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Saturday kickaround

The United States plays its final World Cup tuneup today against Australia (8:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2, Galavision). Brad Guzan started in goal in the first friendly, Tim Howard in the second. Is it Marcus Hahnemann's turn? Perhaps the Wolves keeper in the first half and Howard after the break? All 23 players are permitted to be in uniform, though Jozy Altidore's ankle concern seems certain to rule him out. Six substitutions are allowed. The Americans and Aussies have faced one another just twice previously: a 1-0 Australia victory in Orlando in 1992 and a scoreless affair six years later in San Jose -- Bruce Arena's U.S. coaching debut.

While we await the lineup, some morning reading material:

*The Post's foreign service continues its look at the World Cup buildup from the perspective from England and Mexico.

*Ivory Coast is hopeful that Didier Drogba (broken arm) will not miss the entire World Cup.

*England moves forward without central defender Rio Ferdinand.

*Italy prepares for its opener without midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo.

*France Manager Raymond Domenech, on a 1-0 loss to China (China!): "Something was missing. I'm not saying it's not worrying, but I also say that it's only a warm-up match. In front of goal, spontaneity and freshness make the difference and we were lacking there. We have a week of work ahead of us."

*D.C. United believes it has found the right lineup combinations to maintain its successful run tonight against Real Salt Lake at RFK Stadium (7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet/DC).

By Steve Goff  |  June 5, 2010; 4:53 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Africa , D.C. United , England , France , Italy , Mexico , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Andrea Pirlo, D.C. United, Didier Drogba, Raymond Domenech, Rio Ferdinand, U.S. team, World Cup  
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Next: Matchday: USA-Australia


I have a good feeling about tonight. Go United!

Posted by: DCB23 | June 5, 2010 6:11 AM | Report abuse

What about Hamid? Is he finally the undisputed starter now? I hope so. No need for Perkins now (thank God) unless the kid gets hurt.

Posted by: alan19 | June 5, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

yeah... thank (God?) one of our most expensive players is sitting on the bench collecting dust...

Posted by: DadRyan | June 5, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Raymond Domenech and Sven Goran Eriksson are almost bad enough to make me feel good about Bob Bradley.

Hamid has been good for his youth and situation, and better than Perkins, but by no means great. I hope the two get rotated until at least one of them does look great. A few off games is not enough to ditch Troy, a fairly established and still relatively young keeper. He reminds me of that horrible few games Tim Howard had at Man U. Bad enough to need to sit a few games, but not bad enough to write him off for a season.

Posted by: Dancy1 | June 5, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

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