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USA Training Camp Notes: McDonald and Kljestan held out of practice

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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."


  1. US Team’s style of Play is to ware an opponent down. Usually begins as a defensive shell with counter attacks sprung from deep in our zone. We tend to clog the center of the pitch and dare teams to try and lob in crosses Over airial defenders and our keeper. Just my impression of BB’s Style.

  2. Sorry that I go to this post late, but hopefully someone is still reading here becuase since I saw Rogers bring it up, I just have to ask as it’s been on my mind for awhile…exactly what is the US team’s style of play? I can’t figure it out at all. From best I can tell it’s run very hard, hope, and pray.

  3. i dont think you’d see beckerman and laurentowicz together in the game. A more likely midfield is feilhaber, robbie rogers beckerman and ____. I’d say sacha has a shot to get the last spot. While this camp is made up of mostly MLS players, there are a handful like benny, robbie most of the forwards and marshall and pearce. We’re likely to see those unless someone really impresses. Beckerman and laurentowicz are not going to SA. Youve heard a lot of comments from the players about learning the US system and understanding how its played. These minutes are needed to get those guys experience in the system. All mentioned above have at least a working knowledge of the system and a chance to make the team

  4. I don’t quite get Beckerman. I mean, is he a defensive midfielder or an attacking midfielder or a two-way central midfielder? For RSL he’s playing between Morales and Johnson, both attacking midfielders, but in games I’ve seen, while he’s shown strength, size, range, and an ability to read the game, he’s also shown skill, creativity, and a nice shot. I had him and Beckerman penciled in as the starting central midfielders, but I don’t know if he’s someone who should be depended on to carry the defensive weight of a midfield

  5. larentowicz, cameron, pearce and brad davis are there because they made some noise in MLS, but they are not good enough for the international game. if any of them make it to WC we might as well start preparing for heartbreaks.

  6. I’d penciled larentowicz in with Beckerman for the start…too bad.

    I don’t know Bedoya but if he can hang with this group he will be a nice option.

  7. I’d love to see Beckerman earn a spot in South Africa. I think he’s one of those guys that brings something extra in the leadership dept, and I also feel he has a more balanced box-to-box game than any midfield option outside of Michael Bradley.


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