The U.S. men's national team began its pre-World Cup training camp today in Princeton, New Jersey today and the mood was a happy and confident one as the squad prepares to begin work on building the team that will represent the United States at the World Cup next month.
SBI will have a series of stories from training camp throughout the week so stay tuned for those. For now, here are some tidbits from the first day of training:
Tim Howard (quad), Chad Marshall (hamstring) and Jay DeMerit (ab strain) were held out of practice rest some slight knocks. Howard said the injury wasn't anything to worry about. Eddie Johnson was also sidelined with the hamstring injury he suffered last week, while Carlos Bocanegra was nursing an ab strain of his own.
Bradley addressed the decision not to call in Charlie Davies, saying that both Sochaux and U.S. national team evaluations were involved in the process that led to him not being called in.
Bob Bradley is hoping to have the squad for the World Cup picked by the Turkey match on May 29th. The team departs for South Africa the next day, so there's a good chance the final 23 will be chosen before the second of two home friendlies. That means the friendly vs. the Czech Republic on May 25th could make the difference in some roster battles.
When asked what his preferred position was, Clint Dempsey revealed that he likes playing on the left wing, so he can cut in on his right foot and take shots. As for playing forward, Dempsey said he likes playing there if the team he's playing for is struggling to move the ball, but that if the team is moving the ball well then he'd rather be in midfield.
I will be back with some updates on Stuart Holden, Marcus Hahnemann and Carlos Bocanegra so stay tuned for those. In the meantime, you can read my Fox Soccer story on the position battles to watch for in training camp.
Which position battle are you most interested in? Which player are you looking forward to seeing play in the upcoming friendlies?
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