Kljestan's Korner: U.S. MNT Camp Diary - Entry No. 2
U.S. MNT midfielder Sacha Kljestan gives fans an inside look at the first training camp of 2007.
Jan. 10, 2007
Hope you liked the first installment of my diary, this is entry number two…
So the fourth day of camp, Sunday, was an excellent day. We started out with training at 10 a.m. with the mindset to really push it because the B-O-B decided to give us Monday off after an early regeneration session. So with that in the back of our minds, we really went at it in a full field game. My team ended up losing, 1-0, to a Pablo Mastroeni goal. We finished with some fitness and that was it for on-the-field sessions until Tuesday. The afternoon work was done in the gym. Most of the team did weights and core work while a small group did flexibility and fitness testing. My group did the testing, which was topped off with the much awaited “vertical jump.” Now I am not the most athletic guy in the world, but I crushed a 24 inch vert which was pretty decent, but not good enough for the top spot. Oh well. We again had dinner on our own, so I ended up going to a Mexican restaurant called Riviera in Redondo Beach. It’s one of my favorite local spots, and the shrimp cabo special did me right.
Monday, Day Five - We split up into three groups for regeneration at The HDC. Regeneration is a session that helps get the soreness and fatigue out of our legs. The therapy consisted of riding the bike for 20 minutes, some stretching, and what they call a ‘contrast’- a mix of cold whirlpool and steam room. It was definitely good for us to help rejuvenate our bodies, but diving into the cold pool is a bit of a shock at first. Our hotel here has a nine-hole, par-3 golf course, so after lunch, Jimmy Conrad, Eddie Robinson, Pablo Mastroeni, Pat Noonan and myself went out for an afternoon round. I got lucky and had the best score on the day at four over. Jimmy is not the greatest golfer, but he is a rad guy. Pablo’s got the baseball swing down like it’s nothing. Eddie is a good golfer, and Noonan has the smooth swing for days. Being a pro athlete gives you a lot of free time, so golf is a pretty big hobby of mine during the season. It was cool to get out there and swing‘em with the guys for something a little different. Everyone did different things: some guys went to the beach, and I know Eddie Johnson was up at the Ed Hardy store in Hollywood picking up some new clothes… Ballin’. I relaxed for the rest of the day and watched the BCS Championship game at night. How about those Florida Gators crushing Ohio State? … I like an upset, and it was an entertaining game.
Tuesday- Day Six - Coming off an easy recovery day, everyone was ready to get going again. We knew it would be a tougher training session, so we were ready to go to work. We played a transition game of 8v8 on a half field to get things going and get the heart rate up. Then we played an 8v8 game with goals, with a third team on the side doing a bit of fitness while they waited to come on. Landon made it back from his honeymoon to join up with the team; this was his first training session with us. Thanks for coming in, dude. Just kidding - congrats on the wedding, L.D. We had lunch together and rested for the next practice. The afternoon session was fairly easy, more of a core workout with stations. We paired up and there were different stations (jumping, push-ups, medicine ball squats, etc...) you did for 30 seconds at a time. We had an odd number of guys so our equipment manager, Ryan Maxfield, volunteered to do the stations to make it even. A few minutes later he had Peter Nowak howling at him to “get your knees up!” and “faster!” Pretty funny that was. We had team dinner in the hotel and we were free after that. I’ve just been kickin’ it on the internet, checking my myspace page to see if anyone is actually reading this and reading soccer news from around the world.
So I hope you guys have liked my diary so far. Please feel free to comment on my journalism skills or anything whatsoever and let me know what you think. Email email@example.com or to write to me directly, visit www.myspace.com/SachaKljestan. Be back in a few days with more…