On training in the rain: Obviously it affects things, but we went ahead with the plan that we had set today. I think we got a good workout in with the first-team group and we were able to get some gametime in with the reserve group. We accomplished what we wanted to do. It would have been nicer without the rain, but I think the rain’s good. The rain’s good for our state right now, especially with the fires. If the rains cane help with that, that would be tremendous.
On the work for reserve players: It was a good competitive training where we could play some 11v11, and as a result of that we could see Djimi back there, and his confidence is growing. Andy Rose today trained as well. We saw Aaron Long play as a center back today when we did the 11v11, which is a position we want to look at him at, as well as midfield. I know he played midfield in college, but he also played some center back, and that versatility is what interested us in him.
General health updates: It’s great with Djimi coming back. Leo got minutes today as well. Dylan was about to train as a neutral today. That just helps us. It makes us a deeper team and it means that went we go into this series of games where in August we’ve got the two Wednesday games with the Open Cup and then we come back with the league game on a Wednesday, that will give us the ability to rotate more than we have in the past.
More on health: Djimi is very close. I think Djimi is pretty much there. Remick, we’ll know tomorrow or Friday how close he is, and same thing with Andy Rose. I think Djimi is probably the closest, Remick is probably next, and then it’s Rose and Leo. (Evans) is coming along. He’s able to do all the physical stuff: all the running, all the fitness. He’s able to do all that work. The injury that he has isn’t an MCL, but it’s sort of like you have to treat it like an MCL: It’s just the striking of the foot. (Hahnemann) did some handling and some goalkeeping work at the beginning of practice, so he’s coming along as well.
On the arrival of rookie midfielder/defender Aaron Long: You always try to give a person enough time to sort of integrate onto the team. So with him signing now, he’s going to be with us until the end of the year. That gives him a good deal of time to be able to show what he can do. Sometimes you want to see how quickly they adjust without a lot of instruction, because if they’re relaying too much on your instruction then maybe there’s not enough natural instinct there. I’m a coach who believes I want to see what their natural instincts are. He came in, he did well in the trial period he did with us, so we decided to keep him. Is he going to get into a first-team game or not? Obviously if he would have been here a month ago things might have been different for him because there might have been opportunities with the injuries, but as guys are getting healthier it might be a little more difficult.