Photo by ISIphotos.com
By ADAM SERRANO
With the first match of the year just days away, U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley should have been focused on the upcoming friendly vs. Honduras, but with one of the U.S. team's best players facing a serious injury, Bradley couldn't have been blamed if some of his focus was thousands of miles away.
The status of Clint Dempsey's injured right knee is expected to be revealed on Tuesday and Bradley will be waiting for the final word just like the countless number of American fans who are pinning the team's World Cup hopes at Dempsey's skillful feet.
Bradley has been in contact with Dempsey following his injury in Fulham's 2-0 defeat to Blackburn on Sunday and found the U.S. midfielder to be in good spirits despite the injury.
"He's upbeat, he's waiting to see what they will tell him later in the day," Said Bradley. "It was odd how much came out yesterday. My experience is that you let doctor's do their jobs, but it doesn't help when information begins flying around."
While the severity of the injury remains unknown, Bradley was optimistic about the Fulham forward's ability to recover and contribute to Fulham and the U.S. national team.
"Clint was surprised about the number of texts and messages from people in the United States and if you know anything about Clint, you know that he's a upbeat and competitive guy and I believe that if this is indeed a little bit of a set back, I don't think that throws him off in terms of rehabbing and being ready to help Fulham and the U.S," said Bradley.
As we head into the last week of preparation, here is a list of players who are still available for Saturday's match:
Goalkeepers: Zach Thornton (Chivas USA), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Troy Perkins (D.C. United), Kevin Hartman (Kansas City Wizards)
Defenders: Kevin Alston (New England Revolution), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC), Brandon McDonald (San Jose Earthquakes)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Ã–rebro), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Chris Pontius (D.C. United), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS: Justin Braun (Chivas USA), Connor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Jeff Cunningham (FC Dallas), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)