the middle, while Matt Reis wasn’t shy to talk up his teammates. Aside from the veterans, notable performances came from McCarthy, Perry and Andrew Sousa.

– In a brief moment of despair, Sousa went in hard on Chris Tierney before the veteran collapsed in pain. Fearing the worst (not to mention the possible repercussions), Sousa immediately ran back to Tierney’s side to apologize. After a few tense seconds, Tierney got up, Sousa reiterated his apologies, which Tierney accepted, and two were seemingly A-OK about the situation.

– Goalkeeper Clint Irwin joined the club for training and donned jersey #24 for the session. The 6-3 trialist from Elon University looked good as he stopped a number of challenging shots and appeared poised between the pipes.

– Although he appeared to be in midseason form during the scrimmages, Shalrie Joseph declined to speak to the media after training.

– writer Gus Martins raised an interesting topic with manager Steve Nicol after practice. With fines in the National Football League for dangerous hits on the rise, some NFL players (including Pittburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and retired Denver Broncos offensive lineman Mark Schlereth) have publicly asserted that the league is trying to turn football into soccer, with the assertion that soccer is a “soft” sport.

Nicol, with his usual candor, replied, “If I were to start talking about the NFL…why would you listen to me? I don’t know anything about the NFL. It’s the same with them. They don’t know what they’re talking about. Tell them what they should do is to go over to Europe and play rugby with no pads or helmets and (then) we’ll see how big and hard and strong they are. ”

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