The 2014 preseason didn't start quite the way Crew playmaker Federico Higuaín had anticipated.
After arriving in Columbus, the Argentine came down with an illness causing him to miss the first few days a preseason. A late arrival to the Black & Gold's first camp in Bradenton, Fla., Higuaín is starting to feel like his normal self ahead of the Crew's trip to Orlando for the Disney Pro Soccer Classic.
"For the first part of the preseason, I was a little sick so it was a little tough getting used to it," the playmaker said through a translator.
"As time passes, I'm feeling great. I'm feeling better and better each day."
Higuaín returns to Columbus with 16 goals and 16 assists to his name since joining the Black & Gold as the club's third Designated Player in history in August 2012. This season will bring a new challenge, however: adapting to the new leadership of Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter.
So far, it's been a smooth transition on the field for Higuaín and the Crew as Berhalter has stressed that the team will play a possession-oriented, ground attacking style of soccer.
The switch should benefit the midfield maestro in Higuaín, but he knows the on-field understanding with his teammates will take time to evolve.
"I think all the coaching staffs around the League taking to a possession-based game," Higuaín said. "I think it's great. Right now we have a lot of new guys in the squad, so it's going to take some time to develop [on-field chemistry], but I think it'll work out for the best."
As for his personal aspirations for 2014, Higuaín's goal is simple: "I want the club to be better, stronger."
Higuaín and the Crew travel to Orlando on Sunday after finishing a week of training indoors at SuperKick in Lewis Center.