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How the Portland Thorns are staying fit in a perpetual preseason

Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer-Portland Thorns

The start of the 2020 season has presented a bit of a moving target for clubs in the National Women’s Soccer League. First, the preseason games were cancelled. Then the league imposed a training moratorium until March 22 — which was then extended into early April, early May, and, most recently, May 15.

For owners, that’s meant difficult decisions on how to manage their organizations in a seemingly indefinite suspension of operations. For front office staff, that has meant finding creative ways to keep fans engaged. For players and coaches, it has meant maintaining fitness levels that had already been carefully calibrated for a preseason that barely got started and yet has never really ended.

As teams have moved to training remotely in order to follow social distancing guidelines in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has played a key factor.

“We use a couple of different [monitoring platforms] to check on how the players are doing first thing in the morning,” Portland Thorns performance and fitness coach Tom Milroy explained to The Equalizer. “They fill in daily questionnaires about their sleep, and their soreness, and how they’re feeling.

“We as a medical performance staff check that every morning…

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