Caught up with a sweat-soaked Julius James in the BMO Field tunnel after the TFC reserve team's 3-2 loss to Kansas City.
Not surprisingly, his first full 90-minute game since who knows when had him exhausted. His last game action came two weeks ago when he played 45 minutes in a reserve team exhibition against the Cleveland Stars of the USL's second division.
Before that, he hadn't played since a 22-minute pre-season cameo against New York, an appearance that ended with the dislocated shoulder that started this whole mess.
Earlier this week he said he was just about ready to return to the senior team, but after the reserve team game he admitted he still doesn't quite have the gas to play 90 minutes with the big guys.
As Kansas City's reserves filed past him James said his empty belly caused him more problems than his shoulder did.
Dressing for the senior team meant eating at noon and hitting the field at 2:30 to warm up. Playing with the reserves meant sitting through an entire game before taking the field again. By the time the second half of the reserve game started nearly seven hours had passed since James's last meal.
And he felt it in the final 45 minutes.
"That's a minor slip up," he said. "I felt good in the first half and part of the second half, but I guess I have to do some more work to try to retain nutrients."
Beyond that, he said he'll be ready to return to the lineup after some fine-tuning.
"Just fitness and awareness," he said. "That's basically it."
Last couple of things
Jeff Cunningham, he of the 97 career goals, played the first half of yesterday's reserve game.
Olivier Tebily, he of the brand new work permit, played the second half.
He didn't score.
This reporter, he of the tight deadlines, didn't actually see much of the reserve game.
He was writing.
Consequently, I can't really say how well James, Tebily et al played together.
I do know that TFC scored the first two goal, but by the time I reached the stands late in the second half Kansas City had tied the game, and by the time I found a comfortable place to stand (away from the swarms of gnats that invaded BMO yesterday) the Wizards had pulled ahead.
Anyone who saw the entire the game, feel free to enlighten us in 100 words or less.
-- Morgan Campbell