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U.S. World Cup update: injuries, roster, Daily Show

Injury update: Carlos Bocanegra (abdominal muscle), Jay DeMerit (abdominal) and Eddie Johnson (hamstring) participated in warm-ups and some passing exercises. "Hopefully, we can continue to move them along," Coach Bob Bradley said.

Chad Marshall (hamstring) warmed up and did individual work with the trainer as a way of testing his status. "I will wait to hear exactly what [the trainer] saw as he put him through a fitness test," Bradley said.

Are injured players running out of time? "Every situation is different," the coach said. "In some cases, guys might be on the fence for the 23 [final roster], and, yes, the idea is that we are still going to try to have our roster selected after the game in Hartford [next Tuesday]. In other cases, you may feel more confident that there is time. You're going to bring a player to South Africa, knowing that you have the confidence in those weeks that he is ready to go."

On the roster selection process in general, Bradley added: "We have some ideas, for sure, but there are still some decisions that have got to be made. The idea of having 30 people in camp gives people the opportunity to show where they are and also, if we had another injury, you are prepared."

As I wrote this morning, I expect some roster decisions by the end of the weekend. But for the Czech Republic friendly in Hartford, Bradley will have to balance the need to see his regulars with evaluating players on the roster bubble.

"That is one of the most difficult aspects of that game," he said. "Clearly that is the game we need to use to assess some players, especially if we are really down to the wire with some decisions."

One of the big decisions next month is where Bocanegra, the captain, will play (assuming he is fit): left or center back. For French club Rennes, he usually starts on the left. For the U.S. team, he primarily plays in the middle. "I think he feels that, in terms of being a leader on the field, he is able to do more from the center," Bradley said. "The fact of the matter last year is that he came out of the [home] qualifier against Honduras with a little bit of an injury and we got to the Confederations Cup, the first few games he wasn't ready. By the time he was ready, I felt [Oguchi Onyewu and Jay DeMerit] were playing really well."

Much more on the continuation of this post.....

*A British reporter asked an obligatory question about terrorism threats in South Africa, and Bradley offered the obligatory response: "Whenever we travel anywhere in the world, the security in and around the team is incredible. We have super people who do this for a living. They keep track of everything that is going on. We are all very confident, as always."

*Maryland Coach Sasho Cirovski observed practice and reunited with the three former Terrapins in camp: Maurice Edu, Clarence Goodson and Robbie Rogers.

*John Oliver, a "correspondent" for Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, spent the day at training camp taping a segment for future airing. DeMerit, Jonathan Spector and Marcus Hahnemann, all of whom are based in England, played along with the absurd line of questioning from the England-born Oliver, a Liverpool supporter. Stewart has deep ties to soccer, having played at the College of William & Mary.

Said Spector: "I love the show. I knew what I was in for. I tried to keep a straight face."

On a much more somber note, Bradley began his media session by remembering John McHugh, a former Army goalkeeper who was killed in Afghanistan this week. The Bradley brothers -- Bob, Scott and Jeff -- knew him and his family.

"You hear news like that, when you think about what it means to represent your country, you think about how important soccer is, but how it's not even close to be somewhere else in the world defending them," Bob said. "As we go through this whole lead-in, we keep trying to find ways to not only talk about soccer, but how special it is to play for your national team, how special it is to represent your country. Things like this absolutely bring it to light."

Recently, Bradley said, McHugh took a U.S. soccer goalkeeping training course. "He was still trying to keep himself sharp and active," Bradley said.

By Steve Goff  |  May 19, 2010; 2:12 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Bob Bradley, Carlos Bocanegra, Sasho Cirovski, The Daily Show, U.S. national team, World Cup  
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Thank you, Col. McHugh, for your service to our country. I pray I am worthy of your sacrifice.

And thank you, Coach Bradley, for being a class guy.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 19, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I second that emotion.

Posted by: DadRyan | May 19, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Ryan Nelsen has turned his back on us.

Posted by: Reignking | May 19, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that Ryan Nelsen's choice of England to win it all qualifies as "turn[ing] his back on us."

And I assume by "us" you mean DC United, his former club, and all of the DC United players who were in contention to represent their country in the World Cup....

Posted by: DWE4 | May 19, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

""Desert Foxes goalkeepers coach Hassen Belhadji "has scheduled several harsh training sessions for the 4 of them including aerobic and gymnastics sessions""

Gymnastics? Cartwheels and handstands? Or the Iron Cross on the rings?

