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Monday kickaround

*After wrapping up training camp at Princeton on Sunday, Bob Bradley brought all 30 players to Hartford, Conn., for Tuesday's friendly against the Czech Republic at Rentschler Field (8 p.m. ET, ESPN, Galavision). With final cuts tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, the game-day roster -- tentatively set for 23 players -- will offer a small peek into Bradley's plans. However, a few key players recovering from injuries (and who are certain to go to South Africa) might be left off for precautionary reasons (Carlos Bocanegra and Jay DeMerit, among them). Each side will be permitted six substitutions.

*The Americans' opponent in their World Cup opener (England) will play the Americans' fiercest rival (Mexico) today at Wembley Stadium (3 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel, Telemundo). Meantime, England Manager Fabio Capello has ruled out David Beckham as an assistant coach.

*In a team-bonding outing, French defender William Gallas, already slowed by a calf injury, bonded with the pavement when he rolled over in a dune buggy. This incident came shortly after France announced that midfielder Lassana Diarra would miss the World Cup because of a stomach ailment.

*In World Cup tuneups, Australia defeated New Zealand, 2-1, and South Korea won at Japan, 2-0.

*The Post's Travel section explores Johannesburg ahead of the World Cup.

*A late goal by Tristan Bowen lifted the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 1-0 victory over Boca Juniors in a friendly at Home Depot Center. ... The New York Red Bulls surprised Juventus, 3-1, at Red Bull Arena.

*Toluca secured the Mexican clausura championship with a penalty kick triumph over Santos Laguna.

*The Washington Freedom played Canada's national team to a 3-3 draw at George Mason University.

By Steve Goff  |  May 24, 2010; 9:10 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Beckham , Canada , England , France , Freedom , Mexico , South Africa , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Bob Bradley, Boca Juniors, England, Fabio Capello, France, Juventus, MLS, Mexico, South Africa, Toluca, William Gallas, World Cup  
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Next: D.C. United, by the numbers

Comments

Athletes and cars. No risk there.

In other news, Sven Goran Eriksson, in a desperate bid to build an esprit de corps with the 17 Cote d'Iviore players who have just arrived at training camp, has scheduled a skydiving session.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 24, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I love that Domenech is doing everything he can to out-crazy Maradona.

Toluca-Santos was a well-played game until teams got into the box. No one could finish at all. The worst miss was probably Vuoso whiffing on a sitter in overtime. Santos then looked to have things wrapped up in penalties, but missed 2 different chances to win the game (shots #4 and #5...Vuoso was the guilty party on the fourth shot, capping off an awful afternoon) and then missed #6 to lose. Sanchez saved 2 of the first 3 penalties taken, and ended up losing anyway.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 24, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

So a little bird landed on my shoulder this weekend and told me that Robbie Findley is a lock to make the 23, as the only other competition for his role -- late speedy sub up top -- is an injured EJ. This bird has been correct before, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Posted by: grabowcp | May 24, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I agree about Findley. I'd be surprised if he did not make the 23. He is technically suspect for the international game, but late in a match, he has got the speed to apply high pressure and get behind a defense.

Posted by: Steve Goff | May 24, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't Gallas the one flashing Ferrari keys in the "take it to the next level" ad?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 24, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

It's all just speculation and/or cover-up until Gene Wells gets the accident report.

Posted by: OWNTF | May 24, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I would also like an investigation into whether "Bonesteel" really exists or is just Goff's alter-ego, both here and on match.com

Posted by: OWNTF | May 24, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I posted in the wrong thread. Do I get a sack of money for realizing my error?


* * * * * *

Santos really pulled defeat from the jaws of victory in the Mexican Final yesterday. They were ahead 3-1 in the penalty kick tiebreaker before missing 3 consecutive spotkicks and allowing Toluca to win it in the 6th round.

The game was scoreless but pretty entertaining during the first 90 minutes. Plenty of attacking soccer but both keepers - Alfredo Talavera for Toluca and Osvaldo Sanchez for Santos - came up big several times to stop difficult shots. The 30-minute overtime was a different matter, both teams were exhausted and played defensively to avoid mistakes.

Bring back the golden goal!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 24, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I hope Findley does not make the final 23 if it keeps Herculez Gomez out. Gomez can also be the late fast sub off the bench. He may not be quite as fast as Findley but he times his runs much better and 2010 Herc is a much better finisher than 2010 Findley.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 24, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I hope you guys are wrong about Findley. He looked like garbage even against the CONCACAF B-squads in January. If we need to rely on him late in a game, I think we're screwed anyway. Also, how injured is EJ? He's doing full training, I think.

I'm hoping Sasha, Pearce, Rogers, Findley and Marshall are locks to left behind. I can't figure out the other two, though.

