FC Tampa Bay returned to the practice field Tuesday morning for the first time since its 2-0 victory over Florida Gulf Coast University on Saturday afternoon at Brandon Area Youth Soccer League’s complex.
Head Coach Ricky Hill had the players and trialists playing a small-field, full-team scrimmage at Tuesday's training session. He is pleased with the team's performance so far and has his mind set on long-term goals for the team.
"We are playing really well in patches yet still a little inconsistent at other times," said Hill, "We haven't produced as many chances to score as I would like to see yet but there is always room for improvement."
Defender Andres Arango is optimistic about the team's ability to mesh as a team and said he enjoys the tough double training sessions.
"Every single day it gets a little bit better," said Arango, "Usually it takes a team longer to get to know each other and play well together, but we are coming together quite well."
Following practice at Shimberg Fields, the players headed to the Athlete's Compound at Saddlebrook Resort to end the day with more fitness training.
MILLIEN HEADED TO HAITI
At Tuesday's practice midfielder Pascal Millien filled us in on his trip this week to Haiti to work at a two-day soccer clinic in his hometown of Leogane. His foundation, A Millien Dreams, has partnered with Score International, an organization in the Tampa Bay area to help create this academy.
"I am really excited about this trip," said Millien, "I have been waiting for this moment for a long time."
Millien said during his last visit during the winter holidays in 2010 that he was able to stay for three weeks teaching and spending time with the kids in Leogane. But a lot of the younger kids didn't have soccer cleats and he was not able to bring the correct size soccer balls for their age group. However, on this visit Millien is equipped with balls, uniforms, cleats and other gear provided by a local sponsor.
The trip only lasts a few days and in that precious time Millien will be helping out at the soccer clinics and speaking to kids at his former middle school and high school about striving toward and capturing their dreams.
"I was in the same situation as these kids are in," said Millien. "I want to help them and let them know that we care for them."
Pascal will return Friday night and will be eligible to play in FC Tampa Bay's preseason game against the University of Central Florida on Sunday, March 27 at 4 p.m.
For more information about Millien’s foundation, visit www.milliendreams.com.
Trialist goalkeeper Sanel Boric missed practice after suffering a head injury in Saturday's preseason match against Florida Gulf Coast University. Boric will hopefully be cleared to practice again by the end of the week.