Posted by: delantero | May 19, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Gymnastics? Cartwheels and handstands? Or the Iron Cross on the rings?

Posted by: delantero | May 19, 2010 3:39 PM


Neither. Rhythmic Gymnastics. Prancing about with a ribbon on a string, and a sparkly bouncy ball...

Posted by: JkR- | May 19, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me like Bocanegra should play on the left. If he "usually starts on the left" for Rennes, and Gooch and DeMerit have a good groove going in the center, then it's decided. If he looses some ability to be a team leader by playing on the left rather than in the center, that would seem a worthwhile sacrifice compared to the alternative -- disrupting the understanding between Gooch and DeMerit, and playing in a position where he hasn't been starting week after week for his club. That said, I don't really know the value of his 'ability to be a leader' by playing in the center. Maybe his instructions and command are enormously helpful. Still, I say put him on the left.

Posted by: WorldCup | May 19, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that Ryan Nelsen's choice of England to win it all qualifies as "turn[ing] his back on us."

Posted by: DWE4

Don't take anything I say too seriously.

Posted by: Reignking | May 19, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Rand-al-Thor, well said.

Posted by: Kosh2 | May 19, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

RE: Col. McHugh

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 19, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

That was a terrific quote from Bob Bradley. Poignant, appropriate and touching. Thanks very much for passing that on, Steve.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 19, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

DWE4 there is a thing called sarcasm on this blog. Reignking does it a lot.

Anyway, I can't wait for these friendlies. I am starting to believe US can go on a nice run.

Also, I do not think it is unreasonable to assume England win the World Cup. If Rooney is hot they have the best striker in the World.

Posted by: grubbsbl | May 19, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

You know, maybe we should put Mel Gibson on the roster. He beat the English in Mutiny on the Bounty, Braveheart, and The Patriot.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 19, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The only problem with Mel Gibson is that he goes rogue to much. Coach Bob demands organization. He is like Jack Bauer, only hairier.

Is his winning streak against the British worth the free spirit he brings?

Posted by: grubbsbl | May 19, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse


I know this is a soccer blog, but I applaud you on your "worthiness" commentary regarding the sacrifice made by Col. McHugh and if you will allow me a broader commentary, I rather wish people would say, "may we be worthy of God's blessing" rather than the command, God Bless America. I rather think he doesn't cotton to that much.
Thanks for listening

Posted by: Ruthie1 | May 19, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking | May 19, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait to see that Daily Show. Any idea of when it might air?

Posted by: BooThisMan | May 19, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

BooThisMan: I believe Daily Show is on a two week break (starting this week). I would start watching on May 31st.

I watch every episode cause I am a politico loser but that is the best can offer.

Posted by: grubbsbl | May 19, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Good to see some new MLS teams in the Concachampions League. I actually like the idea of the competition and hope the teams involved have the good health and roster depth that will help them compete.

One of last year's underappreciated highlights was DC eliminating Firpo at Estadio Cuscatlan in PKs, not to mention Christian Gomez' freekick that sailed thru the exit tunnel a few sections behind the goal.

I'd like MLS teams to take the competition seriously but the league roster rules / salary cap may prevent that.

Last year, DC seemed unable to make up its mind on whether to take the competition seriously or not. Some lineups were pretty strong and others looked like reserve team lineups. I couldn't figure out the rhyme or reason behind it and felt pretty ripped off paying premium prices for the home games against Firpo and Toluca.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 19, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Noticed the Sounders FO has had their hand forced and will play their play in at Qwest instead of Starfire due to CONCACAF rules.

So will they be integrating this match into their STHers ticket packages or risk the stark reality that mid week, non league play in matches aren't big draws? Or will they follow the fine precedent they've already set and just let everyone in for free? Maybe more tarps over seats, free nachos and thundersticks will do the trick...

Posted by: DadRyan | May 19, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

No DC United in the CCL means that I won't waste any more Wednesday nights watching the games. I think In Plain Sight is on Wednesday nights; better use of my time.

Hey Rand-al-Thor: When does Gabrielle Anwar... ummm... Burn Notice come back?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 19, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

June 3rd.

Posted by: Reignking | May 19, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks. Gabrielle Anwar in short dresses carrying large guns - she'd be the NRA poster girl if it wasn't for her Middle Eastern last name.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 19, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

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