CF Montreal training camp | Hernan Losada raises the bar for third week

(Montreal) The sound of the whistles will probably haunt the dreams of CF Montreal players for a few more days.

The Bleu-blanc-noir players began the third week of training camp by testing their cardio on Monday at the Olympic Stadium. They tried to beat the whistle on the occasion of a circular version of the good old « shuttle race » that is imposed on young people in primary and secondary school.

While Quebecer Mathieu Choinière and American Milo Garvanian, the team’s second-round choice in the last MLS draft, can boast of having won both races of the day, the objective was above all to give a point of reference concerning the physical state of the players.

« It’s a physical test that many teams normally do at the start of preparation. We waited to allow the players to have two weeks of training and to get better results, said head coach Hernan Losada. From this reference point, we can do individual work. We can see which players to use in friendlies and with whom to go more slowly. The two players who won showed they were physically ready, but we’re not going any further than that. »

It’s no secret that Losada likes players in very good physical condition and we can say that he has quietly raised the bar since the start of the camp. Even though some of his men struggled at times, the Argentine coach continued to be complimentary towards his group.

For Losada, there is also a balance to be had between tough and physical training and the understanding of the principles of the game that he wants to establish before the start of the preseason matches.

“I watched a group that was very well physically, but it’s also important to work with the ball. The biggest goal is to keep everyone fit, avoid injuries and keep working on our game model and our principles,” he stressed.

Forward Romell Quioto, who has had his share of injuries since arriving in Montreal, appeared to gasp for breath during practice last week, raising questions about his fitness. The team’s top scorer in 2022 looked more at ease on Monday, and he seems to be enjoying the way Losada has been working so far.


CF Montreal forward Romell Quioto slips on his cleats during the first day of training camp in Montreal on Monday, January 9, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

“I feel good physically and I’ve been working hard for two weeks. These weeks served to get me back in shape after a long break, mentioned the Honduran. Hernan made a very good impression. He is a coach who really likes to work with the ball and who pushes a lot so that the players recover it. I like that style. »

While some MLS teams have already started their preparatory calendar, CF Montreal will have to wait until they arrive in Florida in early February before playing this kind of game.

If everything goes as planned, the Bleu-blanc-noir should play two training sessions that will look like a match with their under-23 group.

The Montreal troupe, the Columbus Crew and the Seattle Sounders are the only MLS teams not yet to have revealed part or all of their preparatory schedule.

“We will play friendlies before leaving for Florida, and there will be four more preseason games there,” Losada assured.

The rumor machine

CF Montreal players trained under the eyes of Montreal actor Moe Jeudy-Lamour, who plays goalkeeper Thierry Zoreaux in the television series Ted Lasso. However, it was the absentees who fueled the rumours.

The saga surrounding striker Kei Kamara has continued for a third consecutive week. After training with his teammates for the first time since asking to be traded on Friday, the Sierra Leonean was once again conspicuous by his absence on Monday.

According to posts on her Instagram account, Kamara missed her connection to Montreal at Detroit airport. Regardless, Losada seemed irritated by this situation.

“He has already lost a week of work because he arrived late. There are rules for everyone and we have to follow them. When I give a weekend off, I expect everyone to be there on Monday,” the head coach expressed.

Midfielder Joaquin Torres was spotted at the Olympic Stadium, but left the venue and did not train with his teammates.

In his case, rumors of a transfer to the Philadelphia Union are more and more persistent. Losada did nothing to put out the fire during his press briefing.

« Joaquin isn’t here, but there’s nothing official about him yet, » Losada said, adding that Torres’ absence was not due to injury.

Eventually, defender Kamal Miller left the field during the second hour of practice. Miller didn’t appear to be injured, but he’s also been a part of some transfer rumours.

We can therefore bet that the vice-president and chief sports officer of CF Montreal, Olivier Renard, makes sure not to run out of battery in his cell phone these days.

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