23

NYCFC puts us through our paces at its brand-new training facility

It sounded like one of those ads you used to see for fantasy sports camps with stars of yesteryear. Equipment would be provided, though there was no mention of whether it included a defibrillator and a pair of titanium shin guards, nfl discount jerseys which in my case might come in handy. Regardless, I decided to participate along with about 20 other journalists, and if I managed to survive with ligaments and tendons intact, I was declaring victory.

The invitation was a means to an end of course. New York City FC was unveiling its new state-of-the-art training facility, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and the “training experience” would allow for a more up-close view of the setup.23

The thought of a new training ground conjures up visions of a vast expanse of buildings and field after field stretching off into the distance. So as I exited my car, I was a bit surprised to see a modestly sized facility, with one low-slung building and the practice field off to the right.

To hear various NYCFC staff describe it, this is intentional, even though team vice chairman Marty Edelman joked that there was “no budget” when it came to building the facility, the third such project that owners City Football Group have embarked on worldwide. Everything connected to the facility is only as big as it needs to be, not as big as it could be. Throughout the day, there was constant talk of flow and versatility.

“There’s nothing over the top that we don’t need,” Vieira said. “Every single room makes sense.”

The locker room is circular, the intention being that it inspires inclusion. A comment uttered on one side of the room can easily be heard on the other.

“There’s no corner where people are hiding, or you can’t see,” said NYCFC forward Tommy McNamara. In other words, if there is any gossiping to be done, it will have to take place elsewhere.

He starts off with a drill I’m familiar with from my days as an amateur goalkeeper;where to buy nfl jerseys cheap hands on the head, while your partner drops the ball and you have to react quickly to catch it. My partner in the drill, YES Network’s Sarah Kustok, is excellent at this, which is no surprise as I find out later she is a former collegiate basketball player. Next we’re given numbers and instructed to toss the ball to the next person in the sequence and complete a short sprint around a nearby pole. It gets a little chaotic, but the brains are working at least.