A letter from camp: Will John's diary
Preseason has gone just as I expected it to so far. Just over a week finished and everyone is already incredibly sore. We're not quite at the halfway point and we still have some much dreaded fitness runs to endure in the Florida heat.
We typically have two practices a day, with the morning practice usually the lightest. My new team is welcoming and full of comedians. However, practices can get intense. Everyone wants to win. Competing for a spot in the first 18 makes the level and speed of play increase.
The exhibition games have all been successful. Coach Sarachan has emphasized that this is the time to get sharp and to fine-tune our soccer skills. Before we know it, it will be April 2, and the first game of the season will be upon us.
With all the hard work that goes on during the morning and afternoon, we have to have some time to relax at night. In our down time, nothing gets more intense than the Winning Eleven videogame soccer tournaments. Games are taken seriously, with 15 soccer players from three different MLS teams fighting to call themselves the best.
Representatives from Real Salt Lake, the Metrostars and the Fire played through a tournament with a group stage and a knockout round. Chicago's own Scott Buete took the first title, but in the ongoing second tournament, he was demolished and had to settle for a first-round exit. This leaves competition for the second title wide open.
Overall, my experience has been amazing. I enjoy lessons at the soccer field rather than at school, so whenever I get a chance to rub that in one of my friend's faces I do. I'll be starting school back up when my schedule gets a bit less hectic, so until then I get to enjoy what I love most, and do what I've dreamed of since I was a kid. I'm excited about the new season, just as everyone on our team is. We plan to do well and I know that we can.