Pfeffer Journal: Midfielder returns back to practice after three days in Colorado

Day 3: Wednesday, July 29

Today was my last day in Denver for All-Star Week – it was a busy and enjoyable day.

To start the day off, I joined the MLS WORKS Day of Service at Skyline Park. I was able to meet and speak with some volunteers for the day, sign some autographs, and take a few pictures.

Afterwards, I headed back to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the EA Sports FIFA Skills Challenge. I was matched up against my good friend, Erik Palmer-Brown of Sporting KC. We had to go through three on-field skill challenges that replicated the challenges found in the FIFA 2015 video game.

The first challenge consisted of receiving balls from one of four sides, and passing the balls into a number of small goals from all different angles.

The second challenge was a shooting exercise. The idea was to either shoot the ball through one of three holes in the wall blocking the goal, or curve the ball around the wall and into the goal, knocking down the boxes stacked on the goal line.

The third and final challenge tested our long-ball accuracy. Groups of trash bins were placed together at different distances. The goal was to see how many balls you could hit into the bins.

After all three challenges, I was crowned the champion! Later in the day, I also had the opportunity to play FIFA at the MLS Digital HQ with my roommate on the trip, Tommy Thompson, from the San Jose Earthquakes, and Edwin Castro, the “FIFA King,” as I call him!

Our FIFA games were live streamed on the Internet with over 15,000 viewers! Overall, my time in Denver was fantastic. I had an amazing time and want to thanks Chipotle, MLS and the Philadelphia Union for making it possible!

 

Day 2: Tuesday, July 28

There is nothing better than game day! The toughest part though is waiting all day until it’s time to head to the stadium. As always, it was a pretty quiet and relaxing day leading up to the game.

The majority of the day was spent between meals (breakfast, lunch and pre-game meal) and relaxing in our rooms. In the early afternoon, I made it down to the pool just to loosen up the legs and stretch out a little bit.

At 5 p.m., we all loaded up the bus and headed out to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the Homegrown Game. Once we got to the stadium, everyone changed and went through their necessary pre-game routines to get ready for the game against Club America U20s.

The attendance was great! It made for a great atmosphere and a very enjoyable game! Unfortunately, after a 1-1 draw in regulation, we lost in penalty kicks.

 


Overall, it was a great night! I also have to give a big thanks to my family for making the trip to Denver to support me in the Homegrown Game! It was another awesome experience.

Tomorrow, I will be taking part in the MLS WORKS Day of Service, as well as the EA Sports FIFA Skills Challenge...should be a lot of fun! Then it’s back home to Philly for a big game this weekend!! #DOOP

Day 1: Monday, July 27

 

Excited to meet up with everyone in Denver next week! Thanks @mls @chipotlemexicangrill #HomegrownGame

A photo posted by Zachary Pfeffer (@zpfeffer) on

 

After a late night flight from Dulles International Airport, I finally arrived at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Denver at 1:30 a.m. I was able to get a couple hours of sleep before the All-Star week festivities began.

We started off the day at 8 a.m. with a team breakfast. It was great to catch up and see all of the guys. Around 12:30, we headed out to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for our pre-game training session. The session involved some light passing drills and 5v2, as well as some tactical ideas for our game tomorrow against Club America U20s.

Once we arrived back at the hotel after training, I got changed and was off to my Chipotle Meet & Greet appearance at Skyline Park. It was nice to meet and speak with many MLS fans from all over the country.

In the evening, we had our team dinner at 7 p.m., followed by a short meeting with the coaching staff. Now it’s time to rest up and get a good night’s sleep. Game day tomorrow!

 

Editor's note: Each night in Denver, Zach will be writing a short blog piece about his day during the MLS All-Star break. Pfeffer will be representing the Philadelphia Union at the MLS Homegrown Game Tuesday night against Club America U20s at 9 p.m.


Download the FREE MLS App

Follow the Union's scores, updates, highlights, analysis and more.