By FRANCO PANIZO
The U.S. men's national team opened up their pre-World Cup camp in Princeton, New Jersey, and head coach Bob Bradley discussed a variety of topics following Monday's training session.
From the injury statuses of several players, to his plan for the camp, to Charlie Davies' lashing at FC Sochaux president, Bradley touched on a wide array of things concerning the U.S. national team. Here are just some of the things Bradley said:
On the current status of Carlos Bocanegra, who is recovering from a lower abdominal strain:
"Carlos (Bocanegra) did the warm up with the team today, a little bit of ballwork, individual work and so he is making good progress. We had four guys that we kept inside in the training room, and Carlos had a little bit of his own program today."
On how concerned he is by the current injuries:
"Obviously, we will assess as we go through this week whether the issues are already on their way to being better and guy are back to training or whether that becomes more of a concern."
On if he plans to select his final 23 prior to the Turkey friendly in Philadelphia:
"It's like anything else, you have a plan in your head, but then you have to be able to adjust at some point. But the idea would be that by the time we get to Philadelphia and we have made our decisions and have our 23."
On if there are conflicting interests between getting the core group ready and judging the fringe players:
"We do our best to size up where different guys are. We trust that we've had experience in games together so I don't think that automatically you have to put what you think as your potential starting eleven out there right away in the first training session. You have time to assess where different guys are, we work on different things as we go through. I've mentioned a number of times that the fitness early on is a priority."
On Oguchi Onyewu:
"He was named in the 23 last week in Milan that they then picked the 18 from. So I mean he's put himself in contention at the end of the year there. He's been feeling good coming out of regular training sessions so I think we're confident about that."
On tracking Charlie Davies' recovery:
"We talked about the process with our coaches. We knew exactly what it looked like in training. [U.S. national team trainer] Ivan Perrera was there at one point. I saw video of it at training. So we put it all together and we recognized that Charlie has put, up until now, and will need to continue to put, a tremendous amount of work into his rehab, and we're all there supporting him."
On Davies' lashing out at FC Sochaux president:
"There's a lot of emotion. From right after the accident until now, he put all his energy and emotion into his rehab and he did with an obvious timetable. We talked about that along the way.
"Look, I'll share one conversation I had with Charlie. This was in February, and again sometimes that conversation is because you're a little older, whether it's a father conversation or a big brother conversation. I told him that I felt that if he could keep his attitude, his mentality, his work ethic, that that was going to be very important.
"But I also said 'If you could find a way to work and put everything into it and maybe not have so much to say, I think it would work for you because you don't want to put yourself in a position where you're making all this progress and yet somehow it seems like a failure because the timing just doesn't coincide with the World Cup. What's also important is that you can still get yourself back to the level that you were playing before the accident.' We still talk about that with him and hopefully he got his emotion out, but that he can continue to move forward and the guys on the team, his friends, are right there behind him."
On the forwards in camp:
"Herculez (Gomez) comes off the season and Edson (Buddle) has started the season very well, so certainly you take notice of that. It's good to see now how they'll fit in and play in this stretch.
We have worked in the past year with Robbie Findley at times and we still feel that he's got some good qualities; good to see him get a goal the other night.
Brian Ching has been out injured, but still, if you look at his impact over the last few years, a guy that still as a forward brings the kind of qualities - holding balls under pressure, drawing fouls, bringing guys into the game – so we recognize that part of his game.
(Eddie) Johnson would be a similar case to Edson and Herculez. His last stretch in Greece in the play-offs has been good. We've seen him play live, (assistant coaches have been in Greece), so we watch the games and we keep track of things and his play was good."
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