The Rapids beat the snow this morning and were able to hold a session. It was another physical display but you could tell that the 2 and 3 a day trainings are starting to get to the players. This is where the real the quality players start to shine through. The players that can handle the rigors of the pro game are rising to the top and those that can’t are starting to show.
- Akpan was getting to the end of crosses and getting himself into good positions.
- Ross LaBauex played center mid again and looked comfortable. For a guy who was getting knocked for not having a good first touch he looked very comfortable on the ball the last few times I’ve watched him.
- Devon Hodges was out there today. He’s definitely a little stocky. He didn’t show too much today but I’m sure he’s still getting acclimated.
- Omar Cummings looked sharp.
- Colombian defender Oscar Murillo trained today. He has good size and is pretty athletic. He was marking Cummings and was able to chase him down a few times. Murillo moved up on corner kicks as well. You can tell the elevation was getting to Murillo but he looked ok otherwise.
- Wells Thompson looked good again. On one play he cut through the midfield and ripped a brilliant shot with his left foot that just missed the upper angle.
- Mehdi looked sharp. He was the most confident player on the ball in the scrimmage.
- Danny Earls is quick but made a few bad decisions with the ball. They are looking at him as an outside back and outside mid.
- Diz and Schunk didn’t show too much today. They played hard but you have to wonder if we have a viable option should Casey make the national team this summer.
- Pat Noonan played a little center mid today.
- Nick LaBrocca looked really good. He’s a smart player and covers a lot of ground.
- The Rapids travel to Arizona this weekend.
- Pablo Mastroeni did an interview this morning, check it out here: 2The Deuce
A few words with Oscar Murillo:
I caught Oscar Murillo after training. In the best Spanish I could conjure up I asked him a few questions. Here is the jist of what he said:
He is very happy to be here and is excited about playing in MLS. When Murillo’s representative informed him that a team from MLS was interested in him, he jumped at the opportunity
He said he watched quite a few MLS games last year and that MLS gets good media coverage in Colombia. He sees MLS as a more physical league and more tactical than Colombian soccer. He describes himself as a fast, athletic center back that is good in the air.
Right now his main focus is to learn the system, get along with his new teammates, and earn a starting spot. He wants to help the team however he can.
The coaches were demanding a little more of the players today. The players needed to clean things up on both sides of the ball. The play on the wings, in particular, was a little sloppy. Most of the highlights came from Mehdi or LaBrocca being on the ball down the middle. I think the better players are finally starting show. Guys like LaBrocca, Cummings, Moor, and Mehdi, just to name a few, look like a different class.
It looked like a few players were running out of steam. Legs looked a little heavier and the overall energy wasn’t as high as last week. Hopefully this snow will give them a little break to re-focus and rest up before going to Arizona.