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.