Posted by: BooThisMan | May 24, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

ENGLAND VS MEXICO IS ALSO ON TELEMUNDO!

:D

Posted by: crocken | May 24, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

What's EJ got that the other strikers don't? Nothing.

Findley's speed is unmatched by any of the other guys up top. He's got lots of weaknesses, the first of which is a poor touch, but late in the game, maybe even the second or third game, I think he might surprise some people, certainly more than EJ.

Posted by: delantero | May 24, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

For one thing, EJ can score with both his head and his feet. Unfortunately, this makes him unique among our amazingly one-dimensional USA forwards (unless Dempsey moves up top).

Gomez has signed to play with Pachuca next season. Can we start calling them Pachumerica?

Posted by: fischy | May 24, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I have a good feeling about Findley

Posted by: carmines757 | May 24, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I keep reading about Findley fans talking about late speed substitutions. What is that all about? If the USA is trailing and needing a late goal, there's not much chance the opposing defense will allow a speedster to beat them. They go in a shell. That's why you usually see a good target forward come in during those moments. If the USA is winning, Bradley isn't going to bring in a fast counter-puncher either. He'll be the one in the defensive shell. So, we're really only talking about games that are tied late. I don't have much confidence in Findley being very useful then either because he isn't a great scorer able to beat top goalies. Findley isn't in good form, EJ is. If EJ can play, he should go.

Posted by: fischy | May 24, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Why wouldn't we simply call them "Pachuchamerica"?

Posted by: carmines757 | May 24, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Why wouldn't we simply call them "Pachucamerica"?

Posted by: carmines757 | May 24, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Gomez, Buddle, Altidore and Ching.

4 Strikers. I can't see Bradley taking a 5th, leaving EJ and Findley out.

And I don't know about his "good" form. He's got a couple goals in a mediocre league. Ok, so it's more than Findley, but all things considered, I'd leave both behind.

Posted by: delantero | May 24, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@delantero,

What makes you convinced he's taking Gomez and Buddle? And as much as Ching seems like a stone cold lead pipe Bradleyish lock, we have no idea what his form's like at this point.

If I had to guess the likelihood of various forwards going, it would be a blind crapshoot. After Altidore anything can happen. Sounds like Bradley doesn't even know and might not until the final whistle tomorrow. Or later. And nothing says he takes 4. Could be 4 plus Dempsey or 5.

Posted by: benonthehill | May 24, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I think he'll take Buddle b/c he works well with Donovan and Donovan works well with him. He also is lighting up MLS.

I think he'll take Gomez as he was the leading goal scorer in a good league.

Leaving either of these guys at home in favor of Findley or Johnson just doesn't make sense.

Ching is a lock, if you ask me. If he decides to bring a 5th, I lean Findley b/c of speed. EJ hurt his hammy, too.

Posted by: delantero | May 24, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@fischy

Very true about the "if we are losing" part, but if we are winning, we will go into a defensive shell, but usually in this situation a speedy forward comes on to apply pressure to the backs, and perhaps convert on a counter.

Id like to see EJ and Beasley make the squad if they are fit. Both have the experience.

Posted by: g3impreza | May 24, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else see the NFL lost their antitrust case which prevented them from getting further antitrust protection. Basically, the supreme court said the individual teams compete for fans on and off the field so the NFL is not one league - it's an agreement of 32 teams playing in it.

I know MLS and the MLSPU filed amicus briefs in this case. This has the potential to legally blow single-entity up if someone wants to push the legal envelope. Thoughts?

Posted by: IamAM | May 24, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it will blow up single entity structure because the court stated that the NFL had 32 individual and separate owners who were (what's the legal word?) in cahoots against that clothing company.

MLS "owners" invest in the league and operate franchises thereof. If the decision is as far reaching as you think, then McDonalds' franchisees could negotiate their own contracts with Coke or Pepsi.

OF course, if the NFL got it's way, then MLS and USL could say that because they compete in the USOC, they should have an anti-trust exemption.

Anyway, that's my common sense, but non-legal opinion.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 24, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey good call on the Telemundo coverage for the friendly today.
Nice match to have as a backdrop for my domesticated afternoon at home while the kiddo naps. :)

Was Gallas texting and driving?

Posted by: DadRyan | May 24, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

OF course, if the NFL got it's way, then MLS and USL could say that because they compete in the USOC, they should have an anti-trust exemption.

Anyway, that's my common sense, but non-legal opinion.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 24, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Actually, in a way, the USL keeps MLS from not being a monopoly. I wonder if that is their strategy in the first place.

Posted by: IamAM | May 24, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

For one thing, EJ can score with both his head and his feet. Unfortunately, this makes him unique among our amazingly one-dimensional USA forwards (unless Dempsey moves up top).

Do you think Altidore is incapable of scoring with his head or with his feet?

Posted by: BooThisMan | May 24, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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