With the extension of the team training moratorium across MLS, players are having to get creative as they look to stay fit.
“I don’t have weights at home,” said Inter Miami CF goalkeeper Luis Robles during a conference call with media. “One of the examples that have been used for strength training is filling up a gallon-sized milk jug. So I use that for some of the exercises and it is a creative way to do the training."
While the players have been physically isolated, Robles's teammate Wil Trapp emphasized the support they have received from Inter Miami owners Jorge Mas and David Beckham, particularly given the suspension of MLS games came just 48 hours before the club was due to play its inaugural home opener against the LA Galaxy.
“I was so impressed with Jorge and David and how they approached this entire ordeal from the beginning,” Trapp said. “The anticipation going into the LA Galaxy game was high for the club, the entire city and especially for us as players. What I found so touching from our ownership group was the fact that they came to us on the field on Thursday before the news [league suspending play] was out in the media. They told us that the game would be suspended. That this quarantine, so to speak, was going to derail our season a little bit. To have the personal connection of them coming to us, was something that you don’t always get from ownership groups.”
Trapp joined Inter Miami in January after previously spending his career with the Columbus Crew and he has quickly assumed a starting role in manager Diego Alonso’s roster, having started in both league matches played this season. Although adapting to a new team while social distancing is far from ideal, the 27-year-old shed some light on how improvised, but highly structured and monitored training sessions have continued.
“I think the club has done an excellent job with providing us the resources to not only keep up with what the training program should be from an aerobic capacity but also an anaerobic capacity with at-home lifts and videos provided to keep guys accountable," said Trapp (pictured below).
“Just think of it as the same way we do at training," he continued. "We wear GPS vests with a GPS pod designated to each individual. So we picked those up last week in somewhat of a drive-thru menu set-up at the training facility and every day we’re given runs through a team app that we use. It’s organized via your positions. So central defenders, outside backs, midfielders, etc, all have different running programs each day of the week. We’ve been instructed to wear those GPS pods during these running programs so the training staff can log the right amount of distance and all those sorts of things.”
While the club is clearly putting a lot of effort into keeping the team in shape and focused, Robles acknowledged the challenges, with a point millions across the United States can surely relate to, in one form or another.
“The thing I miss the most is actually the locker room,” he said. “We have a group chat that we have going amongst the guys but it’s just not the same.”
As well as continuous updates from the club, Robles said he appreciated a recent call held by MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
“I was on a conference call yesterday with the reps from each team," the veteran goalkeeper said. "The call was led by the Commissioner and it was a great opportunity for us to just hear information coming directly from his mouth. You definitely get the sense that he has been working around the clock.”
May 10 has been set by the league as the target return date. And there is plenty for Miami to look forward to when MLS rolls back into action.
“It’s a new experience for all of us," Trapp said. "You just try every single day to put on a brave face and move forward and thank those that are on the front lines of this because they’re doing amazing work. And we have to do our part as well by staying at home and we’ll get over this. When that day comes, that we’ll have the home opener, I know that the feeling in the stadium, the feeling of rejoice, for us as players as well as everyone that has been counting the days leading up to that day, will certainly be high."