NASHVILLE – Nashville SC players and fans have one thing in common right now: they’re waiting to find out how, and when, the Major League Soccer season can resume.
In order to be as prepared as possible for that day, Nashville SC’s players have been participating in individual workouts at the club’s training facility at Currey Ingram Academy. According to midfielder Aníbal Godoy, these individual workouts have immense value in terms of being fit enough to start ramping up towards the resumption of the season.
“Coming here every three days is good for us because I don’t know when we’ll start the season, if it’s next month or two months more, but you need to be prepared for the moment,” Godoy said. “If you’re not prepared, it’s difficult. You risk injuries and things like it. It’s a good time to come here for training.”
A number of safety protocols have been put in place to ensure these sessions can be held properly, including mask and glove requirements upon entry to the pitch, temperature checks and individual quadrants of the training ground for players to work in. Defender Dan Lovitz knows these procedures are for the best, and they’ve become commonplace by now.
“You’ve got to remember the number one priority here is safety,” Lovitz said. “I don’t think any one of us as professional athletes are qualified to say what the right protocols are, but have to follow them and make sure we are crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s when it comes to what we can handle and what we can control. If that’s getting your temperature taken, wearing gloves and a mask when you arrive to the training ground, that’s the least we can do honestly. I think everyone’s kind of used to it.”
Even though it’s nice to be able to see teammates from 10 feet or more away, Lovitz also understands that this is just the first phase of a long process.
“This is a team sport and we’re not playing as a team right now,” Lovitz said. “This is individual training, and again it’s necessary to do it safe and smart. This training doesn’t exactly translate into what we’re ultimately here for, which is playing a team sport and trying to win games. But at the same time, we’re trying to figure out what the best way back is and this is the first step.”
It’s been over two months since Nashville SC took the pitch for its first two matches in MLS. In those two matches, Nashville went toe-to-toe with two recent MLS Cup finalists, but came away with no points in the standings. Lovitz is ready to show that Nashville SC can compete with any other MLS club.
“I think internally, the understanding was really strong, really positive,” Lovitz said. “I know externally we’re judged by results and that’s something we’re aware of and we wish we would have had different results coming off of the first two games. At the same time, when we watched the games back like we all have multiple times, we know that we’re in a good spot. As far as setting out to the early phases of a season and creating a foundation and an identity, we took two good steps towards that. We’re just unfortunate not to be able to work off of that, but everyone’s in the same boat now.”