The second set of S2 open tryouts came and went over the weekend, and S2’s inaugural season is almost here. Between both weekends of tryouts and the miles travelled by the S2 technical staff between Las Vegas and Starfire Stadium, it’s time to start bringing in some of the talent that shined above the rest.
Competition was fierce. The highlight reel was impressive as players tried flicks and kicks you wouldn’t usually see in a game, but also performed on the training pitch as players attempted to impress S2 Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson and his staff.
Three players from each tryout are being brought in as trialists this week for the team’s first ever preseason camp. Over the next six days, these six players will join others who the coaching staff found at combines they visited during the offseason.
Here were the highlights and insights from the weekend:
Rainbow, Backheel, Repeat
For those that came out to watch the tryouts this weekend, they left having seen a show. Shots were taken from 30 yards only for keepers to make stellar diving saves. Show-stopping skill moves were used to dribble around defenders, and the keepers even showed a little fancy footwork as they took balls out of the box and juked forwards before clearing it downfield. Had a camera been rolling, it would have caught a highlight reel of moves fit for the futsal court. How creative the players are allowed to be in preseason camp will ultimately be up to the coaches, but for a weekend of putting on their best moves to impress whoever was watching, they may have done just that.
Three scrimmages were played on Saturday, and the first two ended goalless. When scrimmage three started, it all opened up. Specifically, one player—Trialist 269—tore through the defense to the tune of three goals. His first came from a rocketed left foot shot to the top left corner, then scored again on a cheeky chip over an on-rushing keeper who got a hand on the ball as it floated into the back of the net. For his third, he blasted home a ball out of mid-air from a cross put in by another trialist. He fought past a defender in order to get the angle, and once he made contact, there was not doubt about where it would end up.
Blood, Sweat and Tears
One trialist made it through the first round of cuts on Friday, only to be quite literally cut in a Saturday scrimmage when a wild elbow smashed into his nose as he and another player went up for a header. He played through the pain for as long as he could, and walked off the pitch to see the athletic trainer, unable to continue. With a bloody bib to show for his efforts, this player left it all (and then some) on the pitch.