After Major League Soccer gave the green light for clubs to resume individual training sessions last week, the Colorado Rapids made sure they had the proper protocols in place and were officially back at it today.
Head Coach Robin Fraser said it “felt great. It almost felt like having a team training.” He added that “everyone looked good, everyone was ready. It was pretty challenging and it felt like guys were up for the challenge.”
Kei Kamara felt that the new procedures were “very professional. It’s a bit scary, to be honest, ‘cause it’s quarantine soccer... but it’s good. You walk in, get your temperature checked, get directed to the distance of where you have to go. Definitely different but it’s good that we’re taking the right steps because we want to be back on this grass.”
The players have been participating in Zoom calls and virtual training sessions, but Kamara explained that an organized training with the equipment and grass made such a difference vs. what they had been able to do at home.
Now that they’re able to work together in-person, at least to some extent, Fraser and the coaching staff’s goal is to make sure the individual training is “purposeful.” He explained that they “wanted to give them a program that we felt like would challenge them with some time constraints and some different constraints to push them a bit and they responded really well.”
While we don’t know when soccer games will be back, Fraser said it “feels like there is an endpoint to the individual training.” In a call with the media last week, he said how difficult it can be to train when you don’t know when your next game is, but it helps that things seem to be moving towards something. “I think it drives players, so our goal is just to continue to push them, keep their interest level high, and when we get the word that we can train together, we do.”
For now, everyone is working to stay positive. Kamara compared it to a long offseason, but thinks it’s helpful to at least be able to get in and work on individual skills. Keegan Rosenberry admitted that it’s been difficult, but said that it’s a “step in the right direction. I think we’re excited about that... and to get closer to the end-goal, which is playing games. We’re in support of whatever gets us there.”