What's up everyone, checkin' in from Bradenton, Fla. Been down here for about a week and a half now, training very hard for our upcoming season. We lost a tough one to Malmo FF on Wednesday, which I'm sure everyone knows. We controlled most of the game and, for the most part, played attractive one-two touch soccer. That's something that, as a team and with the personnel we have, we are determined to do. Being able to attack and build from the defense forward. We have a very talented and deep team this year, as guys are pushing each other hard for spots, which will only bring out the best in all of us and more importantly, the team. The rookies have come in with positive attitudes and are willing to learn. And of course there are the vets (Chad [Marshall], Will [Hesmer], Danny boy [O'Rourke], etc.) leading by example, speaking up when needed. The additions have been great teammates from the get-go, as well. Guys like Milo [Mirosevic], Carlos [Mendes] and Olman [Vargas] all possess great character, which is awesome. Makes ya wanna really lay it all out for each other. I want to, that's for sure!
Off the field, as some of the rookies mentioned in their blogs, guys have been playin FIFA, Settlers of Catan, and other games, including shuffleboard. Visits to the hot tub from time to time have also been much needed and refreshing. I've been able to meet a lot of senior citizens, too, as our apartment complex is loaded with retirees from all over the world! Glad to see them winding down and just livin' it up! When we have meals on our own, we usually spoil ourselves with some goodies. Sushi, Outback Steakhouse and First Watch are a few of the places we've enjoyed. We play credit-card roulette from time to time, too, and Justin Meram was the most recent unlucky winner at First Watch. Thanks for the free meal, boss! Cole [Grossman], Danny, Josh [Williams], Chad and I sure appreciated it! Weather, of course, has been beautiful. Lots of us with burnt faces, but we aren't complaining. I looked like Casper before we got here!
We face the Seattle Sounders in another preseason game on Wednesday, before heading back to Columbus on Thursday. Hopefully we'll take more steps towards becoming better, and if that includes a couple of wins we will take it! We are excited for the upcoming season and hope the Capital City and its fans are too! We sincerely appreciate all the faith and support! Much love!
P.S. -- Shout out to our Head Athletic Trainer, Dave Lagow, and his new assistant Phil, a.k.a. Philly, Philadelphia, Philson Watson as they are doing a great job taking care of our knocks and bruises. Can't forget the great Tucker Walther, either, doin' all the behind-the-scenes work!
After working hard on the field a couple guys decided to take their talents to shuffleboard. Ethan Finlay, Kirk Urso and Rich Balchan (pictured below) are in a heated battle for shuffleboard supremacy.