Gyasi Zardes has unlocked the secret to developing the perfect first touch. Sports Illustrated published this in-depth piece on a special machine that the United States international has been using to help him take his game to the next level.
The name of this revolutionary machine is called the "TOCA Football - First Touch Soccer Training System"
Zardes has used the TOCA first touch training system, which was developed by former USMNT member Eddie Lewis, since the beginning of 2014. He gives it a lot of credit when it comes to the strides that he has made for club and country over the past two seasons. The TOCA, which looks like a motorized push lawnmower with a spiral of soccer balls on it, fires soccer balls based on height and direction-specific orders that Zardes gives with his iPhone. At its fastest, TOCA can fire balls every two seconds, a pace which Zardes says he can now keep up with when working on his first touch rapid fire style, which he does on occasion. In general, he favors the slower, but still demanding, four-second interval.
As you can see below, the extra training has really paid dividends:
TOCA has done wonders for Zardes and could do the same for you. You can buy your very own first touch trainer here and perhaps even start a World Cup qualifier in the near future. Technology is amazing, kids.