U.S. national team practice report

USA Crest

by GIANFRANCO PANIZO

MIAMI- With the United States' men's national team halfway through their training camp, head coach Bob Bradley feels that the team has prepared well so far in South Florida during the build-up to next week's World Cup qualifiers.

"Our numbers are small but the work throughout these few days has been good," said Bradley. "The players that have joined us have come in with a good mentality and we are excited about the upcoming games."

As next week's road qualifier against Costa Rica in hostile Saprissa Stadium nears, the players seem eager to make up for their slow start in March's draw against El Salvador, where the team fell behind 2-0 before earning a point with two late goals.

"We've learned a lot from every game we've played in qualifiers so far," said defender Heath Pearce. "I think we need to come out stronger as a group and make sure that we are ready to play a good game."

Pearce, who started against Brazil in a friendly in 2007, also anticipates the Confederations Cup to serve as more than just a test-run for the World Cup.

"It's a great opportunity for us to gage where we are against the best (teams) in the world. I don't think that we're going there without expectations. We're going there to get results and to develop as a team and prepare for the qualifiers after that and get results there as well."

Here are some other news and notes from today's training session:

  • Freddy Adu arrived on Thursday but was excused from training Friday due to personal reasons.

  • Oguchi Onyewu and Clint Dempsey were limited in their training as they continue to rest from their weekend matches.
  • Sacha Kljestan and Jonathan Bornstein will arrive to Miami on Friday. No word yet on if they will train Saturday.
  • The U.S. team departs for Costa Rica on the morning of June 1 and returns from Central America on June 4.

Do you think the U.S. team is capable of earning a result in Costa Rica? Are you more worried about the quick turnaround against Honduras? Can you see Pearce regaining his left back spot, or do you prefer DaMarcus Beasley or Jonathan Bornstein?

Share your thoughts below.

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44 Responses to U.S. national team practice report

  1. Ives says:

    JohnnyG=First FAIL

  2. John says:

    The US should win both of these games. Any update on the expected crowd for the Honduras match in Chicago?

  3. RedLine55 says:

    hahaha. Christ, that’s good comedy. And the update was nice, too. Thanks. Any further info on Adu’s ‘personal reasons’? Or did Bradley very personally not want to look at him anymore?

  4. NateinSF says:

    Adu is in contract negotiations with the USL Miami side, that’s why he’s out

  5. Rekro says:

    Hahahaha, that failed attempt at “first”, just made my day……

  6. csar says:

    Did Kljestan bring his game? It has been missing for 6 months.

  7. Indie FC says:

    Personal reasons? Really? The guy doesn’t play all year, gets invited into camp (pretty generously, I’d say), and he has personal business? Wow, I think it speaks volumes about his dedication to the game. Short of mom or dad dying, there isn’t a good enough reason on the planet for that kid to miss practice with….. well, you guys said it, the USL Miami team. To bad Bob doesn’t have the guts to cut him from all NT games for the rest of the year……

  8. BFBS says:

    We haven’t gotten a point in Costa Rica since 1985 appararently. In that neither Pearce nor Beasley has played in months, and these are our two most battle-tested left back options, I am pretty worried. Of course, Honduras won’t be a walkover either – I am afraid to even look at their call-up list. The one encouraging thing though is that left back is really going to be our only serious weak spot if Edu can overcome his injury and suit up. With the two midfield destroyers in there we should be able to control the midfield against anyone in the CONCACAF.

  9. John Fish says:

    “Personal reasons? Really? The guy doesn’t play all year, gets invited into camp (pretty generously, I’d say), and he has personal business? Wow, I think it speaks volumes about his dedication to the game. Short of mom or dad dying, there isn’t a good enough reason on the planet for that kid to miss practice with….. well, you guys said it, the USL Miami team. To bad Bob doesn’t have the guts to cut him from all NT games for the rest of the year……”

    Wow, IndieFC. Way to speculate without any knowledge of what that means. Way to presume it has something to do with his dedication or work ethic.

  10. Personal reasons? Really? The guy doesn’t play all year, gets invited into camp (pretty generously, I’d say), and he has personal business? Wow, I think it speaks volumes about his dedication to the game. Short of mom or dad dying, there isn’t a good enough reason on the planet for that kid to miss practice with….. well, you guys said it, the USL Miami team. To bad Bob doesn’t have the guts to cut him from all NT games for the rest of the year……

    Posted by: Indie FC | May 29, 2009 at 05:24 PM

    the amount of jackassery on this blog has gone up in recent weeks i must say

  11. steve-o says:

    Bill Frist? The heart doctor senator from Tennessee? What is he doing here?

    Jackassery. we should push websters to make that an actual word.

  12. sonicdeathmonkey says:

    John, if you think the US should roll over Costa Rica, you must not get out much. They’ve never beaten the Ticos away in a WCQ, and Saprissa stadium is a monster. Fans on top of you, lousy pitch, and oh, the humidity. Throw in the possibility of no Heydude on the right, godknows who on the left, and Edu being iffy, and you have a scenario where if the US get a point, you call it mission accomplished and move on.

