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The Impact, the World Cup, and other notes from Friday training

Francisco Calvo and Adrian Heath were addressed by media today, regarding the World Cup and the match tomorrow night against Montreal

Soccer: 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup-Costa Rica at Panama Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Practice notes:

  • Jerry and Marc Burch were still sidelined with injuries today, with Jerry being day-to-day.
  • The goalkeeper training with the squad is Lucas Rezende.
  • Ibson and Rasmus Schuller are both good to go for Saturday’s match against Montreal.
  • Michael Boxall will be given the captains armband throughout Calvo’s absence.
  • Wyatt Omsberg and Brent Kallman will compete for the spot during Calvo’s absence, with a possibility of Bertrand Owundi E’ko getting minutes as well.

Francisco Calvo and the World Cup:

Francisco Calvo is headed to his first World Cup next week, leaving Minnesota United to joining his teammates in his home country of Costa Rica to prepare for the tournament as well as three international friendly's prior to the start of the competition. “It’s a dream come true, I think the world cup is the biggest stage in the world and any soccer player can go; god gave me this opportunity and I’m going to take it.” Calvo expressed his desire since he was a child to go to the World Cup, and now that the opportunity has come, he will not let it slip from his grasp. When asked how he’s going to balance the experience of the world Cup along with the task at hand of competing to make it out of the group stage, Calvo said: “Its part of my job, I’m going to be on the world stage and as a country we need to take this opportunity. I am going to keep doing my job and I want to improve every game and improve my career and come back here and do the best for Minnesota.” He elaborated on how he realizes the importance of this tournament for his home country and how he will do his best not to let them down. He mentioned how his favorite memory with the national team was when he scored his first goal against Trinidad in qualifying, and he hopes to be able to replicate that type of play in Russia.

When I asked about the match against Montreal tomorrow night, Calvo responded with a quote that many MNUFC fans should let sink in. “I want to play my best game of the season tomorrow, that’s the goal I have. Trust me, I never go onto the field saying ‘I am going to make a mistake tomorrow’, I try to go onto the field and be a leader while defending and doing the things I know I can do to help my team fight for 90 minutes. We need three points tomorrow, and the fans will need to get into it and help us because of how important these three points are.” Calvo has not been in the best form over the past month, and it has been recognized nationally across MLS and social media platforms. Speaking to him today, I could see the fire in his eyes and that he meant what he said. He wants to show up tomorrow and play the best football of this season, he wants to leave the squad on a good note; a classy note from a true captain.

Adrian Heath:

Inchy expressed his disappointment in Gareth Southgate’s decision to exclude him from England’s roster, but he understands the situation. Heath also eluded on how proud he and the MNUFC organization are of not only Francisco Calvo, but Johan Venegas as well on making the World Cup roster. “Hopefully he will be back after the group stage though” smirked Adrian Heath, when he was asked about the void in Calvo’s position while he’s gone. When asked about the group stage for Costa Rica, Adrian had a laugh with media saying “that’s why i’m confident he’ll be back after the group stage.” Adrian then went on to say how he was kidding, and how he believes Costa Rica could truly take 1st place out of the group if they can get two quality wins against Serbia and Switzerland. “The first game is so important for every group, if you were to pick a win up, it changes the whole group for everybody else.” Inchy was then quoted on saying how he expects England to better than everybody thinks, but overall, the Cup is Spain’s to lose. France and Brasil are the two toughest competitors behind Spain, but it is their’s to lose.

When asked about the match tomorrow, Heath also said that shutting down Ignacio Piatti will be a priority for the squad. “He’s a top player, he will not be easy to shut down. He has been one of the best DP’s in the league.” Adrian Heath expects nothing less than three points out of his men tomorrow, and he fully expect everyone to show up read to play their hearts out. (This might literally happen, it’s going to be like 97 degrees at kickoff).