NYCFC have arrived in Tucson, Arizona for the final leg of our preseason.
The Desert Diamond Cup is just around the corner with four intriguing games coming up over the next two weeks.
Following a three-night pause in our adventures when the team returned to New York to spend time with friends and families, there was no time to waste for Head Coach Patrick Vieira as the team were straight back on training field on Monday for the first of two sessions.
The circuits were all laid out when the squad arrived to the training complex, so they would have known they were in for a tough morning but they acquitted themselves with the same grit and intensity we’ve come to expect over the last three weeks.
Frederic Brillant and David Villa were in especially competitive modes as the two locked horns in the scrimmage which closed the session on countless occasions, throwing themselves into challenges against one another with real gusto.
An epic battle!
It might be preseason and they might be on the same team but they’re experienced enough professionals to know that the work they put on now will pay off when the MLS season rolls around.
Following training, we caught up with Shannon Gomez for a quick chat about the upcoming preseason tournament and how he’s feeling generally after three weeks of training following so long out injured.
We’ll have the full interview with him up on the site tomorrow but he’s definitely someone who is catching the eye with his pace and quality on the right side.
The Trinidadian is also what you would describe as the studious sort of player – someone who clearly watches a lot of soccer – and so it’s always good to discuss the finer points of the beautiful game with him.
Once we got back to the hotel, the media team were due a catch-up with another man who takes in an awful lot of the sport from all over the globe.
We found Vieira watching the second half of Man City’s game against Bournemouth in the video room with the coaching staff and it always leaves you feeling like a complete novice watching soccer with people in possession of these forensic eyes for detail.
The aspects of the game they point out and comment on would totally pass your average viewer by, so it was a fascinating 45 minutes before we went for our interview with the great man.
Red Bulls are up for first for NYCFC on Wednesday and although it is only a friendly, even Patrick admitted that, against this opposition, it was a preseason match with just that little extra spice.
Again, you'll be able to read his thoughts on the game here on the site on Tuesday.
If it’s anything like our game against Emelec in Ecuador last week, it’s going to be one worth watching and, lucky old you, it’s being broadcasted on the YES Network.
Don’t miss it…