While we hold the line and await on word of the U.S. players in injury limbo, a couple of notes on next week’s World Cup qualifier at DSG Park outside Denver:
- U.S. Soccer will announce the roster Monday morning. I spoke to U.S. officials in Chicago this morning; they are still nailing down the time. (Yes, waiting until players arrive to announce a roster is frustrating, especially since the other CONCACAF countries have already done so. But this has been the way under Jurgen Klinsmann for going on two years now. So, nothing new here.)
- Players begin arriving Sunday; several important ones, including Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey (pictured), play on Sunday. So they will not arrive into Denver until Monday evening, earliest.
- Aston Villa plays Saturday (a relegation “six pointer” at home vs. Queens Park Rangers). Lots of U.S. eyes will be on that one; Brad Guzan, you know.
- The game is sold out; has been for weeks now.
- Early weather reports call for cloudy and cold – but note bitterly so, and with only a slight chance of some nasty wet stuff. Forecasted high that day is 45, with a low of 30.
- All U.S. fans get a scarf! To help promote Nike’s new centennial kit, all fans will receive a free, special edition game-specific scarf. It’s part of a collection of U.S. Soccer fan events attached to this match.
- This is probably the biggest match ever to land at the six-year-old facility a few miles outside of Denver. Dicks Sporting Goods Park did land one other sweet plum, the 2007 MLS All-Star contest, notable for David Beckham’s first public appearance as an official MLS pitch man. Beckham had just arrived in Los Angeles, having been signed earlier that year.