After their single week of training back at their training facility in Hanover, the New York Red Bulls are already back down in the Orlando area for their second half of their Pre-Season as they will have games against Orlando City, the Philadelphia Union and taking a trip to Northern Florida and face the NASL's Jacksonville Armada in the final pre-season game before March 6th rolls around.
This time around Ghanaian Central Defender Gideon Baah is with the club and let's see if he has picked up a learning curve as it sounds like he has started to fit well with the boys from his few training stints back up here. But the main question to Head Coach Jesse Marsch is how was the time back home for the week and going back to Orlando to finish up this month of pre-season.
"It's good to be back down in Orlando. Had a few days off and then a travel day, time to get back to work and the morning session was great." said Marsch, "Everyone was focused and ready to go to continue training here, you hoped they wouldn't miss a beat and they never did."
We know the motivation is to slowly but surely get everyone back to a level of fitness and playing at top minutes to begin the season on the right foot. After a solid first half of the pre-season with a solid win against a local college side and that five goal thrashing on the Montreal Impact, what is the feeling and the game plan to finish off this pre-season?
"I think we handled our game moments in the first half of the pre-season very well, being back home we handled it well and this time around we will push the guys even further in the second half. Trying to get them to play up to sixty minutes. It's important to us these last couple of weeks to iron out our roster. We have a lot of established players, solid youth players and whatever our decisions will be is to put them on the proper roster, either on the MLS roster or the USL roster."
Mike Grella knows this time around that the second half of the pre-season is where things get a bit harder and adjustments need to be made to have a solid performance before the regular season begins. "Its nice being back (in Orlando) after being back home for a week." Said Grella, "We got a lot of fitness in New Jersey and now it's back to work with three weeks left in this pre-season. We are working on a few new things and making sure we need to do what we have to do as this time around the results will be more important, before the first game of the season starts."
So let's see what the boys will do in this second half of their pre-season as they try to finish their time in Orlando, Florida and hope they can get off to a good start when the calendar flips from February to March and get ready to face Toronto FC on the 6th.