  13. beckster says:

    If Bradley selected on the basis of match fitness at top levels, he would select a back line with Spector at right back, Gouch and Demerit at center and Boca at left back. However, I suspect that Bradley will put Beasley in again at left back and Donovan at left wing as it was successful for him last time

  14. Gary says:

    Anyone else thinking of taking a group of kids down to Costa Rica and leaving the vets home to rest so that we can pound Honduras?

    Not sure it make sense to play your top guys in both games and expose them to the travel.

    Either plan involves some risk…let’s see what Bob does.

  15. Wispy says:

    Beckster, I’ve been hoping for that back line ever since Pearce and Califf’s stinker in El Salvador.

  16. ddub says:

    bradley can pic any team he wants. in the long run he’ll fail against good competition because his tactics are like that of a under 12 girls team.

  17. Tony in Quakeland says:

    People criticise Bradley for being too defensive and conservative. But when he wants to work in Beasley at left back for his potential to add to the attack, he gets ripped.

    Frankly, Donovan ripped it up from the left last game and if Beasley can do the job, our left side becomes a strength.

  18. brett says:

    hopefully this will be amongst Bradley’s list of accomplishments…. on such list with 1. win in Africa 2. win in guat 3. win in Gold & 4. wins in Europe

  19. Felix says:

    Even though the lack of camp time and on the bookend of the European season will serve to hinder the chances at getting results @ Costa Rica and at home to Honduras, I wonder what these games will serve in terms of preparation for the Confed Cup? Does anyone feel that we might actually play better in the Confed Cup after having two relatively speaking tough games beforehand?

  20. simms21 says:

    All I know is that I hope Bob picks Bornstein, because Beasley hasn’t had a game in ages, and I don’t trust Pearce. Sorry but it needs to be said lol. And I also wanna see Torres get a run out sometime.

  21. Alex says:

    BB’s tactics are applied all over the world, He didn’t invent the empty bucket! I don’t care how pretty we look playing, all I care is that we win, Italy played ugly in 06 and they won!

  22. HokieFutbol says:

    I think that I would rather give Torres a chance rather than Pablo paired w/ Bradley in the center midfield if Edu can’t go. Torres has played in huge matches in Mexico and has a lot of composure on the ball. It might get a little chippy and that’s how I could see Pablo in there as well. Any word on the availibilty of Altidore? I know the surgery and fitness are in question but he seems to be our only goal scoring option up front.

    PS Jackassery doesn’t really begin to describe it.

  23. CaliNick23 says:

    My hopeful Staring Line up v. Costa Rica

    Convert Edu to a central defender, very defensive becasue it will be hard to be offensive in Saprissa, but USA has a chance to do it.

    V. costa Rica

    Altidore-Ching

    Donovan-Pablo-Bradley-Dempsey

    Boca-Gooch-Edu-Hejduk

    Subs: Torres,Fehibor,Davis, Spector

    v. Honduras a “litte” more offensive

    Altidore

    Donovan

    Donvan-Torres-Bradely-Dempsey

    Boca-Gooch-Edu-Hejduk

    Subs: Adu, Fehiber,Beasely,

    Any comments,concerns, judgements, issues, points, difficulites, etc.

  24. Chase says:

    . Honduras a “litte” more offensive

    Altidore
    Donovan
    Donvan-Torres-Bradely-Dempsey
    Boca-Gooch-Edu-Hejduk

    Subs: Adu, Fehiber,Beasely,

    Landon is good, but I dont think he can play two positions at once ;)

    I would like to see Boca at left back also, but he tends to be a more “stay-at-home” left back when playing there, although towards the end of the season with Rennes he was getting more into the offense, so this could be worth a shot.

    I still doubt that Bradley will put Edu as a center back. Jay DeMerit would be a much more likely canidate.

  25. Scott A says:

    Yeah seriously, what an assumption by Indie FC.
    This isn’t meant as a criticism of BB–I like him–but it cracks me up how even-keeled he is. Has anybody ever heard him use an adjective stronger than good or sufficient? Or seen him get pissed or excited. I wonder if it’s his personality or a concerted effort to keep the environment calm. Seems to work

  26. nico says:

    Honduras will be without David Suazo (Inter), Edgar Alvarez (Pisa) and Julio ‘Rambo’ de Leon (Parma)…they still have a strong line up, but offensively they will lack some bite…especially since their forwards (Costly and Peri) haven’t played in months. Meanwhile Wilson Palacios hasn’t practiced regularly in sometime as they just identified the body of his brother.
    Basically, Honduras will be a weakened side, shouldn’t be an easy game but US should win it comfortably.

  27. Nic D "The Texas 2 Stepper" says:

    What happened to Palacios brother?

  28. adam says:

    He was kidnapped and murdered….after the family payed a ransom…Absolutely awful!

  29. Never First says:

    Has a coach ever said, “We’ve not been practicing well at all this week. We are definitely not ready to play this upcoming match.” Typical Bob Bradley blah.

