FC Tampa Bay held a 90-minute practice session Thursday morning at Shimberg Fields, with the main focus on technical ball work, with the emphasis on shooting and finishing.
“I thought the players were in tune this morning and focused,” said Assistant Coach David Hayes. “They are still getting a feel for one another, but they are practicing everyday with a championship mentality.”
After practice at Shimberg, the players continued with fitness training at the Athlete's Compound at Saddlebrook Resort on Thursday afternoon.
The team is preparing to face the University of Central Florida in a preseason match for the second year in a row. Last year FCTB defeated UCF 3-0 and faces the Knights this Sunday, March 27, at 4 p.m. at UCF Stadium.
D Yendry Diaz sustained an injury in practice last week and test results have revealed a torn ACL in his right knee. Diaz, who played in 23 games with 20 starts last season for FC Tampa Bay, will likely miss the entire 2011 season.
FC Tampa Bay continues to evaluate its preseason roster in preparation for the season opener on April 9 at Al Lang Stadium. Of the 13 trialists that began workouts with the team, four players still remain on the practice roster at this point: GK Sanel Boric, F Matt Clare, M/D Kyle Clinton and M/D Shane Hill.
Special Player Appearance at Tampa International Airport:
FC Tampa Bay, in conjunction with HMSHost and Southwest Airlines, will be promoting the upcoming 2011 season at the Tampa International Airport on Friday, March 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. FCTB staff and mascot Hoops will also be handing out giveaways as well as raffling off tickets to a home game for this upcoming season and other fun prizes in the Southwest Airlines hub at Terminal C.
Forward Aaron King and midfielder Takuya Yamada will be signing autographs and talking with fans from 12:30-1:30 p.m.