Everyone knows how Jurgen Klinsmann likes grueling fitness work and time in the gym for his players: in a nutshell, early and often. The team’s German boss sees little value in a lot of lollygagging about.
So it says something when Klinsmann takes his foot off the pedal to give his team some rare time off.
Klinsmann has decided the team needs a little break following Monday’s closed-door training match with Sao Paulo. The United States, again looking at different combinations and playing pretty much the entire 26-man camp, won this match 2-1. That’s about it as details go. (For “why” the team and its staff don’t like to provide details on these informal training matches, see the bottom of this post.)
The team has worked every day (twice on many of them, with the second session perhaps being a workout in the gym) since the ongoing January camp opened Jan. 6. The only exception so far was the travel day into Brazil (which is hardly a “day off,” considering it was an overnight flight, and considering the travel delays that extended the time in transit).
How will most players (some of whom gathered in bunches into the night on Sunday to watch the NFL conference championship games) spend their day off? Best guess here is: sleeping and leisurely lollygagging about.
The team is sequestered at an urban Sao Paulo hotel, the same in which they’ll house themselves this summer in Brazil. In this way, this summer will look more “World Cup 2006” than “World Cup 2010” for the U.S. players. Eight years ago the team housed itself right in the middle of Hamburg, the beautiful, underrated city in Germany’s northern reaches. By contrast, four years later the team was based at a resort way outside of Johannesburg, which meant spending more or less the entire non-soccer time “on base.”
After the “sleeping in and resting” part, players, coaches and staff are doing the Brazilian churrascaria thing. And (assuming you’re a meat lover), that’s a fine, find thing.
One more little tidbit: conversations are apparently still going on regarding any roster changes to the camp upon arrival later this week back into California. So here’s a heads-up: I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see Michael Bradley pop up in the camp, getting in a few days of work with the team ahead of its Feb. 1 friendly against South Korea.