(Goal)keeping It Real
I did end up getting out to RFK this afternoon. Missed practiced but had some quality chats with Soehn, Simpson and Olsen. Much of the information is for future feature stories and Chivas second-leg previews, but wanted to share some of my discussion with Simpson about Troy Perkins's progress from the quadriceps injury (which clearly impacted him a bit in the first match) and rookie Shawn Crowe's development as one of the reserve keepers.
On Perkins: "He keeps improving every day. I don't keep him out of anything during training. The only thing is, we might be a little cautious about him overextending himself. He's kicked a ball, but that's how he got the injury in the first place -- just overextending himself and maybe a little bit of variation in his technique because of the wet grass and field during our early sessions. Before he got injured, I noticed him taking goal kicks a different way. I thought, 'That's weird.' He was kind of stretching for them. I don't know if that had any direct effect or not on the injury. Maybe it was just because of the field conditions. Physically, he's fine now."
Bottom line: Perkins should be 100 percent for the April 3 match.
On Crowe: "He's coming along. Shawn is really, really raw. It's almost like you are making a goalkeeper out of LaVar Arrington. That's the best way that I can put it. You've got this physical, natural athlete and now you have to chip and mold him into communicating right, seeing the game right, reading the game right. Everybody can make a save, but as I told Shawn, the perfect goalkeeper game for me is if you organize so well, you don't have to make a save. Everybody who may not be into goalkeeping theories sees, well, he's making save after save. I say, maybe he doesn't have to make those saves, if you organize right and get guys in the right spots. That's what we are working on now with Shawn. He's doing the same stuff and getting better at it every day. He's still got a ways to go.
It's all about having a presence back there, but a calm presence, where your teammates and defenders look back and say, 'Well, he's got everything under control.' We're working on that and we're working on communication. And it's not necessarily what you say, but how you say things. You can't sit there and scream like everything is a fire drill when things don't have to be. It's just a matter of organizing early."
Bottom line: Nolly is the clear No. 2 keeper and is likely to start the reserve matches. The club will monitor Crowe's progress and hope to get him some reserve minutes this summer.
Speaking of the reserves, here is their 12-game schedule:
April 15 Kansas City 10 a.m.
April 29 @ Columbus 10 a.m.
May 19 @ Toronto FC 6 p.m.
May 27 Houston 1 p.m.
June 3 @ Los Angeles 1 p.m.
June 10 New York 3:30 p.m.
July 15 Dallas 10 a.m.
August 5 @ New England 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 2 @ Dallas 10 a.m
Sept. 9 New England 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 @ Chicago 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 Toronto 10 a.m.
The reserves will also play at the third-division Richmond Kickers on June 19.
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