Top Stories

USMNT continues to fine-tune ahead of Honduras match

Jurgen Klinsmann 1 (AP)


FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The U.S. men's national team isn't quite thinking about Honduras just yet.

The United States returned to the practice field on a cloudy Wednesday morning in South Florida, but rather than turn their attention towards their soon-to-be opponents, the Americans used the session to focus on themselves.

"Tomorrow we will be more focused on Honduras," said DaMarcus Beasley. "But right now, the last couple of days has been getting our team right. Everybody from the games on the weekend (are) getting back fit and getting to know the guys again."

The team went through a lively one-hour training session, which included drills that emphasized movement and quick transitioning. All 19 players currently in camp practiced, including Jonathan Spector, who sat out of Tuesday morning's session to recover from a slight ankle knock.

Here's more from Wednesday's training:


Jozy Altidore has gotten off to red-hot start with AZ Alkmaar, scoring seven goals across all competitions. That goal-scoring run is something that U.S. fans believe has come as a result of Altidore playing more confidently after cementing his place in Alkmaar's line-up.

But Altidore disagrees with that.

"Myself, personally, I don't think I ever changed," said Altidore when asked if he feels that he's playing with more confidence. "If I'm scoring goals, I'm not going to say I'm ecstatic. When I go through a bad spell, I go through a bad spell. It's normal. I just think things happen in your career. You just have to ride with the good and ride with the bad."

Altidore is likely to start against Honduras at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, though the competition for his place in the starting XI is as heavy as its ever been, with Juan Agudelo, Edson Buddle and Teal Bunbury all in camp.

But no matter who plays, Altidore is hoping the Americans can get Jurgen Klinsmann his first victory as U.S. coach when they face Honduras in three days.

"I think we want it for (Klinsmann)," said Altidore. "He's been really good to us. He's been working really hard, doing a lot of things and teaching us a lot of different stuff. As players, we want to actually help him get that first win and get that off his back."

Here are some other tidbits from Wednesday's early training session:

  • The team trained twice on Tuesday and will train for a second time on Wednesday. It will only train once on Thursday, as the players will undergo testing during the morning.
  • Former U.S. teammates Claudio Reyna and Fernando Clavijo shared pleasantries before the practice session. Clavijo, who is the current Director of Soccer for the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, attended the beginning of training while his club trained on an adjacent field.
  • The session began with the players splitting into two groups for warm-ups before they worked on a drill that emphasized movement and quick transitioning.
  • Practice for the players ended with a two-touch game between two teams of eight (gray vs. yellow). The game was played with big goals from one end of the field to just over the midfield line, and included three two-ways players in Danny Williams, Brek Shea and DaMarcus Beasley.
  • Williams played centrally amongst the rest of the players while Beasley and Shea stayed on the outside to provide players with outlets on the flanks.
  • The gray team was made up of Tim Howard, Steve Cherundolo, Oguchi Onyewu, Timmy Chandler, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Teal Bunbury.
  • The yellow team had Bill Hamid, Michael Orozco, Carlos Bocanegra, Jonathan Spector, Jeff Larentowicz, Maurice Edu, Clint Dempsey and Edson Buddle.
  • Altidore, Edu and Cherundolo looked good during the game, while Larentowicz scored the only goal.
  • After training, the players went in for cold baths while the coaching staff stuck around on the field and ran a few laps. After running, Jurgen Klinsmann continued to workout by doing some push-ups.
  • Altidore, whose family lives in South Florida, joked that out of the 6,800 tickets sold to Saturday's game, 3,800 were bought by his friends and family.
  • The search for an U-20 coach and Olympics team coach is slowly nearing a resolution, a U.S. spokesman said.


What do you think of the latest goings on from USMNT training? Think Altidore's club form will carry over to the national team? 

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Many of Altidore’s goals have come from distance this season. I think it is something he has been working on, a la the goal in the Gold Cup. He has a few headers and some great through balls played in as well, but I’m pretty sure about 3 or 4 of the 7 were on distance shots….

  2. he likes beckerman, but he doesnt rate him over edu or bradley. and if jones is back, beckerman will slip further back. beckerman is a great depth option off the bench, but i don’t think he’ll see too much more than that.

  3. Williams likes to play in a more advanced midfield position. he said he can be a holding mid too. he actually does not prefer to play defense.

  4. Unless Shea needs rest (he certainly deserves it), I’d be surprised to see Bunbury or Buddle or even Agudelo start over him.

  5. Let it go “answer”. Everyone has players that they think could have US National team potential.

    and everyone, not just you, need to layoff the “EARN” pedal. Unless you care to spell out a strictly followed criteria for this alleged EARNING.

