DC United head coach Tom Soehn has explained that his squad's preparation for 2009 is very different from previous seasons. "It's been a lot less stressful." Soehn told the Washington Post. "Normally we are already worrying about set pieces and marking.
"The focus now is making sure we get everyone fit and physically ready. It's a whole different mentality and it's a lot easier this way. In the past, you were worried about picking out your first 11 right about now, knowing that in two weeks you have a game. Some of our senior guys, they are not going to play in these initial [preseason] games.
"We're going to get them sharp and ready for the opener. It's a total different cycle and not too many teams have had to go through it. Us and Houston have done it the most, and Houston is going to have to do it again.
"It puts a lot of pressure on you to succeed at a really early stage of fitness and sharpness. In the process of doing it, you don't take the time to develop some of the other guys who you are going to need to call on during the course of a season. It's tough to do, we've been through it and it's a tough task."
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