An absolutely beautiful morning for practice yesterday that got started at about 10:30, the latest a practice has started since I’ve been going out here. It was a long practice too as it was nearly 1 before all was said and done.
The team, coaching staff and pretty much anyone out at practice yesterday was in a great mood. Maybe it was the great weather, the Rangers winning game 4 or the grind of the regular season finally coming to an end. A full house of media out there too…
The practice consisted of a long warmup session before playing 11v11 short-field scrimmage. Generally on Wednesdays this is the time where you pretty much see what the lineup is for the weekend, but this time Hyndman gave nothing away as the teams mixed starters and reserves. The only goal I can remember came from Milton Rodriguez, though the play of the 15 minute scrimmage was a pinpoint Brek Shea cross to the head of Dax that was tipped off the bar by Dario Sala.
After the 15 minutes was up, the fields were lengthened and the game opened up a bit. Ruben Luna, though not scoring a goal, was the player to watch as he showcased his strength holding off George John while retaining possession and finding Avila at the top of the box for a great chance.
-Everyone but Kyle Davies and Edson Edward trained fully today. For the first time in months, every major contributor was on the field Wednesday morning. Kevin Hartman looked extremely solid and those watching for the first time would have had no clue he was returning from an injury. Would be shocked if he didn’t start this weekend returning home to LA…
–Ruben Luna is taking a step forward. We saw it in the pre-season when Luna was arguably the team’s most impressive player, and he’s finally starting to get his confidence back to the stages when he was scoring in buckets for the Academy. Forwards live off this confidence and I think not having the Academy games to score goals may have set him back a bit. He showcased all his talents in this practice, showing incredible strength to hold off George John at one point, using his quick feet to juke through three defenders at another and nearly setting up a few goals as well. I can’t wait to see how this kid looks after pre-season 2011….a lot more on the juniors in the quotes.
Jump for more observations and quotes from Schellas, Kevin Hartman, Eric Alexander and Zach Loyd