It was an exciting day for Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler, even though it was roughly spent doing a similar daily routine to the one he's had for for the last 12 years.
The center back, who has made 286 regular season appearances with SKC, reveled in the simplicity of getting to drive to the club's training facility for the first time in nearly two months.
MLS gave the green light to start voluntary individual workouts at club facilities on Wednesday in line with public health guidelines. It's not nearly the same as regular full team training, as the club strictly followed safety protocol including sanitization stations and limiting Besler to one quadrant of a field alone, it was better than nothing.
“It was awesome, it felt great," Besler told reporters with boyish excitement on a video conference call. "We haven’t had too much to look forward to, especially with soccer, so it was uplifting news to everyone. And much needed.”
Being at the field gave Besler space to get meaningful touches on the ball, as well as work on sprinting and change of direction, some things that aren't so easy to do in the at-home workouts they've been doing since mid-March.
“I had questions going in about going to a field as an individual, just how much I’d be able to get out of that workout," Besler admitted. "But I was blown away by how good it felt to be out on the field. It’s a good feeling. I think we all understand that getting back to games will be a process. … It’s a really good step that we made today.”
The small step forward gives Besler excitement and hope.
“I think this is the right move to open up our training facilities," Besler said. "We’re programmed to work out. As professional athletes, that’s in our DNA. You can’t tell us to stop working out, there’s only so much you can do at home. Eventually players will find another solution because working out is how we make our living. Providing a safe environment for us to do that is a big step forward.”