Practice Report: April 14

Final preparation at HDC before Vancouver

Practice Report: 4/14

Photo Credit: 
Gabe Dahl / Chivas USA

CARSON, Calif. (Thursday, April 14, 2011) - On Thursday morning Chivas USA had their last full training of the week at the Home Depot Center. The team travels to Vancouver on Friday, and plays the Whitecaps Saturday afternoon at 4pm.

After a lengthy warm-up, strength and conditioning coach Jim Liston put the team through a fun test of speed and reflexes. In groups of four, players ran in place along a line. As soon as one player took off, the ten-yard sprint was on. If the player who first broke didn’t win the race, Liston assigned them between 30 and 90 pushups. The players got very competitive, and a spirited tone was set for the rest of practice.

The team then broke up into groups, with forwards working on finishing, and everyone else working on crossing, defending and possession drills.

The last 45 minutes of practice was very relaxed. Most of the players competed in soccer-tennis, and even the coaches got involved. Jim Liston proudly announced after practice that his team won 6 of 7 games.

The loudest sounds from training came from the other side of the pitch however, specifically from goalkeeper Zach Thornton. Led by coach Greg Vanney. 5 or 6 midfielders went through a shooting contest, attempting to finish crosses of varying height and speed sent in by the coach. The players’ competitive spirits really came out, and Thornton’s trash talking reached impressive levels. It was all in good fun, and the players were really enjoying themselves. After the contest, Thornton jokingly thanked each shooter, greeting them with a formal handshake and thanking them for “getting my confidence up”.