Headgear, the Trialist and a Baby Watch
Greetings from Estadio RFK. A few things to share.....
-- If Josh Gros wants to play Saturday, he has got to wear the soccer headgear, the padded contraption made famous by Alecko Eskandarian after his concussion two years ago. Gros, who suffered a concussion last Tuesday at Chivas, has been slowly getting accustomed to the headgear this week and has been told by the medical staff that he must wear it in the home opener against the Wizards. He wore a red one in practice but will use a black one in the match.
"I'm sure he'll be proud of me," Gros said of Alecko. "It's not the most comfortable thing and it does not look the coolest, but that's all right. I want to play so I've got to wear it."
How does it affect his headers?
"It changes it a little bit. I was never a great header, so it makes it worse. It takes a lot of thud out of the ball. You hit it as hard as you can and it doesn't go very far."
Gros, who participated in full workouts today, said he has had no more symptoms. "I felt fine, I felt like myself again."
*Jamaican forward Nicholas Addlery, on trial all week, continues to try to impress the coaches and earn the final spot on the 28-man roster. He had two goals in the scrimmage vs. Harrisburg on Wednesday.
"We'll take a couple more days before we truly assess him and give him some feedback," Coach Tom Soehn said. "He had two opportunities [Wednesday] and he finished them. The parts he needs to improve upon are the build-up and connecting with other guys because there were lots of times during the game where you didn't even know he was out there. Credit him, when he had a chance to score, he did. We're going to be cautious because Robert Ssejjemba made an appearance last year in a reserve game and scored three. It's still a reserve game against a lower-league team."
*Jeff Carroll (shin splints) and Rod Dyachenko (lingering knee problem) did not practice. Shawn Crowe made a pair of impressive reflex saves on consecutive close-range shots in a half-field game. Jamil Walker finished one sequence with clever footwork and a classy finish but later missed a clear header. Bryan Arguez, who was one of the top performers in Wednesday's scrimmage, had a couple of bad touches today and, in trying to recover after one giveaway, rolled over Fred's ankles. Fred was down for a moment, but continued to play. Make no mistake: The team is pleased with Arguez's progress this spring.
*On being home after the long trip to Guadalajara and then Denver, Soehn said: "You hit a stretch of two weeks with traveling and it just wears on you. You miss your family, you miss home, you miss your home crowd, you miss your home stadium, coming into your own locker, and all of that goes away really fast once you get back, so they are ready to go."
*Ticket sales for Saturday have surpassed 18,000.
*Kansas City finally announced the signing of Argentine midfielder Carlos Marinelli. He is likely to travel with the club to Washington but it is unclear whether his fitness and adaptation to the system have progressed enough to play in the match.
*Sunday's scheduled reserve match between DC and KC has been POSTPONED. A new date has not been determined. Tickets will be refunded at the RFK box office (That's a joke. There are no tickets and there is no charge).
*Soehn's wife Jean is a few days overdue with their fourth child and, with the match approaching Saturday, Tom joked, "I told her to time it right after the game."
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