With March comes the return of youth competitive soccer nationwide. Whether you’re coming out of the cold or carrying on in the sunshine, it’s an exciting time of year. Not so coincidentally, the MLS season kicks off this weekend as well. We decided to talk to a few MLS players to get some practical tips on preparation for the new season, and also hear predictions for the year ahead.
But we didn’t just get ANY MLS players. Between them, the 3 players we spoke to have 139 USMNT caps, 2 CONCACAF Gold Cups, a KNVB Cup, 1 Belgian Super Cup, 2 Belgian League Championships, and a US Open Cup. On top of that, they have played in the highest leagues in England, Germany, and the United States. So it’s safe to say they know a few things about preparing for a new season.
First up is G-Form athlete, and DC United Goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
"Going into preseason, the first thing I focus on is my fitness & gaining my sharpness back. Quickness and agility comes easiest once you start moving but building base fitness is more difficult to capture and takes time, so I try to focus more on that.
Predictions for United this season are to focus in at the beginning of each week on the task ahead. Every week is different with the elements, time of year, and opponent, so that focus means it's not easy predicting what can happen. What I will say is we have a championship mentality and we want to send RFK Stadium off with a championship."
Next, we head to California to hear from the Galaxy’s biggest off-season signing, Jermaine Jones.
“In pre-season, I just try to stay with my fitness at 100% and always have the goals for me and my team in front of my eyes.
Everyone knows with the LA Galaxy jersey, you are going into the season with the pressure of winning which is exactly what we want.”
We finish up in Philadelphia with the Union’s Oguchi Onyewu.
“Going into pre-season the most important things I focus on is recapturing my game fitness that I had when the prior season ended. I always try to build and progress where I once was.
My expectations for the Union this season is to build on our good season in 2016. We are obviously working hard to be able to be called champions at the end of the season, but aside from that I think it’s important to grow from last season and legitimize ourselves as a top team in the league.”
Our biggest takeaway is that pre-season is mainly for re-focusing the mind and gaining back the physical sharpness. It’s very interesting that they all shyed away from lofty predictions about the season ahead. Instead, their focus is smaller and they only concentrate on the upcoming week. One step at a time.
Whatever field you’re playing on this season, we wish you luck and hope you enjoy the beautiful game.
Stay healthy and on the field this season with G-Form soccer products.