For Alejandro Bedoya, mornings mean taking the kids to school, taking phone calls and answering emails for his business ventures before beginning training with the Philadelphia Union. LAFC's Maxime Crepeau and Nashville SC's Walker Zimmerman rise early with their young children and walk their dogs, then go to their respective facilities for coffee and breakfast.

Sebastian Lletget, new to the New England Revolution, is a mate guy. He carries the loose-leaf tea in a bag gifted to him by his girlfriend, pop star Becky G, putting a kettle on for hot water soon after he arrives at the Revs' training center. (When Gustavo Bou beats him there, the Argentine always makes the water too hot.) Then Lletget turns on First Take -- "I love me some Stephen A." -- and zones out for a quiet hour before training. He'll listen to ESPN, check social media and generally try to relax.

"I'm in at nine in the morning," Lletget told ESPN. "I have an hour to myself and I really value that hour."

For all the excitement that the life of a Major League Soccer player brings, there are far more moments like these -- times to lay low, maintain the body and mind, and take care of things off the field. At the end of the day, it's a job; an unusual job in which sometimes you're in front of tens of thousands of people, but a job nonetheless. And, like all jobs, it can be dull.

"You see us doing cool stuff, but for whoever takes it seriously, there's a lot of downtime, there's a lot of recovering," Lletget said. "If you want to maintain at a high level, you got to take care of your body. It's a lot of boring stuff."

That routine maintenance includes anywhere from half an hour to an hour of pre-training stretching and activation, post-practice ice baths and, for some players at least, extra work once they get home. Zimmerman, who struggled with muscle injuries early in his career, estimates he spends a total of 45 minutes before and after practice doing extra work, then up to 1 1/2 hours at home. He also gets acupuncture, and has multiple massage guns and leg-massaging machines.

"I'm lucky to have some partnerships where I've been given these gadgets and tools," Zimmerman said. "You're probably not going to have a rookie go out and spend a thousand or $1,200 on NormaTec [compression sleeves]. The fact that I have them helps because you're like, 'Oh, well, I have it. I should use it,' rather than stressing about it." He'll do the work while relaxing or watching Netflix: "You're taking advantage of the time by also doing some recovery."