Practice Report: January 21, 2011

Team returns to the pitch for the first practice of the season

Pre-season Practice - Gallery Image 2 1/21/11

Photo Credit: 
Juan Miranda (Chivas USA)

Chivas USA returned to The Home Depot Center this morning for the team’s first training session of 2011.

Coach Robin Fraser began practice by addressing the team in the locker room before leading the way to practice field six. Once outside, the fitness-heavy practice was held in near perfect weather conditions. It was a beautiful sunny day in Carson with unseasonably warm temperatures for January.

Fitness coach Jim Liston led the team through a long warm-up before beginning the famous beep test. A long respected test of endurance, the beep test is fairly simple. It is a series of timed beeps – with less and less time between each beep – and the players have to run ten yards and back between the beeps. As soon as they don’t make it back to the line before the beep, they’re out. This gives coaches a great baseline of endurance to measure the players.

Veteran defender Jimmy Conrad showed he has been working hard in the offseason, lasting longest in the first running, along with rookie Jon Okafor. Others showing well in the first group were veterans Ante Jazic and Alejandro Moreno.

In the second running, Blair Gavin and Ben Zemanski lasted the longest, continuing well after everyone else had dropped out. Gavin ultimately persevered, and even did a few solitary runs to cheers and encouragement from his teammates. The second-year midfielder showed incredible determination, and looked eager to prove that he has fully recovered from the injuries that sidelined him last season.

Once everyone recovered from the beep test, the coaches put the players through a few basic drill circuits, working on dribbling in tight spaces, passing and ball control.

After practice, Coach Fraser spoke about the value of training in his philosophy, stressing especially how important these preseason sessions are.

"I know what I think is necessary to be successful," said Fraser. "I want to create a culture that is cultivated every single day in training, and from that foundation we can go on to build things."

Speaking to the collection of twenty or so reporters present today, Fraser continued to stress that his style of play begins in practice. He explained that players must first learn to train correctly before they can play correctly.