FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Sergio García usually spends his time sauntering around golf courses, but he faced a considerably more rigorous challenge when he hopped into a training session with New England Revolution on Wednesday morning.
The famous Spanish golfer linked up with the Revs through contacts to hone his fitness and spend some time indulging his other passion ahead of this weekend's Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Mass.
“Golf is not like football, soccer, whatever you guys want to call it, where you obviously need to be extremely fit to be running for 90 minutes,” García told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday morning. “In golf, you can be a little chubbier and do OK. At the end of the road, the fitter you are, the better your career is going to be overall.”
García has made a habit out of training with professional teams — he serves as the president of his hometown club, CF Borriol, trains with them occasionally, and even featured as a substitute in one match last September for the Spanish fourth-division side.
His diligence on the field showed through during his session with the Revolution, according to New England captain Shalrie Joseph.
“Once we started getting into it with the possession and the passing, you could see that his technique is very good,” Joseph said. “He's got a great first touch. One thing we were worried about was fitness — especially with this team, we do a lot of running up and down — but he kept up.”
While García’s soccer skills won a few admirers on the training field, the Revs certainly focused more on the chance to have one of the world's most famous golfers in their midst for a morning.
Revolution coach Steve Nicol exchanged a bit of banter with his temporary recruit in front of the awaiting media throng after training and suggested that he and his players planned to follow García's pursuits on the golf course in the future.
“We do watch what is going on and it's always nice to when you get to meet somebody and you see how they are,” Nicol said. “The boy's in [the tournament this weekend]. Hopefully, we'll get to see him this weekend — I'm sure they'll find a couple tickets — and we'll get to see the action and keep our eye on him.”
García must once again turn his focus back to golf ahead of Friday's opening round at TPC Boston to meet those demands, but he said this opportunity to train with the Revs represented another chance to indulge his love of soccer.
“It's always fun to do something that you love,” García said. “I've always loved playing football. I'd like thank the New England Revolution, the whole team and Steve for letting me practice with them.”