The Colorado Rapids first appeared on the field in two months on Thursday and finally returned for individual training sessions in Commerce City after a long hiatus caused by the corona virus.
MLS recently announced that players will be able to conduct individual training on outdoor teams’ training fields starting May 6. The condition was that clubs had to follow strict health protocols to ensure safety.
“It was great to get out there, it almost felt like team training,” said head coach Robin Fraser in a team video. “We’ve all seen each other so many times on hem lately, but seeing each other in real life was fun and everyone looked great. Everyone was ready. It was quite challenging and it felt like guys were just up to the challenge . ”
The MLS season was interrupted after two weeks of play due to COVID-19. The Rapids won each of their first two games at the last minute, but it’s not known if those results matter.
Several ideas have surfaced about what the league could look like this year, including a knockout tournament, a bubble scenario with a neutral site, and a semi-normal season with no fans. There is currently no restart date. The focus is only on making sure that all teams can train again.
“It was very professional,” said Rapids striker and MLS veteran Kei Kamara in a team video. “It’s kind of scary to be honest, quarantine football. As you parked your car, you see your teammates, but you can’t high five them like you normally do. You walk in and get the temperature control and is directed to the distance from where you need to go. It is good that we are taking the right steps, because we want to be on this grass again. “
Many Rapids players have not had the luxury of much or no training equipment during their free time. Much of keeping in shape leading up to an in-game resume is just going back to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“I really benefit from it,” Kamara explained. “To be back on the right grass and to have the equipment we have here. Going to the park to kick a ball is not the same. Most parks currently have no nets. “
The Rapids want to ensure that their training is targeted. It is the first step to return to a mid-season restart. No one is sure what the future holds, although Fraser’s perspective remains broad.
“This is a huge global problem,” said the Rapids coach. “But for our small world, we’re excited to get back together and start playing and feel like we’re a fun team that the community will get excited about. And hopefully we’ll get to that point soon play and enjoy each other a bit and hopefully that will help bring the community together. ”