Practice Report: April 19

Team focused on attacking and maintaining defensive shape

Practice Report 4/19

Photo Credit: 
Gabe Dahl / Chivas USA

CARSON, Calif. (Tuesday, April 19, 2011) - After a morning film session, Chivas USA took to the practice field around 10:30 on Tuesday for their first training of the week. There were some special guests on practice field 6 as well, as Canoga Park’s El Tapatilo Soccer Club took in the practice.

After a lengthy warm-up, the team worked on a one-v-one attacking drill. Players used their skill to try to beat a rushing defender and get past him. This drill eventually evolved into a shooting and finishing competition where players slalomed through cones before trying to beat the keeper from 15 yards.

One of the highlights of the day was an incredible left-footed chip by rookie defender Zarek Valentin. Valentin spun through the slalom, cut to his left foot and floated a perfect lob over a backpedaling Sergio Arias. Zarek celebrated the ‘golazo’ by jokingly pulling his penny over his head and rushing towards the watching fans with a huge smile. Perhaps he was practicing a celebration for this weekend’s game?

Tristan Bowen and Blair Gavin trained on the side, rehabbing their injuries. Both players looked good, running smoothly, and appearing to be on their way back.

The team finished the session with a scrimmage game the coaches call “10 v 8”. The first team played against substitutes and reserves on an 80-yard field. But although the second team had a full ten players and goalkeeper, the first team only had 8 plus their goalie; they were playing without both of their forwards.

Assistant coach Carlos Llamosa, who actually played as a defender in the scrimmage, talked about the importance of the “10 v 8” drill.

“The point of that is to work on the defensive shape of our back eight,” said Llamosa. The [shorthanded] team has to maintain their shape defensively, because they’re two men down. So they have to deny penetration and stay together as a group. They try to keep the ball locked on one side, and as soon as they recover, they can score a point by playing a long ball to the other keeper.”