A little snow wasn’t going to get in the way for the Union on Tuesday, as the team hit the training facility at YSC for the fifth day in a row. While much of the northeast was under intense snow fall, only a few flurries hit the Philly area, allowing the Union to further prepare for the 2015 season.
But the sentiment amongst the players was simple: Monday can’t get here soon enough. The team is just six days away from flying down to Clearwater, Fla. for Spring Training, but who’s counting?
Snow days? pic.twitter.com/1dU8dYiFym— Ethan White (@EthanWhite15) January 27, 2015
But until then, there’s plenty of work to be done. That continued Tuesday, the second day of an increased workload for Jim Curtin’s squad, which was again tested physically for the bulk of the 90-minute practice. It included 9v9 matches and a rotating group set aside for fitness with strength and conditioning coach Kevin Miller. Still, the players look as fit as can be despite being so early in the preseason, as highlighted by Union beat writer Matt De George.
Far away from the snow in Malabo, the capital city of Equatorial Guinea, Union goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi led Algeria to a 2-0 win over Senegal in Group C of the 2015 African Cup of Nations. The win gave Algeria six points in group stage, which advanced the Fennecs into the quarterfinals. They'll play the winner of a gridlocked Group D on Sunday, Feb. 1, which will be determined tomorrow.
As Curtin admitted after practice, it was a surprise to actually get into the facility Tuesday given the prior weather forecasts. The team took full advantage of it.
Also taking advantage of the practice was fourth round SuperDraft pick Raymond Lee, who showed some aerial prowess during this drill:
Absent from practice Tuesday were academy members Sebastian Elney and Sean Wilson. Currently playing for the U18s, they were called up to the U.S. Men’s National Team by head coach Javier Perez and will miss the rest of the week. The team will play in the 2015 Copa Chivas Tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico from Jan. 30 to Feb. 7 if they can reach the final.
Also, in case you missed it yesterday, Sheanon Williams took some time after practice to talk with Union beat writer Dave Zeitlin. He wants to win, no questions asked.
With no further weather advisories this week, the team will go on as scheduled tomorrow and Thursday at YSC. Fans interested in dropping in on the action can attend Friday for the annual open practice, held from 12-2 p.m.
Contact Philadelphia Union writer Chris Winkler at firstname.lastname@example.org