Every ounce of familiarity could be an advantage for the United States in a Western hemisphere World Cup like this summer’s event in Brazil, and USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann is excited about January’s camp at their summer home in Sao Paolo.
Klinsmann had already hailed the country’s January camp, as you read and watched thanks to Joe Prince-Wright, but he’s expounded upon the benefits and plans today at the MLS site.
“We’ll try things out there,” Klinsmann said. “We want to get to know the people. We want to build relationships, if it’s at the hotel, at the training ground. We want to get a feel for how things work there – for the Brazilian lifestyle, in a certain way – and this is a good opportunity.
“So we connected it because no other [World Cup] team really has that January camp happening. It’s because of the schedule that MLS has gives us that opportunity.”
The United States team and manager expressed optimism at getting used to everything from the hotel to the weather to the food in Brazil, and doing so ahead of many of their World Cup competitors.
Sporting KC midfielder and camp participant Graham Zusi laid out the benefits of the experience nicely:
“I think the trip down to Brazil makes it all real, very real, and I think that that has gained the focus of every single player, 100 percent. It’s going to feel real good going down there this first time and kind of knowing what you’ll be up against in the summer.
“If there are any snags or unexpected things, we’ll be able to experience them this first time and really take them out of the question the next time we’re down there.”
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
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Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.