Behind the badge: Super Sunday
Following four taxing days of training in Bradenton, Fla., a majority of D.C. United players were more than happy to watch Sunday night's Super Bowl from the comfort of their own apartments. Few had a rooting interest in the NFL championship game, but all were looking forward to the highly anticipated match-up between the Patriots and Eagles and to the wide range of quality commercials usually associated with the event. Though neither the game nor the advertisements lived up to the billing, the weary members of the Black-and-Red welcomed the downtime.
Training resumed Monday morning with the 2.5 mile run to breakfast, followed by two training sessions. The players spent 90 intense minutes in the Florida sun in the morning, working on a variety of passing drills and possession exercises before finishing with a small sided game. The afternoon session was a bit more enjoyable for the defending MLS Cup Champions, but the hard work was evident.
United (1-0 this pre-season) return to action Tuesday morning for a 10 a.m. ET, scrimmage against MLS newcomers, Real Salt Lake on the IMG Academies campus.
Freddy's Super Sunday
D.C. United's Freddy Adu had millions of eyes on him on Super Sunday as he was featured in both a promotional spot together with forward Clint Mathis and Mia Hamm for the Fox Soccer Channel and a follow-up segment on the popular news magazine program 60 Minutes. Adu watched the game from Miami, Fla., where he is stationed for Monday's Sierra Mist commercial shoot.
The 15-year-old midfielder will be joined on set by Alex Rodriguez and Jeff Gordon, among others, in the spot which will air later this spring. Adu returns to Bradenton Monday afternoon and will be back in training on Tuesday.
D.C. United's first preseason training headquarters in Bradenton, Fla., is also the home of a wide range of professional athletes from a variety of sports. IMG Academy is best known for the Nick Bolettieri Tennis Academy, which has produced such greats as Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Martina Hingis, Venus and Serena Williams, Monica Seles and Anna Kournikova. Currently, Tommy Haas, Xavier Malisse, Maria Sharapova and Max Mirnyi are training at the facility.
Other schools at the facility include: the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, IMG Soccer Academy, the Baseball Academy, the Basketball Academy and the International Performance Institute. Joining several Major League Soccer teams on campus are a host of Major League baseball players preparing for spring training and several football players, including Chris Spencer, Alex Smith, David Pollack, Heath Miller and Rob Petitti, readying themselves for the upcoming NFL combine.