    Every coach uses a certain “in form” based criteria, then follows a personal unpublished set of criteria that they go by.

    because if anything, Freddy Adu EARNED inclusion based on his Gold Cup performance. but since then he hasn’t played very consistently, so did that UNEARN him his spot?

  6. Murph, I agree with you on the 4-4-2 or some semblance of it, but Beasley is playing up top in Mexico….where did you get the idea he’s playing in the back?

    Secondly, Klinsy loves Beckerman, unless something has changed between game #1 and now, the #6 role is Beckermans….hence






    I could also see Dempsey either sliding into the middle, (the proverbial #10 role), with Bradley on the outside similar to his role with Chievo (though higher on the pitch); or switching with Beasley up top and leaving Beasley on the wing.

    Something like this:




    A 4-3-3 on paper and a 4-1-2-2-1 in practice

  7. not necessarily.

    If you have DM’s that are organized and disciplined enough that one stays home at all times (Beckerman, Bradely Edu and Jones all do this well) and two of your CB’s are fairly mobile (Spector Bocanegra Ream and Cherundolo all fit that bill) and have two wingers with the wheels to track back (Beasely, Williams, Chandler, Donovan) and back three could be very successful and quickly becomes a back four, back five or back seven.

    It’s been working great for a Napoli side that has kept defensive counter attack minded italian sides at sixes and sevens for two seasons now…

  8. On how many different levels will fans give Klinsi credit for things that no one ever gave Bradley credit for?

    you know Klinsmann’s son get’s called into U14 US National camps. I look forward to the day he plays for the US senior team under Klinsi and fans marvel at how wonderfully supportive he is of his son’s career.

  9. If you look at the goals Altidore is scoring at AZ it is because he is getting the ball/service in places that plays on his strength. It has been ages since he has received that kind of quality services on the USMNT – lots of high balls, long balls, running at the defense from midfield etc. this team needs a central midfielder who can consistently make that one pass that slices through a defense. Until we have that we are going to struggle to score goals.

  10. And that’s probably 50% Honduran–at least–who are obviously motivated to support their national team far more than they would any MLS club.

  11. and with 4-man backlines:

    *4-1-4-1 (I do think agudelo could play ACM)*






    *Or a 4-1-3-2*











  12. I mis-typed above, meant to type 3-5-2, as in the Wiki diagram. I agree that while a 3-5-2 would certainly open up a lot of offensive options, it would at the same time be opening up a Pandora’s box of potential defensive problems. Would be ballsy of Klinsmann to try it.

    Actually, as Angel Fan says, it appears Klinsmann was practicing with a 3-2-3-2, which would be sort of a tweak to the 4-1-4-1 he tried in his first friendlies. In other words, instead of 4 defenders and 1 holding mid = 5 in back, it would be 3 defenders and 2 DM = 5. I am in no way advocating a 3-2-3-2, but it would be fun to watch in a friendly as the USMNT prepares for the truly important games next summer, the WCQ.

    Such as:





    —–howard (the brick wall)—

  13. You are reading waaaaaaaaaaay too much into it. Have you ever seen MB give interviews before? Go search Youtube.

    That is just MB90 being MB90, he is truly his father’s son.

  14. “6,800 tickets sold to Saturday’s game”

    No MLS expansion back to Florida confirmed.

    Anyone living in the southeast United States, in the semi-circle created by Dallas, Kansas City, Columbus, and DC has NO right to complain about not having a MLS team nearby if there are less than 7,000 tickets sold for a US national team game with just a few days remaining. Sorry, better go ahead and renew that subscription to MatchDay Live.

  15. Klinsi might be getting Joe Benny Corona after all. Washington Post’s Steven Goff tweeted tonight: “Getting word Tijuana F Joe Corona, Mex-American-Salvadoran from SD on MEX U-22 roster, now taking hard look at #usmnt commitment”

  16. Not sure. I didnt see their “workout report”….

    After training, the players went in for cold baths while the coaching staff stuck around on the field and ran a few laps. After running, Jurgen Klinsmann continued to workout by doing some push-ups.


  17. AZ generally pay a 4-3-3 with Jozy in the middle of two very good wingers.

    He is a little bit right about saying he isn’t really playing any different in the sense that those two wingers have been creating a lot of opportunities for him. The kind he rarely saw when playing for the US.

    And of course, once you score a few goals your confidence rises and so does your overall standard of play.

  18. “I was wondering whether Klinsmann might be thinking about risking a 3-5-1 like Napoli is doing. That would be wild.”

    It would be but the problem with a 3-5-1 is that it gets easily overwhelmed by the opposition.

    Something about a numerical advantage.

  19. When have you ever seen any USMNt video of MB where he was truly comfortable talking about anything?

    I think you are reading way too much into it.

    MB has never loved the interview camera.


Leave a Comment