The first thing Orlando City players took notice of with new coach Jason Kreis was the new up-tempo style of training.
With Sunday night’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Seattle Sounders FC – the first at home in over a year – many were wondering if this hard, demanding conditioning was taxing on the players to the point where it might have adversely affected them in the match.
Asked about this following the loss, Kreis answered critics by acknowledging the obvious.
“We’ve been training probably a little harder and a little longer, so we’re putting a little bit more fatigue on the players than I think they’re used to and ready for,” Kreis explained. “I’ve been looking for signs of that, and tonight was probably a big glaring sign.”
Players, who are the ones actually going through the daily training, were even willing to attest to the increase in intensity on the training pitch. Defender David Matéos was frank about the team’s adjustment to Kreis’ philosophy.
“He’s right,” Matéos said, “we never train like this in the last six months, and now the last two weeks he come here and try and put the philosophy and I think in the last four days it was really hard trainings. The first two weeks it’s difficult.” But the 29 year-old Spaniard was adamant that training shouldn’t be altered back. “No, I think this training is very good for us.
“I feel good,” he added.
Kreis, as one would imagine, echoed his defender’s thoughts and said very physical trainings will continue.
“[Yes, we’re fatigued] but it doesn’t mean we’re going to work less. It means that our bodies are going to adapt, and in the long run we’ll be fit enough to handle the workload.”
City has another week of training before traveling to Illinois to take on the Chicago Fire, who currently sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and league tables, on Sunday afternoon. The club is confident fitness will be less and less of a problem each week.