U.S. Men's National Team

USMNT Training Camp: Day Two Update

USMNTtraining (GettyImages) 

A steady and cold rain put a damper on proceedings at day two of the U.S. national team training camp, but players were still in a good mood to talk about a variety of topics.

Here are some highlights from Tuesday's day at training camp:

Oguchi Onyewu, Clarence Goodson, Benny Feilhaber and Alejandro Bedoya, will undergo physicals on Wednesday and won't train with the team until Thursday.

Jonathan Spector cleared up a misunderstanding pertaining to a recent story that quoted him as saying he preferred playing at left back rather than his more natural position of right back. "Either I mis-spoke or he may have misunderstood what I was saying, Spector said. “I don’t prefer the left. I probably prefer the right, though I’m certainly comfortable on the left."

Spector revealed that he has one year left on his West Ham deal and expects to be back with the London club next season.

Going along with the "Where do you prefer to play" theme, Landon Donovan acknowledged that he prefers playing on the wings rather than up top, but will play up top if needed. No, not that surprising.

Donovan answered a variety of questions in a post-practice press conference. Among the things he revealed was that his recent divorce has played a major role in helping him grow as a person. He also stated that he believes the current U.S. national team is the strongest he's played with.

"We have the most talented team during my national team career, but the team with the least experience, so we will see how it goes," Donovan said. "To play in a World Cup is very difficult and for those without experience it's going to be something different, but I'm confident in the talent we have and over four years we've constructed something good here."

When told about Oguchi Onyewu's new deal with AC Milan, which will include a season he will play for free to make up for missing most of this past season due to injury, Donovan joked, "You can tell Bruce (Arena) that I'm not playing for free any time soon."

Stuart Holden revealed that he was on the same flight back to England after the Netherlands friendly as Nigel DeJong, the player who broke his leg with a studs-up challenge. There was no apology from DeJong.

These are just some of the tidbits from today's training. Look for a story on Jay DeMerit shortly, as well as some other items on today's practice later tonight.

What do you think of these developments?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Warren

    My recollection is opposite.

    Torres was one of the only guys who could string passes together. But on a shot MB watches from 2 yards away, it’s Torres fault- yeah right – so he got yanked and disappeared from the lineup for months.

    The big problem with that particular 4-3-3 was several other weak links in the game, not Torres or Bradley. But USMNT couldn’t do it, so we’re stuck 4-4-2 for this Cup.


  • Warren

    I disagree, keep cycling people through except for those in need of minutes, to reduce chance for a last second injury to a key starter.


  • Sean

    I think you confused “gamesmanship” with “sportsmanship”….”gamesmanship” is more like dropping the ball instead of handing it to the opposing players before a throw-in to milk a few, valuable extra seconds…and, for what it’s worth, I wouldn’t apologize if you get into an accident; it admits guilt… (latter-half of my post to be taken with a grain of salt). :)


  • Juve Nile


    What you should have done is spent some time at barber shops and collect as many hair clippings as possible, the shorter the better. Then when you go up into the balcony you can shake it down on people. Very inexpensive itching powder and nearly undetecable.


  • 4-3-3

    The bad news:

    You’re wrong about Bradley never using the 4-3-3.

    The good news:

    The US lost and were awful.

    From the USSF website:

    U.S. Men Fall 3-1 to Costa Rica in World Cup Qualifying in San Jose

    The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 3-1 to Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier this evening at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Jose.

    June 3, 2009

    SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (June 3, 2009) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 3-1 to a spirited Costa Rican side in front of 19,200 raucous fans on Wednesday evening at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Jose. Costa Rica used two early goals to take control of the game before adding a third goal in the 69th minute to put the game away.

    A late penalty kick from Landon Donovan in second-half stoppage time provided the U.S. with their lone goal on the night. The goal was the 10th of Donovan’s career in World Cup qualifying, tying him with Brian McBride for the all-time lead.

