U.S. national team practice report

U.S. Crest

by GIANFRANCO PANIZO

For the first time since this week's training camp began, the United States men's national team practiced on artificial turf on Saturday morning as they continued preparations for their looming World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.

The U.S. national team gathered for an hour-long training session and got a feel for a surface similar to the one they will play on next week. Defender Oguchi Onyewu believes a collective defensive effort will be needed in order to secure a positive result in Costa Rica, where the U.S. is 0-5-1 all-time in World Cup qualifying.

"We have to have a strong showing defensively and that doesn't just mean the defenders," said Onyewu. "Strikers, midfielders, defenders, goalkeeper; we all have to have a solid display defensively and once we do that the offense will take care of itself."

Onyewu, who is now a free agent after finishing his fifth season with Belgian champs Standard Liege, was tight-lipped about teams that have expressed interest in him so far this summer.

"There are reports linking me with a lot of teams. Right now I don't want to confirm or deny any reports but hopefully within the weeks to come I will be able to make a decision," said the 27-year-old.

Onyewu and the rest of the U.S. national team will have their final training session in South Florida on Sunday morning.

Here is some more news and notes from today's practice:

  • Frankie Hejduk and Maurice Edu will travel to Miami to be evaluated by the national team medical staff.
  • All 14 players in camp trained Saturday morning, including recent arrivals Freddy Adu, Sacha Kljestan and Jonathan Bornstein.
  • The remainder of the players will arrive to South Florida on Sunday and Monday with the lone exception being Danny Califf, who will meet with the team in Costa Rica.

Do you see the artificial turf as a big factor in the qualifier against Costa Rica? Do you agree wth Onyewu's approach to the match, or should the team be attack-minded? Where do you see him signing this summer?

Share your thoughts below.

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17 Responses to U.S. national team practice report

  1. CrispyST3 says:

    Mo Edu isnt playing tomorrow for Rangers, that sucks, U guys think Berry will regain his place after this? or no, hopefully Mo will keep his starting spot

  2. J says:

    that’s surprising to me that costa rica (or any other south/central american team) would use a turf field. have they always used one?

  3. Dan Roudebush says:

    Where is Bease? Why is Walter hangng onto him when he doesn’t even suit up?

  4. Scott A says:

    Anybody know how good the turf in CR is? I assume they’re all mediocre but are we talking old-RSL style pavement?

  5. Win says:

    Saprissa uses field turf, so it shouldn’t be bad at all.

  6. Never First says:

    “In 2003 due to the long tropical rainy seasons, Saprissa applied and was granted by FIFA, the right to change the pitch from natural grass to synthetic turf, becoming the only stadium in Latin America to have this type of turf.”

    – The always reliable Wikipedia

  7. Scott A says:

    If it’s not on Wikipedia it’s not true

  8. Barry U says:

    Did they practice at FIU stadium? Only artificial surface I know in Miami. Edu did not play in Rangers cup final so I guess he might not be ready for Costa Rica.

  9. John says:

    The turf at Saprissa is like the turf at Giants stadium. Not to mention it was only a FIFA 1-star installation and is now 6 years old!! For comparison, Both Qwest and BMO were installed at FIFA 2-star standard however BMO’s has deteriorated significantly. Practicing at FIU won’t really help because the FIU turf is actually a quality surface and won’t prepare them for the garbage they’ll see in Costa Rica.

  10. alexarmac says:

    My understanding is that we need to play on the turf that is at Saprissa. that is a given. Let’s go boys!

  11. Jacob A. says:

    The reason they’re leaving monday morning is because they’re practicing on it monday and tuesday afternoon, as per FIFA mandates. They’ll be somewhat used to it.

  12. kj says:

    What’s the future like for Kenny Cooper? I know we’re bringing Altidore, Donovan, Ching and Davies to the Confederations Cup but Cooper should be in high consideration. Connor Casey, Twellman, EJ, Marcus Tracy are other decent small league players who could be possible standbys for say Gold Cup.

  13. NATO says:

    Off topic, but of the group of players called in, who has won the most trophies or who has the most profile club team? Is it Tim Howard?

  14. ISAF says:

    The USA is gunning for the quarter-finals of the next World Cup. Here’s hoping for a hat-trick for Altidore in the 1st group match :D

  15. Phillip says:

    Cooper won’t get used by Bradley until he begins to play his position how the coach wants it to be played.

  16. mcjoness says:

    Just read a spanish newspaper’s preview of Group B for the tournament this summer in Africa. Rough translation…but, “Despite the media, their [USA] best player is not Landon Donovan, but Michael Bradley.”

  17. Costa Rica 2 - USA 0 says:

    Costa Rica 2 – USA