Nagamura, Espinoza, and Trujillo teach a lesson

During Thursday’s practice competition, veterans dominate

November 10, 2010 Practice Report: Nagamura

Photo Credit: 
Juan Miranda/Chivas USA

Thursday’s
Chivas USA training session at The Home Depot Center got competitive,
as the team split into groups of three for a crossing and finishing
drill that took up the entire practice. While everyone was having a good
time, one group of three emerged as clear winners, using their
experience to dominate everyone else.


Midfielders
Paulo Nagamura and Rodolfo ‘Fito’ Espinoza, together with defender
Mariano Trujillo, essentially taught a lesson to the rest of the team.
With pin-point crossing and effective finishing, the trio took an early
lead and never looked back.


“Me,
Mariano and Fito, we were very solid,” said Nagamura with a smile after
practice. “I think it was a fun drill to get into, and we did pretty
well.”


The
drill consisted of two players in the middle of the field playing the
ball to their third teammate, then making runs into the box to get on
the receiving end of the cross. The initial pass to the wide player had
to land in a small area, so a mistake either on that pass or the cross
resulted in a wasted chance.


Teams
were awarded one point for every goal, and two-point goals came if the
finish came before the cross hit the ground, either with a header or a
volley. After eight points, the teams switched sides and began crossing
with their left foot, but the ‘Paulinho’, ‘Fito’, and Mariano group was
so effective that only one other group even made it to the other side of
the field.


“I
don’t think there’s a secret [to our success],” said Nagamura. “We were
just accurate with our passes, and we finished well on our crosses. I
think we were solid because of that.”


A
large crowd of Chivas USA fans numbering into the hundreds was on the
sidelines, watching the practice from up close. Nagamura admitted that
the audience helped propel his group to victory.


“We knew that there were a lot of people watching, so we just tried to put on a display.”