When Head Coach Jason Kreis took over mid-season last year, one of the most notable changes was the mentality and pacing of training sessions. Kreis pushed his players at training, demanding them to be their best and to adapt to a new team philosophy. In his first preseason with Orlando City, Kreis appears to be doing the same thing-- encouraging his players to push their own boundaries and formatting a mentality and a physicality that will give them success in the regular season.
For Kreis to do that with his team, he needs time. The team doesn’t simply work in their morning training sessions-- after breaking for lunch and some rest, the players comes back for an afternoon session. The team is just three weeks away from the start of the regular season-- and that time will fly by.
“We do two a day because we feel like we need an extra session to work with the players both from a physical standpoint but also from a tactical standpoint,” Kreis said after training this week. “The number of sessions that we have over the preseason… sometimes I feel like it’s not quite enough because we need to play the matches as well. This morning was mostly about work and some philosophical things, and then this afternoon will be much more tactical.”
One of the steps towards creating a stronger team mentality was the trip to Jacksonville, where the players trained for their second week of preseason. Kreis and his staff wanted to create an environment in which new players would get to know Orlando City veterans, and the men would reach a degree of closeness that would translate onto the field.
“I thought it was an extremely positive trip; the guys handled it the exact right way,” Kreis said.
“Everything that surrounded the group was really good and the work that the players put on the field was terrific as well.”
As Orlando City players continue to prepare for the regular season, Kreis will continue to push them in training to fulfill their highest potential and establish the strongest team they can.