Loudoun United FC returned to small group training this week in preparation for the resumption of the 2020 United Soccer League season.
Following months of virtual training since the USL Championship season was halted March 12 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Loudoun United defender Jake Dengler enjoyed getting back to live training at Segra Field in Leesburg.
"I missed being with the guys, just being able to see your teammates," said Dengler, a Baltimore native in his first season with LUFC after playing for the University of Connecticut in 2019. "Nothing really compares to showing up for a workout with them instead of working out on your own. It just brings a level of competitiveness."
The USL Championship Board of Governors voted last week in favor of returning to play for the 2020 season, with a provisional start date of July 11. The USL stated in a release that more information about competition format, scheduling, broadcast and other details will be made available in the coming weeks.
Loudoun United is an affiliate team of D.C. United, a member of Major League Soccer. MLS is planning a return to action July 8 for a World Cup style competition to be held without spectators at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Florida.
In its second overall season, Loudoun United played just one match -- a scoreless draw against the Philadelphia Union II -- before the 2020 campaign was paused.
Loudoun United's voluntary training this week consisted of groups of four players during each session. Dengler noted that the entire squad is expected to be back together next week.
"Everybody has been really hungry for it for a while," Dengler said of the season restarting. "If they said in two weeks, we are having our first game, we would all be able to go out there and play the full 90 [minutes] just because of the excitement."