  30. Supsam says:

    yea the people attacking Adu’s work ethic cuz he cited personal problems was very uncalled for.

  31. Supsam says:

    Where is Cooper? :]

  32. Tom From Syracuse says:

    “Personal issues?”

    I follow him on twitter… here’s what he had to say today:

    “just got a nice deep tissue massage. feel like jello right now.”

    I’m not saying this is him being “him,” but I don’t think this sort of thing really helps his cause. I just hope he actually has better work ethic than this alludes to…

  33. Isaac says:

    Torres is probably tied with Edu for a spot behind Pablo; at least in the CR match. I hope for this vs Honduras though

    —————Altidore—Ching————

    Donovan—————————–Dempsey

    —————-Bradley–Edu————–

    Beasley—–Bocanegra—–Onyewu—–Hejduk

    Torres for Edu( or Ching and change it to a 4-5-1 with Torres in the hole)

    Adu for Dempsey

    Feilhaber for Bradley

    I see the exact same thing in CR except Pablo is in for Edu. I do think that it’s time to really integrate Torres into the system and if there was a team for him to get a goal against I would say Honduras. No way he doesn’t appear against both teams.

  34. harry says:

    “Personal reasons? Really? The guy doesn’t play all year, gets invited into camp (pretty generously, I’d say), and he has personal business? Wow, I think it speaks volumes about his dedication to the game. Short of mom or dad dying, there isn’t a good enough reason on the planet for that kid to miss practice with….. well, you guys said it, the USL Miami team. To bad Bob doesn’t have the guts to cut him from all NT games for the rest of the year……”

    Are us serious Indie FC, Freddy Adu could not play for the next 4 years and yet he will still dominate the game for us like he did Vs Spain and Argentina. The kid got shafted by ricardo big time,and basically lied to every week at Monaco….and yet your going to critize our only player who has the skill, potential,creativity, and Big game Mentality to dominate big teams for us to give us a fighting chance?

  35. Kevin says:

    skill, potential,creativity, and Big game Mentality to dominate big teams for us to give us a fighting chance + 0 playing time = ? I like the kid but can he produce after not playing for a season?

  36. HokieFutbol says:

    Isaac,

    Feilhaber for Bradley? That kid should not see the pitch for quite a while (even as a sub). He is arrogant and inexperienced and there are much better midfielders than him. I’d suffer Kljestan or an out of postion forward like Davies rather than Benny. I agree with pretty much every other call you have made…Spector for Hedjuk if he isnt healthy enough. Also, Dempsey is the best USA outside player and shouldn’t be taken out. He is our best offensive output.

  37. Bill in Md. says:

    That’s terrible about Wilson Palacios’ brother.

  38. harry says:

    Kevin, Freddy Adu is trainning and working hard in practice the last year and he plays squad games everyday..thats what professionals do. This is not College ball where you practice only 2 times a week, this is professional teams..as Altidore said in his intervew…….”Just because you are not playing does not mean you are not progressing” Freddy Adu got shafted by Ricardo for Ricardos own agenda…..because Ricardo was afraid Adu was gonna “show him” up, which is why Ricardo never played Adu even though Adu was MVP vs Juventes. And notice how Adu started making the bench again daily for Ricardo near the end of the season..im curious to know if Freddy Adu was dominating in practice that Ricardo was forced to give Adu at least a spot on the bench.

  39. Mike Z says:

    I would like to see the same line up as against T&T with Spector inserted at left back and Edu (if healthy) along side Bradley at center mid. I think Donovan has a larger impact in the mid-field. He is a better play-maker than striker.

  40. EA says:

    If everyone can untwist thier skirts for a sec, is it possible that Adu was held out of practice for a slight knock, and instead of providing the opponents with that info, the US listed it as “personal reasons?”

    I’m certain US Soccer has at least 1 team masseuse, if not more.

    And re: Chicago, the last I saw it was upwards of 40K. We bought 4 last week, and the 100s and 200s on the US end were full already.

  41. Matt says:

    EA, logic and thought aren’t typically allowed on soccer boards.

    Hokiefutbol, you’d play Davies in the middle as opposed to Feilhaber b/c you dislike Feilhaber’s attitude, which I assume has come from hearsay and secondary or tertiary sources online. Davies wasn’t even capable of competent wing play in Olympic qualifiers. I hope you’re not on the USSF’s shortlist when Bradley’s time is up…

  42. harry says:

    This attitude thing is so overblown its pathetic………..the USA is not gonna win the World Cup with “humble” players who bow down to the coach when the coach says “kiss my feet”. The USA is gonna win World Cups with players who want to play big in Big games like Clint Mathis vs South korea in 2002.

  43. HokieFutbol says:

    Matt, Look at the posting time. I had had a few at the bar and apparently wanted to talk soccer. I do think Davies has more to offer than the invisibility act he pulled. That will be up front and my midfield talk about him was just senseless. As for the short list thing…I am just in front of Bruce Arena (hopefully the last choice in anyone’s mind)