United players received their first look this afternoon at their new home, touring their locker room and the pitch at almost-completed Allianz Field.
Miguel Ibarra, Ike Opara, Vito Mannone, Francisco Calvo and Collin Martin all posted photos and videos on their Instagram accounts. Ibara graded the new locker room with three sizzling fireballs and Mannone noted how steep the standing supporters’ stand at one end is.
Above is a photo Miguel Ibarra posted of Calvo photographing his new surroundings.
"The last time the whole team was there, it wasn’t close to being done,” Ibarra said before departing for Allianz Field. “Everybody has been talking about it, how unbelievable it is. The whole team is excited to see what’s inside, the locker room and everything. It looks amazing.”
The players headed for Allianz after training Tuesday.
Here’s some other this and that from this morning’s training session:
- In case you missed it, here’s my story posted online yesterday about how United staff intend to manage veteran midfielder Ozzie Alonso’s training in an attempt to keep reduce the wear on his 33-year-old body and keep him fresh for later in the season – and dare we say, the playoffs?
And Tuesday was an example of how they’ll do that. He did not participate in training in Blaine, which likely will be a common occurrence at times this season.
- United coach Adrian Heath missed Tuesday’s training to tend to an abscessed tooth and root canal. Assistant coach Mark Watson ran the show in his absence.
- U.S. Soccer has picked its 24-player camp roster under new Men’s National Team coach Gregg Berhalter friendlies later this month against Ecuador and Chile. Included is former Loon Christian Ramirez, who was traded to LAFC last summer for big allocation money.
Ecuador will call upon Loons midfielder/forward Romario Ibarra for that March 21 match against the U.S. team in Orlando. Expect other United players to be called by their national teams for next week’s window. United has a bye on March 23.
Former U.S. national-team call-ups Opara and Miguel Ibarra were not summoned this time.
- The four Loons assigned to the team’s new USL affiliate in Madison, Wis., nearly two weeks ago returned to training in Blaine Tuesday. Keeper Dayne St. Clair, defenders Carter Manley and Wyatt Omsberg and midfielder Collin Martin went down to play three scrimmages – two in St. Louis, one in Madison – for the new Forward Madison FC team.
“We realize we’re there for a reason,” Omsberg said. “It’s a good opportunity for us to get minutes and experience, so we just tried to grab it, get fitness, get experience and improve.”
The four watched their teams win games at Vancouver and San Jose, gathered around a computer to do so.
Whether the four will return to Madison when United heads to Los Angeles to play the Galaxy this weekend, Manley said, “Not exactly sure yet. We’re taking it day by day.”