By Ben Wright, editor.
NASHVILLE, TN - For the first time in 56 days, Nashville SC players took the field at their Currey Ingram training facility, albeit under a very different set of circumstances. Adhering to strict health protocols, players conducted individual workouts at safe distances on the club's practice fields. It's a baby step, as General Manager Mike Jacobs said, but it's a step in the right direction.
"It feels great to be back out here," said midfielder and captain Dax McCarty. "Just that sense of familiarity is really nice to be back out here."
"It feels good to be back on the pitch in whatever capacity possible," added defender Jalil Anibaba. "Obviously this isn't ideal. this whole situation isn't ideal for any of us. We'll take what we can get and see what unfolds from here."
The return to the pitch isn't nearly a return to regular in-season training, but it allows players to maintain their fitness and conduct workouts on an immaculate surface and in a private setting. It's the first step in a league-wide plan to eventually return to regular season games.
"This is a really critical stage not only for Nashville, but for our whole league," said Jacobs. "How well our team and league maintains this phase one protocol will be key to moving on to stage two and eventually stage three. I think if we do a good job, we’ll be able to move forward. If there are hiccups, we may move further back in our ability to bring games to the field."
"The biggest challenge for all of us is to just to stay flexible and be ready for anything," noted Anibaba. "I like to make sure that we're taking care of our mindset and make sure that when things get back underway, we're in a good space to attack this thing full throttle."
Quotes provided by Nashville SC communications department