Behind the Badge: R and R

Relaxation is the theme

After taking care of business in Saturday's game against New England, D.C. United will be off until Thursday, June 23. Basking in the sun, enjoying amusement parks, relaxing in the AC, and grooving to the music of some local bands are just a few of the plans D.C. United players are looking forward to with their upcoming four-day break.

Although many players will be scattered across the country visiting family and friends, many agree they will use their time off from soccer to relax and rest their bodies after playing three matches in a week's time.

Bobby Boswell and Alecko Eskandarian are making special visits home to spend time with their father on Father's Day. A New Jersey native, Eskandarian said, "I plan on going back home to spend time with my dad. It will also be nice to get on the beach and relax, just something different than RFK Stadium for a few days."

Boswell will be catching a flight to Tampa where he will use his time off to work on his tan, spend time with his dad, and catch up with friends.

Josh Gros looks forward to the short commute north to Mechanicsburg, Penn., to kick up his feet and enjoy some good home cooking. A handful of his teammates will remain in D.C. relaxing in the comfort of their air-conditioned apartments eating take-out food. Others that are staying local will be enjoying the rides at Kings Dominion and Six Flags.
One individual will not be using this time to relax and rest his weary muscles.

In fact, Steve Guppy, who started four games early this season, before experiencing severe Achilles tendonitis said, "I plan on training everyday. I've been injured so long now, this break is a great opportunity to work on my fitness."

While the players relax and recharge some of the front office staff will continue to work to improve the Black-and-Red. During the four-day break President and CEO Kevin Payne, head coach Peter Nowak, and Technical Director Dave Kasper will travel together to Argentina to scout players.

Whether the players will be doing loop-the-loops on the roller coasters at King's Dominion or relaxing by the warm ocean water, you can rest assured they will be raring and ready on June 29 to defeat Chicago for the second time this season.

Adu in Top Form

The youngest, smallest and lightest player on the U.S. Under-20 national team, Freddy Adu lit up the stadium Tuesday night against Germany at the World Youth Championships in Enschede, Netherlands. The two teams ended in a draw despite Adu's picture perfect pass to teammate Eddie Gaven, whose first attempt was quickly turned away by German goalkeeper Rene Adler.

The U.S. will next face Egypt on Saturday, June 18 in their final Group D match in Enschede. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. local / 7:30 a.m. ET and fans can follow the match live on Fox Soccer Channel and ussoccer.com's MatchTracker. The match will also be televised on Galavision on same-day tape delay at 7 p.m. ET and replayed on Fox Soccer Channel at 11 p.m. ET.

The Americans have accumulated four points in group play thus far and trail Germany only on goal differential. The scoreless draw marked the first-ever time the U.S. has come away with at least a point in their second match after winning their opening game at a FIFA World Youth Championship.

Coaches Association Clinic a success

On Thursday, June 16, D.C. United hosted the second annual Coaches Association Clinic on the team's practice fields, located adjacent to RFK Stadium. The morning after their big win over the visiting Chicago Fire, the Black-and-Red welcomed more than 100 coaches to a day of coaching instruction. The clinic began with the opportunity to sit in on the team's morning practice, giving area coaches a first hand look at the techniques of a professional level coaching staff.

"It's been a lot of fun to come out," said Rick Wilcox of Alexandria's Episcopal High School. "What's most interesting to me is to get an up close look at how the coaches interact and manage the players in a practice setting."

Over the course of three sessions, United's coaching staff touched on everything from hydration and injury prevention to ball control and foot skills. They rounded out the afternoon with goalkeeping drills and techniques. The Coaches Association Clinic is just another way that United is involved in the D.C. soccer community, striving to make better coaches and in return, better players.


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