Wednesday, August 12, 2009

US vs Mexico World Cup qualifier

GO USA!!! Go watch and cheer on the US!!!

Hillcrest Road has a roundup of all the watch parties and viewing methods. Thanks Kyle.

Wizards practice observations - 8/11/09

First off, a little news. I have heard that Ryan Raybould will be rejoining the Wizards. He will be taking over in the booth for Zoran Savic who is now an assistant coach.

Practice: These were from the second practice yesterday. Coach Vermes has been doing some two-a-days since he took over as head coach. I think he is continuing that at least for another week. Practices have had the feel of spring training since he took over so it makes sense.

He has been reconstructing the team in his image. He started the first week with focusing on defense and communication, this week the focus has moved more to the offense but he is still coaching a lot on the responsibilities and shape of the defense as well.

The scrimmages have been to create opportunities to show how he wants the team to attack, to defend, when to respond, how to counter, how to pressure as a team.

Every player that I have talked to have mentioned his intensity and anyone that ever saw him play know he is intense. The intensity is not what I see that I really like though, I do like it but it is not the main thing for me.

It seems to me that he is installing a philosophy, a team attitude. They defend as a team, they attack as a team, they do everything as a team. If someone decides to pressure up high, then the whole team needs to be in position to do that.

He has stressed being in the right spot. He stopped play in a scrimmage and yelled at the team for always holding/tugging shirts and shorts. "*&$%*&! If you were in the right spot you would not have to do that!!!" (Not an exact quote). Yes sometimes you grab a shirt, I am pretty sure I saw him do that once a few years ago but more importantly be in the right spot to defend.

I like the philosophy/attitude but is there enough time? Will the team respond? That remains to be seen but I like the direction.

Herculez Gomez trying to cool down in the heat...


Another shot of Herculez...


Chance Myers holding up Michael Harrington...


Harrington and Jonathan Leathers collide...


Kevin Hartman rolls to his feet after making a diving save on Josh Wolff...


Leathers marking the Zoltán...

Matt Besler interview 08/11/09

Talked with Matt yesterday. He had just finished the second practice for the day and it was pretty warm. Watch to see how his team mates messed with him. We talk about what Coach Vermes is doing with the team.



Matt Besler at practice yesterday...

Trialist from the Ivory Coast

There is a trialist in camp this week from the Ivory Coast. It has been reported on the Big Soccer forum that his name is Zahui Thierry. I heard them call him something like that so it sounds right. I will double check tomorrow.

Here is the trialist getting a drink...


Since he was described as diminutive, this shot give a little perspective on size...


He appeared to have some good ball skills. A lot of trialists have not gotten into scrimmages before but since Vermes is coach now I do not know if that means anything. He was put into the scrimmage in the second half, played in the middle and had a couple very nice passes. One of those sprung Josh in alone on Hartman. Kevin had to come out and back a very good save.