You are back, my love!
We did it!
After a decades-long break, the Florida State Soccer team returned to the training fields on Wednesday afternoon for the first practice of the 2022 season.
And I’m here to offer some notes from the two-hour session. Although I have to get rid of the qualifiers, I always introduce them early in practice: they’re not in podiums. Just helmets. And of course there is no treatment. Or even percussion at this point.
As FSU coach Mike Norville said afterwards: “We’re basically wearing pajamas.”
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So, day one is not the best measure of what a particular team or player can be. But it is a scale.
With that in mind, here we go.
The defense easily won the day. This should not necessarily come as a surprise. The unit returns the vast majority of contributors from last season, including eight starters. I showed.
Not only did the FSU offense essentially do nothing in the 11-on-11 part of the practice (more on that in a moment), but the receivers had trouble winning individually as well.
I thought sophomore Omarion Cooper (big surprise, right?) was the most impressive linebacker that day. The guy is just competing. And even when he gets around the streak of scrimmage, he always seems to be able to get back into play and make the pass either hard to catch or unwieldy.
I thought two highly regarded students, Azaria Thomas And the Sam McCall, Both were great in the early days as well. McCall had two PBUs in one-on-one drills and one in 11v11, coming in for a blitz and then hitting a back pass.
Thomas also had some PBU’s in a singles match and then made a great read in his last 11v11 game, being able to sniff out a screen pass, beat his blocker, and make a no-win. He seems to see the field – and understand the concepts – at a high level for a very young person.
A student in his second year of study Kevin Knowles It was an impressive day too, as he scored a lone interception when he stomped in front of a deep throw from AJ Duffy to me Micah Bateman in individual exercises. Bateman seemed to have a step ahead of Knowles, but the ball fell a bit and Knowles played a very good play on it.
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