The United States wrapped up day four of training camp on a balmy Friday morning in Carson, California, and as usual with players returning from the off season, there were a few bumps and bruises.
San Jose Earthquakes defender Brandon McDonald was pulled from the second half of training for precautionary reasons with a mild right calf strain. In addition to McDonald, Chivas USA Midfielder Sacha Kljestan missed the entire morning session with a mild strain in his right hip flexor. Kljestan's status will be reevaluated before the evening training session. Neither of the injuries are serious enough to threaten the players status in this camp. One player who was not as lucky was New England midfielder Jeff Larentowicz who has left camp due to a lingering right knee injury, a replacement is not expected to be announced.
Injuries aside, the real news is the acclimation of new players into the national team mix. During 7-on-7 mini games, the most interesting link ups were between Midfielders Kyle Beckerman and Alejandro Bedoya. The two talented midfielders were very impressive during training this afternoon with the Real Salt Lake midfielder setting up Bedoya for an impressive top shelf goal which beat MLS Goalkeeper of the year Zach Thornton.
One player who understands the experience of a being a newcomer is winger Robbie Rogers. Rogers was one of those players who were new to the January camp last season and commended the players who are debutantes this year for making a good impression.
"I think they are doing doing very well. I've been impressed with a lot of the guys, we're becoming a lot deeper in regards to the talent in the national team pool," said Rogers. "These January camps are a big help because these (new) guys are becoming more familiar with our style of play and with the coaching staff, so it's a big positive."