    “As a group tonight, we came up short in every way,” said U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley. “I don’t think there was any area at all where we were good enough to win a game against a good team. We were under pressure from the start. We fell short. We recognize that, and we have a quick turnaround for the next game.”

    With injuries to defender Frankie Hejduk and forward Brian Ching, the U.S. was without two of its most veteran players – both of whom have experience playing in the unfriendly confines of Estadio Ricardo Saprissa. Bradley opted to start in a 4-3-3 formation, and a handful of players were provided opportunities in the starting line-up, including Marvell Wynne at right back and DaMarcus Beasley, who got his second-consecutive start at left back. Jose Francisco Torres picked up just his fifth appearance and second start for the U.S. in the hostile environment, joining Pablo Mastroeni and Michael Bradley in midfield, while Jozy Altidore got his second straight start up top, this time working with Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan.

    The U.S. got off to a disappointing start as Costa Rica got on the board in just the second minute. A clearance attempt by Beasley hit Torres and deflected the ball high in the air before eventually falling to the feet of Andy Herron. The former Chicago Fire forward played the ball square to Alvaro Saborio, who turned and split two U.S. defenders with one touch and then hit a curling shot with his second touch that sailed over the outstretched arms of Tim Howard and into the upper left corner of the goal. Costa Rica doubled its lead in the 13th minute when defender Junior Diaz made a hard run down the left wing. He slotted the ball into the box for Celso Borges who cut inside the penalty area, drawing U.S. defenders towards him before slotting the ball to Esteban Serias, who was making a run up the middle of the area. Serias did well to hit the bouncing serve with a one-time volley past Howard.

    The U.S. struggled on the other end of the field, not dealing well with the poor surface which hindered their attempt to build any sort of attack. With limited chances, the U.S. took only two shots in the first half, neither of which were on target.

    The U.S. came out determined to get something on frame in the second half, unleashing nine shots, but Costa Rica was able to put the game away with a third goal in the 69th minute. Pablo Herrera received the ball from Walter Centeno on the right side of the penalty area and turned towards goal. With the U.S. defenders giving him too much space and time, Herrera fired a low shot that sneaked inside the right post from about 10 yards out. The U.S. finally got on the board in second-half stoppage time. Wynne took a long throw in into the area and defender Oguchi Onyewu was pulled down by Diaz as he made an attempt for the ball. Donovan stepped up and hit his shot low and to the left, past Keylor Navas and into the net. The goal, the 38th of Donovan’s career, was the first scored by the U.S. in Costa Rica since July 23, 2000 and the first scored by Donovan in final round qualifying.

    The U.S. used all three of its substitutions on the night, including bringing on Sacha Kljestan at halftime for Torres as the team switched to a 4-4-2. Freddy Adu earned his first appearance in the final round of qualifying, coming into the midfield for Pablo Mastroeni in the 63rd minute. Charlie Davies came on for Clint Dempsey, who earned his 50th career appearance on the night, with 10 minutes remaining.

    Match: United States vs. Costa Rica

    Date: June 3, 2009

    Competition: FIFA World Cup Qualifying; Final Round

    Venue: Estadio Ricardo Saprissa; San Jose, Costa Rica


    USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Marvell Wynne, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 4-Pablo Mastroeni (11-Freddy Adu, 63), 12-Michael Bradley, 9-José Francisco Torres (16-Sacha Kljestan, 46); 8-Clint Dempsey (15-Charlie Davies, 80), 10-Landon Donovan, 17-Jozy Altidore

    Subs not used: 18-Brad Guzan, 2-Ricardo Clark, 13-Jonathan Bornstein, 14-Jay DeMerit

    Head Coach: Bob Bradley


  • Red Card

    A little over the top there, John.

    Getting beat up while on a night out does not have a lot to do with getting your leg broken during a game in Amsterdam.

    DeJong doesn’t have enough class to be categorized by so elegant a word as scoundrel.


  • ko'd

    Point 1 conceded. I am surprised I forgot about that. I must be repressing. Point 2 appreciated.


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