The Loons officially kicked off their preseason with their first training sessions this week. While taking safety precautions — including following CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines about testing, social distancing and masking —the Loons are not letting anything get in the way of getting ready for what is sure to be another irregular but hopefully slowly improving regular season.
“It’s nice to be back working again,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “It seems like it’s been an eternity, the offseason this year. Didn’t think we’d still be going through wearing these [shows mask], but hey, it’s nice to be back.”
During the Loons first training session of the preseason, the returning players seemed to pick up right where they left off during a successful playoff run that got them to the Western Conference Finals last year. The new faces on the pitch are doing their best to fit into what’s already there.
“Being a new player to the team, I think, is so much about getting some chemistry and camaraderie with the guys,” said newcomer Wil Trapp. “Obviously with social distancing, it’s a little interesting, but I think as a group it’s really important about getting fit, getting healthy, getting ready, but also building those little connections that will take us forward.”
The players have been pushing one another on and off the field to do better and fix their mistakes, demonstrating the competitiveness and drive they all share.
“I think it says a lot about what this group wants,” said midfielder Ethan Finlay. “I was really pleased and happy with the guys that showed up early and made a commitment to be here and be ready to go.”
While most players are already getting to it, some players arrived a couple of days late and are in the process of wrapping up their individual training sessions before joining the group for training due to travel in the offseason. “We’re still a few numbers short, got one or two left to come in, but it’s been a good opening morning for sure,” said Adrian Heath on the first day of training.
As week one comes to an end, the Loons are slowly coming together as we look ahead to the 2021 season.