Penn State Men's Soccer Canadian Trip: Day Four
June 21, 2016
The Penn State men's soccer team has embarked on an eight day trip to Canada where it will not only take part in international competition but also see the sites of the country. Through the student-athletes own words this blog will chronicle the trip on and off the field. The Nittany Lions left State College Saturday, June 18 to head to their first stop. The fourth blog of Penn State's day on Tuesday, June 21 was written by freshman Pierre Reedy, senior Mason Klerks and redshirt-freshman Travis Keil.
Day Four (Tuesday June 21) - Penn State vs. Vaughn
Pierre Reedy - Fr. - Midfielder
Today was a lighter day as we prepared for our match in the evening. We were also granted the opportunity to tour the KIA training grounds, which is home to the MLS team Toronto FC. It was a great experience touring the facilities and seeing what makes a professional facility so special. They had everything from training rooms to lounge rooms to cafeteria rooms, all second to none. It was interesting being able to compare the facilities to those we have at Penn State and seeing how comparable they were to each other. Attending a school where the soccer side of things so closely resemble that of a professional club is awesome.Upon arriving back at our hotel many of us went back to our rooms to relax in anticipation of the day's match. We played a PDL team from Vaughn in what proved to be a tougher game than the first, in which we came out with a 1-0 win. I was fortunate enough to score my first collegiate goal for the Blue and White off a ball from Robby Sagel. All the guys continued to keep the intensity up for the remainder of the game to keep the lead and the clean sheet in the end. This leaves us 2-0 in Toronto. With that being said there's a lot we can work on going forward and look to continue to get better as we head to Montreal.
Mason Klerks - Sr. - Midfielder
This morning we ventured to the Kia Training Ground of Toronto FC and were toured around their facilities. Every stop on the way I could not help but compare it with our own facilities and think about how the first team and academy teams of Toronto FC used the inspiring facilities. The facilities at the Kia Training Ground were impeccable and impressed me with the quality and precision in every detail. The facilities included a gym, medical room, conference rooms, locker rooms, classrooms, media rooms, player lounge, cafeteria, and several fields consisting of grass and artificial turf. All the teams of Toronto FC use every facility at the training ground, but the first team has priority of course. The training grounds would definitely be somewhere I would like to train someday.
It was interesting to learn about the system Toronto FC uses at their training grounds. All the teams under the Toronto FC name, from the U-11 academy to their first team, train and play at the same training grounds. The lockers are set up in a progression system, where the younger academy teams' locker rooms are located further away from the first team locker room. I think this system is important for young players to integrate themselves within the club at an early age and put them on the path to the professional level. The older and more developed the players become the closer their locker room is to the first team, enticing players to become better everyday and maybe one day join the first team. It is also cool for the younger players because they get to interact with the first team on a daily basis.
Travis Keil - R-Fr. - Midfielder
After beating a tough team 1-0 we headed back to the hotel to take quick showers. When everyone was ready we went to Dave & Buster's to watch the USA vs Argentina game. We were greeted by a very generous manager at the door. She led us to our own private party room with plenty of televisions for us to watch the game and also gave us unlimited points for us the play in the arcade. Unfortunately, Argentina was too much for the United States to handle. When the game was over we rushed to the arcade to play as many things as possible before closing time. Reluctantly, we all had to go back to the hotel to get some much needed rest for a long trip to Montreal in the morning. Until next time Toronto!