I avoid using the word “hype” because I feel like it has a negative connotation associated with it. “Hype” can be hollow or shallow, offering promise without being able to deliver. But when it comes to the feeling in the air today at SAFC’s first training session, hype is the best word I can think of to describe the energy and enthusiasm displayed by players and coaches alike. Unlike some other hype-trains that we’ve seen in the past few months, San Antonio FC is a team that is dedicated and energized behind the idea of associating quality soccer with the City of San Antonio.
The day primarily saw SAFC players running through drills and conditioning exercises, but Thursday morning marked the first time this group had been on the field together and the excitement showed. When asked how he felt about the day, Head Coach Darren Powell said, “Its like the first day of school. I think everyone’s super excited to get out here, the coaching staff and the players.”
The first-day excitement resounded in the players as well. Defender Fejiro Okiomah spoke with the press after practice. On what he’s feeling, the veteran said “Extremely excited. It was a great day. There’s a lot of great energy in the group.” The charismatic Austin native also spoke on what it felt like to be in on the ground floor of a new organization, saying:
“You always want to build from the beginning and to be here from day one is like a dream. Its fantastic to be here, be with the spurs organization, and be with the coaching staff that knows what they want from day one and has the same goals that we all aspire to which is do extremely well and represent this city extremely well”
There have been many hints as to what kind of soccer Powell and his staff want to put on the field, the biggest coming from an interview with Assistant Coach Andy Thomson on the Just Kickin’ It Podcast. On the podcast, Thomson talked about SAFC’s plan to implement a high-tempo gameplan and help grow the players’ soccer IQ. On his expectations of his players, Coach Powell made clear today that “The players are going to give their best effort each night.”
Preseason training resumes tomorrow, all preparing for a season opener April 3rd in Seattle. When it comes to the preparation for the Seattle match, the home opener on April 9th, or every minute of training, the attitude of the club seems best represented by Fejiro’s words today: “We’ll give our all for the city and nothing less.”