The Houston Dynamo are taking “the next positive step forward” with individual workouts beginning Thursday morning at the club's training facility.
“I think it is very significant because it is a step in a positive direction for everybody,” Dynamo general manager Matt Jordan told reporters Wednesday. “It creates a positive feeling to start getting back out and taking the next steps towards this phased approach.”
Jordan said the hopes are the next phase would include small group training, followed by full team training. And while there isn’t a set date to return to competitive play, being able to return to the training grounds is an important step on several levels.
“Just as important as these sessions are physically, they are important mentally as well, just to get back out and get moving and not be training at a local park or at your house,” Jordan said. “I think it is just a real positive step. We have spoken to the players, and there has been a lot of positive feedback about getting things moving in a positive direction.”
Jordan informed the players of the guidelines for their return in a presentation Tuesday night and said the club could have started training Wednesday, but “what we decided was to air on being as safe as possible and getting all our logistics and protocols in place.”
While it is natural to want to fast forward to full team training as soon as possible, Jordan said following the step-by-step approach is necessary with safety at the forefront.
“Our number one goal is to be providing a safe and secure environment where we are able to control as many variables as possible to just get the process going for the players on our team.,” he said.
Jordan also thinks seeing players return to the training ground for individual workouts provides some positivity to Dynamo fans and the city of Houston in general during the COVID-19 crisis.
“I think this is something that can give everyone in the city a little bit of positive news as well, while we are exercising the absolute most detailed safety measures that we can,” Jordan said.
Jordan said, through Zoom calls, the players, and new coach Tab Ramos, are bonding in a different way than they previously would through unique team-building exercises.
“We were on the phone last night, and they had a little bit of a competition where players had to do something and they voted on who the winners were, and whoever lost has to sing a song in front of the group, and there was a collective laugh last night when we were talking about that,” Jordan said. “That was something that really stood out to me with everybody on the Zoom call last night, the energy and camaraderie with the group is really strong right now. I just know that everybody is eager to get back, but to get back safely.”