Watch film. Analyze. Watch more film. Discuss.
That was the morning for the Philadelphia Union, which prior to training broke down the game tape of Saturday’s season opener against Sporting Kansas City.
The session lasted over an hour and a few members of the technical staff noted the focus was how to improve on the errors so the club can consistently produce a solid effort over the long haul – starting with Colorado on Saturday.
The Rapids are coming off a loss in its season opener as well, but as assistant coach Rob Vartughian explained, today’s session had nothing to do this weekend’s opponent.
“Our biggest focus is on ourselves,” Vartughian said. “I think in an honest moment we were happy with what we did for the first 35-40 minutes of the game and we are building on those positives. But we made a lot of mistakes in the second part of the game and we reviewed those today and are going to work on correcting them.”
One positive mentioned by fellow assistant Jim Curtin is that the competition in practice is fierce and that there is little luxury for players to believe their spot is safe. In turn, the competition continues to prove to the coaching staff that their current rundown is loaded with depth – and versatility.
“I thought the intensity was very high today,” said Curtin. “It was a tough session and today and Wednesday will really be the bulk of our physical work…the message is that guys are competing for spots, and there are guys that have had very good games against Kansas City and there are guys that maybe didn’t have their best, so there is going to be competition, which is good. We have a deep team and we’re going to have guys that step up.”
When asked about the nature of the film session, Vartughian noted it's an opportunity to show them both the good and the bad from the game and talk through ways to correct errors.
“Look, they’re the ones that have to go out and play the game,” Vartughian said. We want there to be some back and forth. We want to see if they see the same things we do and have them involved in the process of how to fix the mistakes.”
Oh and if you were wondering how bad defender Jeff Parke was shook up in Saturday’s match after receiving an elbow in the 53rd minute, he still bears the shiner over his left eye as proof. Parke laughed it off post-practice and said simply: “It’s not that bad, I don’t need makeup or anything.”
Some of the guys, including coach Hack had to stick around for a future feature our video department is working on. Without giving anything away, the film was shot by our very own Carl Mandell, Nick Rotondi and Owen Murphy, the same guys who created this feature commemorating the Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club:
Also a bit of thanks to our fans that have really grown fond of the new retro jersey, which we were told in less than a week of it being unveiled at last Wednesday's “Meet the Team” event, the jersey has already outsold the all-white kit that was rolled out in 2011.
Couple of reminders…
Don’t forget on game days to follow our new Twitter feed, @TheUMatchday for the latest updates over the course of a match. It ran for the first time at the home opener, and we already have over 500 followers, but wanted to remind the 36,000-plus that follow our main account that @TheUMatchday will be the main source for the latest gameday updates.
Also, we unveiled our Chick-Fil-A four packs today which you can grab here for select home matches. And late this afternoon we announced our annual friendly against developmental affiliate Reading United will be on Sunday, June 7. Reduced priced pre-ordered tickets will be available until May 31 by clicking here. Tickets purchased after May 31 will sell for $15.
Got a question or comment? Leave it below. Catch you all tomorrow…
Contact Union writer Kerith Gabriel at email@example.com