BOSTON — Liverpool returned to Fenway Park on Tuesday night to prepare for Wednesday’s “Football at Fenway” game against Serie A (Italy first division) side AS Roma.
This is the first time since 2012 that the Premier League club will play at America’s most beloved ballpark. That game also was against Roma, which the Italians won 2-1.
“There’s a real sense of nostalgia, coming back. It’s an iconic stadium,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said Tuesday during a news conference. “I’ve obviously been back to Boston since, but coming back here with the team allows us to sit and reflect on the two years that we’ve had and the progress that has been made.
“The couple of years that we’ve had have been great, but we’re not going to rest on it.”
The Reds’ practice at Fenway — its second training session on Tuesday — featured small team drills and a short scrimmage on a condensed field. The goalkeepers also got plenty of work defending set pieces after their normal drills.
It’s important to remain in game-mode during the summer, especially for the players who didn’t participate in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil earlier this month. The summer practices also give the new signings and younger, more inexperienced players a chance to develop important chemistry with the squad.
Overall, Liverpool is in a better place now than it was back in 2010. The club has returned to the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2009-10 and will be among the top contenders for the 2014-15 Premier League title after a runner-up finish last season.
With a squad that has a great mix of veterans (Steven Gerrard, Martin Skrtel) and motivated young players (Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge), this is an exciting time for the 18-time English champions. Rodgers is looking forwarded to the challenges that lie ahead as expectations increase.
“We’ve made great progress, but there’s still a lot of work for us to do and a lot of progress to be made,” Rodgers said. “While that is the case, then we will continue to work hard as a club and staff to keep us moving forward.”
“We have maybe arrived earlier than I anticipated, but that shows you the development of the club as a whole and the development of the players,” Rodgers said. “I’m extremely proud and privileged to manage the club; I extended my deal in the summer because I really see Liverpool as a destination for many years to come.”
Kickoff for Wednesday’s game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.