In Their Own Words.....
D.C. United Coach Tom Soehn, on not having to prepare for an international tournament before the start of the MLS season this year.....
"It's been a lot less stressful. Normally we are already worrying about set pieces and marking. The focus now is making sure we get everyone fit and physically ready. It's a whole different mentality and it's a lot easier this way. In the past, you were worried about picking out your first 11 right about now, knowing that in two weeks you have a game. Some of our senior guys, they are not going to play in these initial [preseason] games. We're going to get them sharp and ready for the opener. It's a total different cycle and not too many teams have had to go through it. Us and Houston have done it the most, and Houston is going to have to do it again. It puts a lot of pressure on you to succeed at a really early stage of fitness and sharpness. In the process of doing it, you don't take the time to develop some of the other guys who you are going to need to call on during the course of a season. It's tough to do, we've been through it and it's a tough task."
*DCU reserve midfielder Domenic Mediate, on his comeback attempt from concussion symptoms.....
"The offseason was a bunch of waiting. I couldn't really do much. The doctors wanted me to wait as long as I could without doing anything. I started getting back into shape after Jan. 1. After not doing anything for six months, you are going to struggle with fitness a little bit. A couple of times I went in for headers, but there weren't any problems. The very first time, the ball was up in the air and I hesitated a little bit just because I wasn't sure what would happen, but once I got through that one, I felt good."
"A friend in dental school in Baltimore called me and explained that I might have suffered from TMJ [a disorder caused by inflammation in the joint between the jaw and skull] because I did get hit in in the jaw last year, and that's when I started having the symptoms [headaches, dizziness, vertigo]. I have been working the muscles in my jaw area and everything feels better. So maybe that was part of the problem. Everything now seems to be resolved. It is a challenge and a risk, not knowing if I will relapse, but I like the challenge. The reduced roster situation works out better for me because there are more senior spots, so if I don't make it here, then somewhere. As long as I can play a few more years and enjoy myself, I will be happy."
I'll take a closer look at United's roster later today.....
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