CASA GRANDE, Ariz. - Real Salt Lake hit the ground running on the opening day of its initial training camp of 2011, arriving Sunday at the Grande Sports World complex in Casa Grande, Ariz. in mid-afternoon and hitting the practice field en masse by 5:00 pm. The RSL coaching staff is apparently happy with how the team's offseason conditioning program progressed, as the squad went through a crisp 75-minute session, with all drills including work on the ball. After warming up with some stretching and 4-v-1 keep-away games to get the blood pumping, the Claret-and-Cobalt would move on to small-sided possession games before ending with some half-field 7-v-7 games to a trio of small goals.
To take in some of the sights from the first day of RSL's spring training camp, click on the photo gallery links below:
RSL Preseason Practice Notes - Day #1
- Only two members of the Claret-and-Cobalt were unable to train fully, but the prognosis for Alvaro Saborio and Chris Schuler is promosing for both. Saborio, who underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee just after the 2010 season, and Schuler, who broke a bone in his right foot during training last October, performed drills on the side on Sunday evening, and the team is hopeful that both could join the full squad for portions of training by the end of the 10-day camp.
- Sunday marked the first full RSL practice session for new assistant coach C.J. Brown, who is assuming the spot vacated by now-Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser. After arriving in Salt Lake City on Friday night, the ex-Chicago Fire defensive stalwart joined his new team at the Spence Eccles Field House for Saturday morning's fitness testing session and was part of the RSL travel party for the first time on Sunday for the trek south to Casa Grande.
- A handful of members from the RSL-Arizona Academy U-18 were thrown into the mix with the first-team during Sunday's training session, while another dozen or so players took in the session from the sideline. RSL plans to have select members of the RSL-Arizona program take part in practices throughout the stay, furthering the relationship between the organization's first-team and the groundbreaking youth development academy.