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USA Update

*The field has been lengthened by two yards to 110, an alteration that has left noticeable faded marks around the penalty area, six-yard box and end line in the north end. The width remains the same (75 yards). It might look a little funny on TV.

*Ticket sales had surpassed 17,000 as of this afternoon.

*Defender Oguchi Onyewu, who grew up in the Washington area, said he is expecting family and friends at the stadium to number "well over 100."

*DeMerit is out and Bob Bradley said a few others have minor ailments.

*Bradley, on RFK: "RFK is a favorite stadium for many of us and it is exciting to play a national team match here. ... There is a history, a soccer history: the World Cup, some of the best games in the early days of MLS were played here. I know the record of the national team here is excellent. So if you put it all together and you combine that with the fans that come to games here - passionate, knowledgeable - in all those ways, it's a great place."

*Bradley, on Torres: "For any young player coming into camp, the first time around is a learning experience. You can tell he is excited to be here and I think in that regard all the players have enjoyed getting to know him a little bit. The commitment that he made to be part of our team is respected by everybody. As a starting point, you can certainly see good qualities especially just in terms of his passing. He's a smart player. When we bring players into camp, we believe all our capable of getting on the field. So we don't bring players in for any other reason. ... He finds good spots to get the ball, he sees things quickly, left foot is good. When you watch for Pachuca, sometimes he tilts left, but he is not a pure flank player either. Sometimes he is a little more in the center. We'll see; it's early."

Onyewu, on Torres: "Whenever you have a new player in, it's very important to try to integrate them as fast as possible in the group so they don't feel as an outsider. He seems like a very level-headed kid and obviously you can see his abilities on the field - good left foot, smart on plays - but you have to take your time sometimes and see how he progresses and matures with the team."

Bradley, on Szetela: "The best part with Danny in this camp is that he comes off a stretch where he has been playing for his club. It's always the case where you want to see players settle in, establish themselves and when they come into our camp, show that they are fit, confident and in form. This camp has been better in that regard. He is still in the full national team working his way up the ladder. You can sense he is starting to get more comfortable with everything."

By Steve Goff  |  October 10, 2008; 5:15 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Two Cuban Players Disappear


Good stuff, SG.

Szetela's development is a big positive. I think his game is a bit more refined in central midfield than some of the guys we've had in the past (Mastroeni, Clark, even Edu). There's a bit more offensive capability out of him than those guys possess. That group is better equipped physically, but they can't do that much beyond destroy and play the ball to someone else. Szetela is also more comfortable in wide areas if he has to move out there for a moment. I think he's got a big future if he keeps himself playing regularly at Brescia.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | October 10, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Steve.

Two more yards? I read into this that Bradley's strategy is to play the long ball and the Ds and Ms have been hitting them too hard for [not Cooper] and [also not Cooper] to catch up. Either that, or the tape measure is marked only in 10 yard increments.
I'm being flippant, of course. I'm sure some NASA engineer will note that 110 yards is ~100 meters.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 10, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the great coverage all week Steve. Looking forward to the match tomorrow.
I know this is off topic for this thread, but what should I wear?

Posted by: dadryan | October 10, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

*whats the point for 2 extra yards

*any Insiders see ND women at G'town today?

Posted by: OWNTF | October 10, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

If I remember correctly, 110 yards is the minimum length allowed for a World Cup match

Posted by: Kevin | October 10, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

"Fenty on Redskins: 'We'll Get Them Back'" (Mark Maske's NFL blog)

I hear there's a nice location available at Poplar Point...

Posted by: noptov52 | October 10, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Redskins???? I thought they stoped playing futbol since 96?

Posted by: dc fan | October 10, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

FIFA recently standardized field dimensions for international matches to be 110 yards by 75 yards; it used to be that there was a range of acceptable dimensions.

Posted by: Mark | October 10, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Curious as to why DCU does not already have the field at 110x75?? Just convention from the early days. It would seem that post-baseball would have been a great time to standardize the field.

Thank you Mr. Goff for all your excellent work and efforts to pass on info this week.
See you tomorrow.

Posted by: marksman | October 10, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

So why not call in a replacement if Demerit can't go? I thought they knew earlier in the week he was not gonna be able to play? Did the miss the replacement window, or just want to keep him around soaking in the environment

Posted by: JL | October 10, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

That bit by Bradley on RFK is priceless. No matter what you think of the guy as a DT he sure said the right things about us here and I give him credit for that. Great job Goff as always.

Posted by: sbg | October 10, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I am very, very surprised that there will most likely be fewer people on hand at RFK for a national team game than there are for most any United game.

Posted by: seth|NYC | October 10, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

One could wear anything specially DC United jersey. I am doing just that.

Posted by: td | October 10, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I am very, very surprised that there will most likely be fewer people on hand at RFK for a national team game than there are for most any United game.

Posted by: seth|NYC | October 10, 2008 8:37 PM
Well come on down then dog. China town bus is still 30 bones round trip right? Don't be a wuss, bring your bike, they'll let you stow it below. Sooner than later ya'll be hosting the Nat's at Redbull arena right. While we rot in our old school venue... DCU GOOOOO!

Posted by: dadryan | October 10, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

It's Cuba... not exactly a team that's going to draw a large crowd.

Posted by: AlecW81 | October 11, 2008 2:35 AM | Report abuse

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