SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Real Salt Lake held a spirited one-hour and fifteen-minute training session on Monday, practicing at Costa Rica’s Estadio Nacional ahead of Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League Group 2 opener against C.S. Herediano.
The session was relatively low key, with the team playing possession-oriented games, participating in an offense-v-defense half field drill and working on finishing. Every player trained fully and – most importantly – everyone made it through unscathed.
Estadio Nacional’s grass surface is in decent shape – it’s certainly much better than the turf field RSL played on at Deportivo Saprissa in the Semifinals of the 2010-2011 CCL – with only a few bumpy patches on it. The stadium itself is one of the finest in Central America, featuring 35,000 seats, two majestic arched structures on both sides and solid sightlines throughout.
The team went through the media ringer following training, with head coach Jason Kreis, forwards Alvaro Saborio and Fabian Espindola, midfielders Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales and defender Jamison Olave all talking to the Costa Rican press. As expected, Saborio drew the majority of the attention, with the Costa Rican international fielding by far the most questions of any RSL player or coach.
The squad is now back at the hotel. They’ll relax for the rest of the afternoon, heading to a team meeting this evening before eating dinner as a group around 7 p.m. local time. They’ll rest up some more after that, saving their energy ahead of tomorrow’s big match.