Training Report: Day 1 of fitness testing

Andy Rose and Alex Caskey whizz by during Level 15 of the beep test. - Liviu Bird

Seattle Sounders FC training moved to the Virginia Mason Athletic Center for fitness testing on Friday.

RENTON — When media members were let into the fieldhouse at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sounders FC training, we saw exactly what we expected to see. Andy Rose and David Estrada were among the top three in the first heat of the beep test, battling with Alex Caskey for aerobic-fitness superiority.

Estrada dropped out, leaving Rose and Caskey to battle for the top spot, which Rose eventually took. SuperDraft pick Dylan Remick won the second heat of the test, and trialist Marvin Angulo took the third heat.

Goalkeepers Michael Gspurning, Marcus Hahnemann, Josh Ford and Doug Herrick did fitness work with goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra instead of running the beep test. It consisted mostly of quick footwork followed by diving.

After finishing the test, the field players moved to the opposite end of the field to join the goalkeepers for small-sided games. The games were played on the width of the field, with five players on each team.

"When you're now tired, and you're playing, the guys have to rely on their decision making because they can't rely on their legs," head coach Sigi Schmid said after training. "Sometimes, although they don't view it that way — they think the beep test is the only thing we're looking at — we're looking at what the soccer's like after the beep test because it gives us an indication of who can make good decisions."

To facilitate that, players were limited to two touches on the ball in their own half of the field and unlimited in the attacking half.

In another post-beep-test exercise, players played a 4 v 4 possession drill with one neutral player in a 30-yard by 30-yard space. This thinly veiled fitness exercise was also limited to two touches maximum per player.

Word is the 40-yard dash competition is on the menu tomorrow.

Notes:

  • Former Sounders Academy player Darwin Jones was once again present at training, although he did not participate. He mostly acted as a facilitator, retrieving balls and passing out training bibs.
  • After they finished playing in the small-sided games, Gspurning and Hahnemann worked on their distribution by kicking the ball back and forth across the width of the field. The video speaks for itself.
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