Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wizards practice: 02-16-2009

Went by practice on Monday. When I got there they were scrimmaging 7v7 with the following three teams.

Green team: Lopez, Wolff, Jewsbury, Conrad, Besler, Arnaud, Hartman
Orange team: Morsink, Souter, Hohlbein, Espinoza, Thompson, Leathers, Pardo
Blue team: Kraus, Watson, Beres, Pizarro, Marquess, Zusi, Brown

There may have been some changing around of a couple people but I think this was how they were for most of the practice.

Some standouts were Lopez for the green team and Morsink for the orange team. Morsink scored two beautiful goals in the span of about 4 minutes or so. He had a couple other good shots that went a little high. Both of his goals would have been from about 20-25 yards out. Lopez was just all over the place for his team, creating, scoring and covering defense. I know he saved at least one goal off the back post.

Morsink and Souter closing down Pizzaro...


Besler and Zusi while Captain Conrad observes...


Whichever team's goalie was not in the scrimmage would get worked out by Coach Pascarella until there turn came back up...


Hmmm....


While the green team should have been dominate (more natural starters), the orange team was pretty much their equal. While the blue team did seem to get dominated by both of the other teams, they did get some stellar moments as well. Kraus or Beres (could not see which at the time) got a nice hard shot past Pardo.


Trialist Chris Brown pulls down a cross...


But this one got by...


Brown being pressured into a turnover by Lopez...


Coach Kerry coaching...


I think this may have hurt a bit...

After the team practice, Coach Pascarella worked all the keepers out. Lots of drills that appeared to be working on response time. With this drill, a lot of shots were deflected to the side...


or over the goal.

But some got by...

And some were barely stopped.

While I have a hard time comparing what Coach Pascarella is doing this year to what Coach Tenney was doing at the same point last season, I definately get the vibe that he is working the keepers harder.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Peter Vermes interview 02-13-2009 Part 1

part 1 - Santiago Hirsig, Beres and players in general

Here are the questions I asked...

Santiago – was he one of the players you were working on when we last talked?
How did it come about, was it a fast moving deal, looked like he was going to sign with Barcelona in Ecuador?
Where do you see him slotting into the lineup?
Seems like a lot of players can pla multiple positions, nice problem to have but still a problem figuring out where to slot everyone in at?
Hirsig as a center-mid, attacking or defending?
How is Beres (the trialist from Hungary) doing?
How about the rookies?
Any other players on the immediate horizon? No, but you never know.
With the number of people in camp and the new roster size, tough decisions coming up?
Hartman starting and Kronberg hurt, is Pardo slotted to be the backup?


Peter Vermes interview 02-13-2009 Part 2

Part 2 - More Hirsig

Did having Claudio here help in Santiago Hirsig wanting to come here?
Did you send Claudio out recruiting?
Something about Argentinean players that you like or that fits MLS well?
With Claudio being here, will that help Hirsig’s transition?
Do you look at Santiago as being a “Big Signing’ or another piece of the puzzle?
Were you in competition with Barcelona SC of Ecuador to get Hirsig?


Peter Vermes interview 02-13-2009 part3

Part 3 - USA

Here are some of the questions:

How about the US – Mexico game? Helps Coach Bradley having a pretty good son?
How does it feel for you, being the previous generation that started the US down the road of being a good side?
Are you traveling to Mexico with the team and are you taking any US National team gear with you?





Update: Had wrong interview linked. Fixed now. Also need to note that it was Mike's idea to ask about taking US National team gear to Mexico...

Wizards practice: 02-13-2009

I went to practice last Friday. Sorry this post took so long...
Team doing the warm-up run...

A small side game while goalies and field players practice set pieces in background...


Full size scrimmages towards end of practice. Both rookies looked pretty good to me. Here Besler moves the ball up field...


Zusi and Espinoza had some good battles...


New Fitness/Goalie coach John Pascarella puts the keepers through lots of drills. Hartman about to jump for a ball...
Pardo clearing a hurdle before making a save...

Kevin clearing the ball over the bar...
Hartman deflecting ball wide while Pardo watches...
Wizards leadership was out to watch also...


Trialist Ferenc Béres walking off after practice...
Graham Zusi being interview by MLSnet...


I got an interview late Friday with Peter, I will have that posted later today.
More photos in practice gallery