Little time to waste as US players stream into Miami camp
MIAMI – The inescapable effects of social media made sure that US Soccer’s hopes of protecting the identities of this week’s national team call-ups until Monday morning’s official announcement were not completely fulfilled.
That said, coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s unique approach to gathering and revealing his roster seems to have come off better than might be expected given the wide variance in players’ arrival times here in Miami.
Several members of the US squad reached the Magic City on Saturday and many flew in on Sunday, though three still not have arrived as of late Monday morning (forward Clint Dempsey, midfielder Sacha Kljestan and defender Timmy Chandler), compacting and complicating Klinsmann’s preparation time with his full team.
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson and midfielders Michael Bradley, Brad Davis and Brad Evans were among the early contingent. With Bradley limited to regeneration work after going the full 90 in AS Roma’s Coppa Italia win on Friday, that made for a very small training group on Saturday, and Sunday’s was only slightly bigger. That didn’t stop Klinsmann and his staff from putting those present through their paces, however, in a workout that sounds similar to what January campers experienced.
“The six of us, plus [Sean Johnson], we kind of got after it yesterday in preps for this game,” Evans said on Sunday. “It wasn’t too much tactical, obviously, there weren’t enough numbers for anything tactical – it was all technical, it was fitness, it was finishing – kind of just to stretch the legs but it was actually a pretty difficult practice. I wasn’t expecting that much but that being said, it was great.
“Today, much the same. A little bit more tactical, playing some small-sided games with three in the back, switching the offense and defense and going to goal.”
Monday morning’s training session will inevitably be limited in scope for those fresh off club matches on Sunday. That would suggest that Klinsmann will have little time to insert many new wrinkles into his lineup, formation or tactics for Wednesday’s match.