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Riviera Maya - The squad trained for close to two hours Friday morning on the pitch in Mexico, the longest session to date since the club arrived late Monday evening. The day kicked off with the usual passing, dribbling and warm-up drills, but later included a series of 4v4 defensive drills and, by day's end, a full 11v11.
Rafa Marquez posted a strong session with a number of on-the-mark passes, while Victor Palsson registered a few gasps with a tremendous strike from outside the box.
The intensity level has certainly been raised with each passing day in an effort to better prepare the players for next week's scheduled friendlies. Coach Hans Backe has already mentioned that players likely won't go over 45 minutes each in those matches, but the emphasis on those games remains centered on tactics and team play.
Players were given the rest of the day off following Friday's session but will return to the pitch first thing Saturday morning.
Here are a few photos from Friday's training session:
Riviera Maya - The Red Bulls held a light training session Thursday morning as they opted for the pool over the pitch. Wednesday's training session pushed the players hard, and so the coaching staff motioned for a pool day. Practice will resume as normal Friday morning.
The guys conducted a number of exercises in the pool including jogging, stretching, swimming and a little pool basketball. We won't provide a total number of air balls, but let's just say a majority of them chose wisely with a career in soccer.
Here are a few photos from the training session:
Riviera Maya - We've seen a number of comments and questions on both Twitter and Facebook regarding the preseason roster list and jersey numbers. So here's a little clarity in that department (and a nice reference for the recent photo gallery):
2- Tainio, Teemu
3- Borrajo, Jonathan
4- Marquez, Rafa
5- Holgersson, Sven Markus
6- Hertzog, Corey
7- Miller, Roy
8- Solli, Jan Gunnar
11- McCarty, Dax
13- Alvarez, Leobardo
15- Kassel, Matthew
16- Lade, Connor
17- Agudelo, Juan
18- Meara, Ryan
19 - Richards, Dane
20- Lindpere, Joel
21- Nielsen, Brian
22- Keel, Stephen
23- Maduro, Ryan
24- Vuolo, Jeremy
26- Yeboah, Raymond
27- Arteaga, Jhonny
29- Chirgadze, Giorgi
31- Glazer, Matthew
32- Angulo, Jose
33- Cooper, Kenny
40- Konopka, Chris
44- Palsson, Victor
91- Hot, Sacir
Riviera Maya - Outside of regeneration and some fitness work in the ocean/gym, there's not much on the docket for the guys today. Wednesday's session fed off each guy's competitive nature and led to a more up-tempo pace. Today, in an effort to prepare for Friday's double session on the pitch, the Red Bulls will aim to tone it down a bit.
We'll look to get some pictures up from the ocean workout later today. Until then, you can check out these photos from the first two days of training camp in Mexico:
Riviera Maya - Grey clouds led to a light rain storm during the second day of training Wednesday afternoon in Mexico. The guys got their workouts in with a bit of a natural cool down during the early part of the day but eventually saw the sun poke through during the latter stages of the session.
If one thing separates the second day of training from the first, it's the pace. From the very start it was more than obvious that the intensity meter was cranked up another notch during dribbling drills, stretching routines and shooting sessions. There was also an 8v8 match between three teams wearing yellow, blue or orange.
"Rain was good. It cooled things off, made the field a little slick, which is nice, and the ball always plays better there," said coach Mike Petke. "Especially today with a fitness session for most of the time. It's always good to have clouds and rain during that."
Dax McCarty sported a yellow bib during the 8v8 and was thoroughly impressed with the outcome of Wednesday's session.
"It was another good day. We're moving along. We're getting our touches back and I think everyone's started to get back a little bit of their rhythm."
Keeping with the two-a-day theme for this training stint in Mexico, the team rounded out a full day's worth of fitness with a late-afternoon routine in the gym.
The team will look to regenerate and recoup tomorrow before returning to the two-a-day routine on Friday. Photo galleries and more to come soon.
Riviera Maya - Training commenced as usual Tuesday morning for the first time since the team landed Monday afternoon. The obvious difference from sessions at Montclair State University was the weather (especially this time of year), but the pace and tactical work really started to pick up for the first time this season.
The session began with typical stretching and light footwork, but was quickly followed up with sprints, drills and even some scrimmage action later in the day. Jeremy Vuolo and Ryan Meara were named starters in goal during the scrimmage, and each made some tremendous saves along the way.
Coach Jan Halvorsen spoke after the session about the benefits of working out in Mexico this time of year and what he expects the team to take away from the trip.
"I think it's very important [to play down here]," Halvorsen said. "In New York this time of year it's cold and there can be snow, so it's very nice for a team to come together here two weeks to train and play on grass."
After training, the team returned to the hotel for a bite to eat and to recoup. Not long after they filed into the gym for a strength and conditioning session to round out a full day of training.
The boys are back at it again Wednesday for another two-a-day session on the pitch and in the gym. We'll keep you posted on the latest notes from camp right here on the blog, on our Twitter feed and of course on our Facebook page.
Riviera Maya - After a short bus ride to Newark Airport, a four-hour plane ride and a 90-minute bus ride to the resort, the Red Bulls finally arrived safe and sound in Mexico late Monday afternoon. For the next two weeks, players and personnel will call this resort home as they aim to prepare for the upcoming season with a series of two-a-day training sessions and preseason matches.
Outside of organizing two teams meals, it was a pretty clean slate of events Monday evening as the guys just looked to get situated and settled down after a long day of travel. It's back to business as usual Tuesday when the team resumes typical training sessions on a pitch about 20 minutes from the resort, followed later in the afternoon by a strength and stability regimen.
The first meeting of the three-game preseason is set for Monday, Feb. 6. We'll be sure to keep you posted right here on the Red Bulls' preseason blog, as well as on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
More updates on the way soon!