USMNT Camp Notebook: Cunningham keeps evolving

USMNT Camp Notebook: Cunningham keeps evolving

U.S. Men's National Team

USMNT Camp Notebook: Cunningham keeps evolving

Jeff Cunningham (ISIphotos.com)

Photo by ISIphotos.com


By ADAM SERRANO

As the United States prepares to close up camp in preparation of Saturday's friendly with Honduras, players have began to reflect upon their performance throughout the month. 

One such player is 33 year old forward Jeff Cunningham.

The forward is the oldest in a young group of forwards who are eager to earn a place on Bob Bradley's roster for South Africa. Cunningham has been frequently partnered with fellow speedster Robbie Findley during the recent training sessions this week. Although the FC Dallas forward has been around longer than his counterparts, the always frank striker admits that he is constantly developing throughout camp.

"I've been Inconsistent (this camp), some stuff I do well, but a lot of other things I need to learn to do better for the team. We all have our natural tendencies as players, but this level requires a much higher amount of concentration especially defensively," said Cunningham. "I wish I was 20 again and getting all this information and applying it to my game. These young boys who are here will have a better future for it."

The forward has appeared dangerous during training at times showing the penchant for goal scoring which was on showcase during his past season with Dallas. Although he is not the youngest member of the squad, the opportunity that the United States' depleted strike force offers a forward like Cunningham is not lost on the 33 year old. 

"Over the years, I've said that I haven't really gotten the opportunity (with the national team), but I'm getting it now," said Cunningham. "I'm where every player wants to be with a shot at playing in the World Cup, I'm getting my fair chance now. I can't complain and I just have to do the business."

In addition to the strike force, the biggest story of the morning was the play of midfielder Robbie Rogers. Playing on the left side opposite Alejandro Bedoya and Geoff Cameron, the Columbus Crew winger was dangerous during 11 v. 11 scrimmages routinely sending in dangerous crosses into the attack. Rogers was a constant threat due to receiving a number of crisp passes from the midfield duo of Benny Feilhaber and Kyle Beckerman.

The news as not all positive as Kevin Alston appears doubtful for Saturday's match after missing much of the camp. The New England Revolution defender has returned to training but is unlikely to appear against the CONCACAF foe.

The United States' opponent for Saturday, Honduras has arrived in Southern California and will be begin training tomorrow during the U.S.' evening practice. The Catrachos arrive from a two-week training camp in Florida that saw them take on and defeat the Canadian U-23 squad. Honduras boasts many of their top domestic players and familiar faces such as Honduran scoring leader Carlos Pavon and Captain Amando Guevera.

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