Just a little of this and that ahead as the team goes into the last phase of its January camp:
About the five players released back to their clubs, as announced Friday by U.S. Soccer: the only thing to say here they didn’t do quite as much as some of the other guys.
That doesn’t mean they can’t get there … it just means they are behind. We see that several newbies did make enough of an impression, as Michael Harrington, DeAndre Yedlin, Eric Alexander, Benny Feilhaber, Luis Gil, Dax McCarty and Mike Magee made the cut. Good on ‘em.
Guys like Shane O’Neill were kind of up against it anyway; with the first three U.S. choices also in camp (Omar Gonzalez, Matt Bessler and Clarence Goodson), it was always going to be difficult to shine by comparison.
Someone like Harrington or Gil remains miles and miles away from a World Cup roster spot. Someone like Feilhaber (pictured), on the other hand, someone with that much talent, even if he hasn’t found the best applications of it … it doesn’t seem like an outrageous stretch to see him making a late dash for a roster spot.
On other matters, Michael Bradley will not be joining the team in California, although it was talked about. U.S. Soccer spokesmen said Bradley and Klinsmann have been in conversation since the midfielder left Roma two weeks ago, but they ultimately concluded that Bradley would be better off with Toronto, where training camp is just getting started.
He is, after all, the highest paid MLS man these days, and along with that comes a big responsibility to be the leader from Day 1.
The team is back in California now, having left Sao Paulo in the wee smalls of Friday night, with the plane scheduled for an L.A. landing at noon Saturday. Klinsmann gave the players Sunday off. They’ll be back to work on Monday, prepping for Saturday’s friendly against South Korea.
Oh, here’s a good look at the training facilities at FC Sao Paulo they just vacated. No bad, eh? More importantly, the is where the team will train and base itself this summer. They’ll stay nearby and train at Sao Paulo until the day before a match, typically training just one day at the venue on “Match Day minus-1,” as they call it around FIFA.