Nashville SC’s 2022 preseason preparations continue at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
The Boys in Gold are completing their final week at the facility before returning home to Nashville for a week. Despite not playing in any inter-squad friendlies during this phase of preseason, the team has got in some much-needed work before it returns to Florida for a slate of friendlies in February.
Take a look at the latest storylines from preseason camp:
Fitness Levels – The opening of any training camp is important to establish a high level of fitness before getting into the in-depth technical work.
According to captain Dax McCarty, fitness levels were already strong going into camp.
“Guys came in fit,” McCarty said. “Guys came in ready to go. I think that makes the coaching staff’s job easier in preparing training sessions knowing that you have a fit team, and you don’t necessarily have to work on just improving fitness constantly. This preseason, it’s some of the fittest I’ve ever seen a whole team be.”
New Home Hype – We are less than 100 days away from the opening of Nashville SC’s brand-new soccer specific stadium on May 1. The excitement among the players is just as palpable as it is among the fans.
McCarty said the stadium was a selling point for him when he joined Nashville SC in late 2019.
“When I first was thinking about where my career was going to go after I left Chicago, one of the main appealing aspects of coming to Nashville was knowing that I would hopefully be able to be a part of building a brand-new stadium,” McCarty said. “That’s something that I’ve never experienced in my career, and that’s something that was very appealing to me. Now that 2022 is upon us and we have an opening date for the new stadium, it gives me butterflies thinking about it … It gives me chills thinking about 30,000 Nashville fans singing and supporting us against the Philadelphia Union on May 1. It’s something that I’m going to take a lot of pride in, and our club and our entire city should take a lot of pride in.”
International Gaps – Nashville SC has three players missing during this first phase of preseason as Walker Zimmerman, Randall Leal and Aníbal Godoy are playing with their respective national teams during FIFA World Cup qualifying.
Head Coach Gary Smith says that their national team experience could have its benefits when they rejoin the Boys in Gold in early February.
“There are actually some positives in this,” Smith said. “These guys went into camp quite a bit earlier than the group we have here. That means that their workload has been increased to a point where they can compete at an international level this weekend. There’s no worries about where they’re at from a purely physical standpoint. The fact that they’re working with other international players, we should all expect that it’s a very high standard and that those guys are more than ready for their return when it happens, which will be at the end of next week.
“Aside from that, those guys have been around the group since our inaugural season. Two of them are extremely experienced players, and Randall has been ever-present in the team since the team started. Would I like them to be here and prepare for the season? Of course. Are we going to lack or miss anything with them not being here? I don’t think whatever we miss is going to be huge. We will still have three weeks with those guys to prepare for the Seattle game.”
Nashville SC continues its preseason training this week at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. For the full preseason schedule and information, click here.
Come on N and be a part of history this season as Nashville SC opens its brand-new stadium on May 1. Click here to get your season tickets.