With two weeks of voluntary individual workouts at the Minnesota United Training Ground at the National Sports Center under their belts, players are getting comfortable with a daily routine once again.
“I personally feel good,” said midfielder Jan Gregus. “It’s amazing to be back on the training field, finally. To see the boys. We’re not passing the ball to each other yet, but that will come soon as well.”
“It’s gratifying, obviously,” added forward Luis Amarilla, “to start over again with the hope that we can start to compete again and reward ourselves from the work we’ve put in during the quarantine.”
While the workouts remain isolated for the time being, the players have all found it to be a night and day difference from having to work out on their own, often in apartments or on concrete sidewalks and roads.
“Honestly, it’s difficult at home, with minimal space, the workouts aren’t as intense, so it’s much easier here,” said Amarilla. “The field is in great condition, it’s beautiful and it makes us happy.”
The workouts created by the training staff have mixed many different elements from fitness to touch, all in an effort to get players accustomed to the grind that all teams hope will begin again soon.
“Every session we’ve had so far was tough,” said Gregus. “With the ball, with the running. It’s kind of a combination of all. We try to combine all the things. Running and ball. Some dribbling. Juggling. It’s kind of intense, but it’s how it’s supposed to be.”
Anyone who follows soccer closely knows that many (but not all) players are assiduous about their personal grooming, often getting haircuts weekly before games, including on the road where players frequently know who to go to in other cities. They might be missing that even more than the workouts, but Gregus was hesitant to point the finger at anyone else when asked who most needs a good haircut.
“I am one of them,” he laughed. “Definitely. So I will not talk about others. I am the one in that group, for sure.”