Head Coach and Sporting Director Rod Underwood and defender Robert Screen speak about preseason preparations so far and look ahead to a first preseason test in a closed-door friendly in Knoxville.
Chattanooga Football Club Head Coach and Sporting Director Rod Underwood and his staff have been working hard to get their squad match-ready for the first preseason test against USL League One side One Knoxville SC.
Chattanooga FC will take on One Knox in a closed-door preseason friendly this Saturday in Knoxville at 2:00 pm ET.
ChattanoogaFC.com recently had an opportunity to catch up with Underwood and new signing Robert Screen to get some insight on how the squad is gelling in the early stages of preseason, and how they’re preparing for the upcoming fixture against One Knox this weekend.
“I think it’s been good, I mean it's good to get our guys back in…," said Underwood. "We feel we have a good talent level, but we still want to add a few players, so we still have work to do on the recruiting side of it still."
Coach Underwood went on to speak about this weekend's first preseason test and what value it adds to the overall preparations for the club.
“We look at it in two ways: we look at it as giving a chance for our guys to get some minutes against a real opponent. It's also a chance to see some trialists in real match situations.”
Screen discussed what it's been like learning Coach Underwood’s style, and his overall thoughts on the preseason thus far.
"It's going well," said Screen. "I'm learning a little bit of a new style than what I'm used to, and I know a couple of other players are used to, but you can definitely tell some of the guys on the team are good at it. They’ve been around Rod for a while, which is good cause it is useful to have those guys around to help you out. I like the style and I’m excited to start."
Screen elaborated on what makes Underwood’s style of play unique.
"The ball is on the ground a lot of the time, with nice, quick passes to move the ball around people. I told some of my friends that we're trying to look like 2009 prime Barcelona, and honestly, at times, we don't look too far off that! (laughs)"
Underwood concluded by giving his early impressions of the new build and look of the squad ahead of the club's inaugural season in MLS NEXT Pro.
"Because the guys have been in, they’ve been able to know each other off the field, which is quite good. On the field, it’s just getting to know each other and it takes time, right? So we feel good about the direction that we’re headed."
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