The Chicago Fire first team arrived in Ave Maria, FL on Monday to begin Phase 2 of 2011 Preseason Training Camp.
Flying into Ft. Myers, everything was smooth sailing ono the 45 minute bus ride to Ave Maria until….POP went the back wheel on the bus... Unsure if we were going to be stranded just six miles from our final destination, the driver decided to ride on the rim to complete the journey and as we arrived into Ave Maria, the incline to get in was so great that the entire traveling delegation had to pile out of bus so the driver could get up the hill…
Bus fiasco aside, the guys got in a late session Monday and we spoke to team captain Logan Pause about the excitement to transition to the outdoors in a warm weather environment.
Tuesday the team began with their two-a-day training sessions and by the end of the night you could see the tired look on the faces of nearly all the players. Earlier in the day we spoke offseason acquisition, defender Cory Gibbs about how he’s adjusting to his new teammates and how he felt about returning to his home state.
Wednesday was another grueling day and the hottest so far, with temperatures reaching 85 degrees. If the guys were tired the day before, they were exhausted on Wednesday… Jalil Anibaba checked in at the beginning of the All-In Podcast to tell how his first MLS training camp is going and also give his reaction to Monday’s bus incident. Later in the show, Jeff welcomed Patrick Nyarko back to the program where they spoke about his recovery from offseason surgery how he hopes to build off his breakout performance in 2010 and the friendly confines of the Ave Maria campus.
As Thursday came, the guys had the morning off to prepare for the first preseason match with Florida Gulf Coast University. Ahead of the game we spoke to midfielder Daniel Paladini about how he’s gelled so far with the likes of Logan Pause and Baggio Husidic in midfield and how, being a California kid, he’s thoroughly enjoying the warm-weather in Florida.
Thursday night the side ran out to a 2-0 lead over Florida Gulf Coast in front of a crowd of over 1,000 Chicago Fire Junior Florida players and families in Ave Maria. In a match that was cut into three 30-minute sessions using separate lineups in each, Midfielder Marco Pappa and defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe tallied for the side in the second frame before FGCU equalized pulled things level in the third, with the match ending 2-2. Watch the highlights below
Two-a-days have resumed Friday as the team preps for an inter-squad scrimmage on Sunday morning before taking on Red Bull New York next Wednesday, February 23 in Ft. Lauderdale.