Nashville SC returned to the training pitch last Thursday – sort of. Read what defender Jalil Anibaba and midfielder Dax McCarty had to say about their individual workouts, and the limitations of not being able to train as a team.
Defender Jalil Anibaba
“Yeah, it feels good to be back on the pitch in whatever capacity possible. Obviously, this isn’t ideal, but this whole situation isn’t ideal for any of us. We’ll take what we can get, and just kind of see how everything unfolds from here.”
“Quarantine life has been a lot of chilling at home, obviously. I’m just trying to make sure I keep myself and my family safe. A whole lot of puzzles, a lot of Netflix, and trying to just make sure I stay relaxed and enjoy the downtime.”
What are the challenges of the slow return to practice?
“The biggest challenge for all of us is to just be able to be flexible, and to be ready for anything. Obviously that goes hand-in-hand with staying prepared. But I like to kind of make sure that we’re taking care of our mindsets, and make sure that, when things get back under way, we’re in a good mental space to attack this thing full-throttle.”
Midfielder Dax McCarty
“It feels great to be back out here. Obviously a beautiful day to get on grass. The groundskeepers have done a great job taking care of the fields. Just that sense of familiarity is really nice to be back out here.”
What are the challenges you face?
“Yeah, I think some of the challenge is just the tactical side of the game. Having that familiarity with your teammates, trying to make sure you’re staying sharp technically, but tactically as well. I think with these individual workouts, you can get a lot out of it, you can get some technical work in, you can get some fitness work in, but it’s really hard to replicate the movement and the tactical awareness as a team to be able to start competition again.”
What stands out about the Atlanta match?
“I think just the atmosphere inside the stadium. When you play in a big match like that, obviously the adrenaline’s running high, your emotions are running high, so it’s tough to really enjoy the moment when you’re in it. So being able to watch it again, and relive the atmosphere, relive the emotion, relive that energy that was inside the stadium that night, that’s something I’m really looking forward to.”