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Thursday kickaround

*U.S. midfielder Ricardo Clark (calf injury) joins national team regulars Oguchi Onyewu, Clint Dempsey, Charlie Davies and Steve Cherundolo on the sideline, delaying his Eintracht Frankfurt debut by a month. In addition, Maurice Edu, DaMarcus Beasley and Kenny Cooper are recuperating from injuries, and Jermaine Jones, the German-American midfielder at Schalke who pledged his allegiance to the USA, is running out of time to enter the U.S. picture because of a leg ailment.

*Salvador Cabanas update: A surgeon said the bullet in Cabanas' skull would remain there, calling it a small piece of metal that was not harmful.

*The latest FIFA rankings saw no changes in the top nine and the USA remaining at No. 14, three slots ahead of stationary Mexico. African champion Egypt moved up 14 positions to No. 10.

For news on Portland's stadium, World Cup tickets and the WPS dispersal draft.....

*Portland City Council approves renovations to PGE Park for the Timbers, a 2011 MLS expansion club.

*Additional tickets to USA World Cup matches will be made available starting Tuesday.

*The WPS dispersal draft will be held this afternoon.

By Steve Goff  |  February 4, 2010; 9:39 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , FIFA , MLS , U.S. men's national team , Women  
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Next: Pontius signs new contract with D.C. United


"Additional tickets to USA World Cup matches will be made available starting Tuesday."

Fantastic! That means I have two chances -- Friday's MegaMillions and Saturday's Powerball drawings -- to be able to afford the trip, Cup tickets, plane tickets, safari, hotel rooms and all...

Posted by: fischy | February 4, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

@Goffer -- Can you clear up confusion that arose in yesterday's discussions regarding how many international slots United has now (only 7, or is it 8, with one from a prior trade) and how many of the foreign-born players have green cards (Wallace, Kocic, Khumalo, etc.)??

Posted by: fischy | February 4, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I was under the impression that most countries' allotments were going unclaimed. Is the USSF doing that well, are these tickets that have been previously offered by the USSF, or are these tickets being released by FIFA?



Posted by: jayrockers | February 4, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone heard the status of Szetela's injury?

Posted by: no_recess | February 4, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"*Salvador Cabanas update: A surgeon said the bullet in Cabanas' skull would remain there, calling it a small piece of metal that was not harmful"

...I'm sorry sir but you will have to remove that bullet from your skull before we can let you though security, firearms are strictly forbidden.


Posted by: Southeasterner | February 4, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Lots of injuries; but maybe that's actually a blessing. Hopefully all these guys take all the time they can to recover and recoup so they are fresh for the Cup; including Davies. Hope he makes it back.

If I had a bullet in my head, I think I'd get a second opinion as to leaving it there.

Posted by: hacksaw | February 4, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't think there's any USMNT picture for Jermaine Jones. It's just too late. Even if he were to get healthy in the next month, he won't have time to integrate into the team before June.

Unless Bradley pulls another Regis-style stunt, which I don't think he'll do.

Posted by: mmathai | February 4, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"...won't have time to integrate into the team before June"?

At the risk of sounding condescending again: What does that mean? That sounds like the meaningless tripe served up by soccer commentators and journalists every day to fill space. It sounds really important and meaningful, but what does it mean? These guys play together for no more than a couple of weeks at a time, until the World Cup camp. Sure, he would need to learn what his responsibilities would be -- learn to communicate and anticipate...but national team players seldom develop the familiarity of a club team.

What Jones needs to do is get healthy and get game fitness and sharpness prior to the Cup prep camp. Then, he can come in and show himself, which is really all anyone can do. Training camps aren't for regaining fitness, except maybe in a few rare cases. Sure, Donovan's slot is guaranteed, but everyone else will have to show they're on the top of their game. Given the way his recovery has failed to progress, I don't expect Jones to be in the team, but that's because he won't be up to playing at World Cup speed and level, not because he hasn't spent enough time with the team on hte practice field.

Posted by: fischy | February 4, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Great news for Portland. I was worried that their bid to join MLS was going to fall apart.

It's just too bad we'll see another crappy plastic pitch join the league. But I bet the crowd will look and sound great...

Posted by: DadRyan | February 4, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse


"The council voted for the deal only after a majority of council members were assured that no taxpayer money was at risk.

In a provision that eased their worries, Paulson promises that if his company, Peregrine LLC, cannot complete the city-owned ballpark's reconstruction for any reason, he and his father, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, will pay to finish it. . . . .

Paulson agreed to cover all construction cost overruns and has committed to keeping the MLS team in Portland for the life of the contract, which runs through 2035."

Posted by: OWNTF | February 4, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@OWNTF -- Huge differences. Besides the relative wealth (Paulsons have beaucoup bucks), $31 million might get you paved parking lots in DC. Or not. There aren't many places in DC where DCU get enough land for a stadium at that price. PGE Park is being reconfigured a bit and spruced up to be a soccer stadium instead of a baseball park, but it's a lot less money than would be involved in building an entirely new facility. If the Dynamo can get their stadium built somewhere, it will cost 3 times that amount. DCU are looking for a still more substantial stadium (more seats, lots of luxury boxes), which they will need to recoup the higher costs to operate in DC (especially, if they were to finance it themselves).

Posted by: fischy | February 4, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Jones's main motivation for switching to the US team was to get to the world cup this year, was it not? do we think hes interested in playing with the team in the future if he misses out on SA, or was this a one shot deal for him all along?

Posted by: VTUnited | February 4, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"...I'm sorry sir but you will have to remove that bullet from your skull before we can let you though security, firearms are strictly forbidden. - TSA"

Maybe he can borrow James Carville's TSA strategy . . . "just measure my [bullet fragment] and let me on the airplane!"

Posted by: benonthehill | February 4, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Messrs Chang and Payne:
If you want fan political support for a new stadium build us a WINNER: right now that means putting up the bucks for a quality, international center mid.

Posted by: lemovs1 | February 4, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

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