The practice was split so that the two teams that will be playing an inter-squad game tonight could practice together and practice preparing for a game.
The morning session team looks like they will line up:
Nielsen (Horwath backup keeper)
Harrington - Conrad - Besler - Espinoza
Myers - Diop - Auvray - Smith
Arnaud - Bunbury
In both sessions the coaches split up the defensive half and the offensive half players. The goalies, the defenders and a midfielder practiced moving as a unit, getting the ball up field and some tactics. Vermes and Zavagnin coached the defensive half.
The other midfielders and forwards worked on receiving the ball, movement and developing shooting opportunities. Zambrano and Savic coached the offensive group each time.
They then did a small side game with 4 small goals and then a scrimmage with full size goals.
This was my first look at Smith, Nielsen and Diop.
Smith is quick. Not just running speed either, it looks like he thinks and acts quick as well. In the small scrimmage he was creative and dangerous. This is an early observation based on one practice but I can certainly see why they like him.
Nielsen looks like a competent keeper. In the keeper practice he stopped shots and seemed to be athletically capable. The scrimmage did not test him heavily but he did make a very good reaction save on a point blank shot. He also was saved by a defender when he was too far off the line once.
Nielsen during keeper practice...
Diop has size and ability. I did not see enough of him to make a real judgment.
Only my second look at Auvray and Bunbury.
Bunbury is coming off an injury but showed speed and a nose for the goal in practice.
Auvray is calm and smart on the ball, professional and quick. I am very much looking forward to seeing him in a real game.
Auvray cutting with the ball...
Davy running with the ball...
Smith almost chipping Nielsen from short range in a scrimmage...