Final Thoughts From Music City
*With an Olympic berth secure, Coach Peter Nowak said some players from his under-23 squad will not play in Sunday's meaningless final against Honduras in order to prepare for the senior national team's friendly at Poland. Probably Freddy Adu, Jonathan Spector and Sal Zizzo, maybe Charlie Davies, but probably not Jozy Altidore, who has spent little time with the Red Bulls this preseason.
Nowak said he and senior coach Bob Bradley, who was in Nashville tonight, planned to finalize things as soon as possible and unveil the roster in the next few days.
CONCACAF: USA, Honduras
Asia: Australia, Japan, South Korea, China
Africa: Cameroon, Ivory Coast, TBD (Nigeria, Ghana or South Africa)
Europe: Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia
Oceania: New Zealand
South America: Brazil, Argentina
The draw is April 20.
*Canada U-23 Coach Nick Dasovic is not just envious of this U.S. team, but the entire American program.
"The one thing about the States is, I still think they are the best CONCACAF team, not just in the U-23 level, but the senior level. I am a fan of the U.S. I've lived in Canada, I've been raised in Canada, and what they have done the last 20 years is remarkable. I'm a fan of what they've done and it shows what they've done in terms of all the money they've put into programs. They're going to the Olympics again, they are probably on their way to the World Cup, and it just goes from having that infrastructure. Hopefully one day we can match that."
Later, discussing how far Canada has fallen behind the U.S. programs, Dasovic added: "Twenty years ago, when I was playing, 15 years ago, it was close. Twenty-five years ago, you guys weren't even close to us. Now it has gone reverse because of the money, the infrastructure, the coaching, everything you guys have in this country."
Check www.washingtonpost.com for my full game report with additional quotes this morning.
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