Friday, May 9, 2008

Practice at Rice-Eccles: Friday May 9, 2008

A couple of us made it to today’s practice at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Here are a few observations:

  • There was a new player participating. He has some good height. He appeared to be at least as tall as Borchers. Looked like they were trying him at outside back. I am pretty sure he is a foreigner, possibly from somewhere in Africa, but that is based on nothing other than my own questionable speculation. We didn’t really see enough to establish any kind of opinion, but he didn’t appear to be very nervous.

  • Talley and Joy were no where to be seen. Sturgis and Nimo jogged around the field.

  • After some basic warm-ups the players were divided into three teams of eight players each. Some members of the coaching staff were involved. They ran what at first appeared to be a somewhat complicated drill that might be difficult to describe. The area they played in had two smaller areas at each end and a dead zone in the middle. One team of eight players would begin making short passes within one of the small areas. Four players from another team would run in from the dead zone and begin trying to take the ball away. The remaining four players from that team stayed in the dead zone. After a given number of successful passes, I believe it was seven, they would attempt to cross it over the dead zone to the third team whose eight players were waiting in the other small area. If, instead, they were dispossessed they would have to immediately run to the other small area to prevent that team from completing seven consecutive passes. There was no doubt that the players were into it. There were a number of small, semi-lighthearted arguments over this and that which reminded me of the one sided view that players, coaches and fans always take during an actual match. Dema seemed to be somehow involved in most of these. It is really hard not to like him. I have no idea what rewards there are for these type of drills outside of making a case for playing time, but there was no lack of motivation at all.

  • They followed this up with a 9v9 half-field scrimmage with three teams again. Williams is looking very good right now. Findley still does not look sharp. Horst is very vocal, especially for a rookie, and appears to be coming along well. Kevin Reiman looked good working the ball down the flanks with his quick feet. Robin Fraser participated and missed a couple of open shots on goal. The rest of the coaching staff were happy to give him a hard time.

  • They finished up with some work on, what else, finishing. Cordoba looked especially good here today.

  • The overall mood of the practice was intense and competitive, yet somehow laid-back at the same time. It is encouraging to see the way this team practices. Can they start to translate this into results in the near future?


Just received some new information:

The outside back seen at practice today is a trialist named Yombe Williams, who was a teammate of David Horst's at Old Dominion and was drafted by Kansas City in the most recent SuperDraft. His look with RSL is independent of the Talley deal, and Garth/Jason will be looking at several options for the open roster spot.

Ian Joy did rest today because of the bone spur, but RSL hopes he will be back out there next week.