Minnesota United's practice Wednesday at the National Sports Center was one of the most intense sessions in recent memory.
And that might have to do with the fact that nearly every player on the roster was present.
"Well, we’ve got enough bodies. We haven’t had enough time to even do a 10-v-10 in maybe seven or eight weeks," coach Adrian Heath said. "It's just nice to get a lot of bodies on the field and have them go through one or two little things we think we need to improve on."
Midfielder Sam Cronin joined back into full practice after recovering from his neck injury. Midfielder Rasmus Schuller (thigh), midfielder Kevin Molino (ankle), midfielder Miguel Ibarra (ankle) and defender Kevin Venegas (quad) warmed up with the team before splitting off to do separate work. Defender Marc Burch (sports hernia surgery) and defender Thomas de Villardi (Achilles) trained separately. Defender Joe Greenspan (concussion) and midfielder Bernardo Anor (leg) were absent.
But Burch still took some time to coach up Ish Jome, who was working at left-back during a scrimmage. Jome worked on a back-line along with Jerome Thiesson at right-back and Michael Boxall and Francisco Calvo at center-back.
This was Calvo's first practice since Costa Rica's semifinal exit in the Gold Cup. He said he's happy to be back with his club team.
"It's not like everything was bad when I was with the national team," said the team captain, adding he watched all of United's matches while with Costa Rica. "I think some things were good. Now we have to go back and get in shape again and try to get three points because we need it."
Three college players training with United are Carter Manley, a senior defender from Duke; Akeem Ward, a junior defender from Creighton, and Joel Rydstrand, a junior midfielder from Creighton. Ward was also a product of Shattuck St. Mary's, and United's academy director, Tim Carter, coached him.
The club also officially announced it has parted ways with goalkeeper John Alvbage after not picking up the option on his loan.