East Village Times were invited on the behalf of 1904 FC and their general manager Alex Gontran to attend their closed-door team event this Saturday.
I was there to watch the team play a friendly scrimmage, as majority owner and international player Demba Ba (who has played for teams such as Chelsea and Newcastle United) attended the event, alongside Gontran and their technical staff to evaluate their players and construct their initial roster for the inaugural season.
The players took the field at 1:00 pm and began partaking in normal stretches and exercises, such as wind sprints. The team then split off into two mini teams, one with black shirts and the other with white shirts.
Play began around 1:35 as both teams kicked off to begin the scrimmage.
Play continued until 3:30 with small 10 minute intermissions occurring in order to give the players time to recuperate some of their stamina as well as swap in new faces for Gontran to evaluate. It was the team in black shirts that ultimately prevailed over their white-shirted compatriots by a score of 4-2.
The offense was clicking and six total goals scored, as one player scored his goals with an exclamation point, firing a rocket past the goalie for his first goal and scoring his second goal with an impressive header. The passing game looked good, but it will need work as some passes skipped past their intended targets or were either too short or too long.
While the defense did allow the six goals, it was impressive when it needed to be. Players on both sides were giving it their all and made impressive stops, whether it be slide tackling into an opponent to get the ball away or herding a player into a corner and away from his teammates to force him to take a bad shot.
What was most impressive about this team was the communication. For a team that has not played many games or practiced together for a very long time, the communication was loud, constant, but very clear. The goalies on both sides of the ball gave out direction to their teammates and commanded their defense at crucial points in the game, while the offense made it clear who they wanted the ball to go to and where they wanted the player to be at.
While the 1904 FC season still hangs in the balance due to the NASL fighting for its current status as a Division 2 league. But if they are allowed to keep their status, it will result in the 1904 FC beginning its inaugural season and hopefully achieving their ambition to bring a championship to San Diego. They certainly have the talent to do it.