Training Camp Journal: Part I
Day 1 of training camp is in the books. I caught parts of six practices. Looking forward to seeing Redwoods and Cannons for the first time today.
Some notes from Saturday:
- Atlas has 16 players on the training camp roster who weren’t on the 22-man roster in Utah: Daniel Bucaro, Jake Carraway, Mark Cockerton, James Pannell, Brendan Sunday, Aidan Hynes, Andrew Newbold, Kyle Pless, Michael Rexrode, Gerard Arceri, JD Colarusso, Sam Lucchesi, Brent Adams, Dox Aitken, Peter Dearth, and Danny Logan.
- With so many new faces, this practice started as a walkthrough. Head coach Ben Rubeor installed offensive sets; defensive coordinator Ken Clausen talked through slide packages.
- Brent Adams spent time studying both the slide packages and the offense. There are a lot of two-way capable midfielders here (Bryan Costabile, Joel Tinney, and soon, Dox Aitken) – but BA was the only one to split time.
- Practice wrapped up with high-energy uneven drills. Everyone took reps on offense and defense. Carraway and Romar Dennis showed off their righty range.
- Archers ran full speed six-on-six, starting every rep with a faceoff.
- Rookie Conor Gaffney (Lehigh) impressed at the stripe.
- There were a lot more orange jerseys than blue; Dominique Alexander, Mark McNeill, and Latrell Harris took a ton of reps at SSDM.
- Harris fit right in on this defense, hunting for free doubles and extending along the perimeter.
- John Galloway’s pregame/pre-practice routine of kicking aside rolled shots is iconic.
- Michael Brown (Brown) dominated at SSDM. He Glicked a shot with his foot. He pressed adjacents with confidence, picking off a pass along the perimeter. Jackson Morrill tested him on a wing dodge, and Brown answered with physicality.
- Intense practice!
- Chaos built up from 2-on-2s to 3-on-3s, alternating reps from the lefty wing and the righty wing. Reminder: This team does not play with attackmen and midfielders; they play with lefties and righties.
- Every pick-and-roll ended with one more “one more” pass than you’d expect. Dhane Smith and company repeatedly passed up good shots for great shots.
- Noticed some Nations looks during the 3-on-3s.
- Audi Staats might throw 95% of the one-handed passes thrown across the league – and they’re all dimes.
- Dillon Ward was worth the trade. He denied several shooters from the doorstep.
- The Waterdogs repped a lot of 3-on-2s. They ran 3-on-2s from X. Then 3-on-2s from X with a pick. Then 3-on-2s from the righty wing. Then 3-on-2s from the righty wing with a pick. Then 3-on-2s from up top, staying outside the 2-point line. Then 3-on-2s from the lefty wing. Then 3-on-2s from the lefty wing with a pick.
- The Whipsnakes practiced crowded 1-on-1s. Whistles with the defender on the shooter’s hip.
- Zed Williams’ inside roll is still the most unstoppable dodge in the league.
- Rookie Ryan Tierney (Hofstra) scored a sick one-handed, bottom-handed goal. He was excited to make a play; head coach Jim Stagnitta reminded him to make the right plays (pull out when you draw a switch on the pick, hit singles, etc.).
- I missed Redwoods practice, but have to share this clip. Head coach Nat St. Laurent showed Rob Pannell how they do things in the ‘Woods.