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Kljestan's Korner: U.S. MNT Camp Diary - Entry No. 3

U.S. MNT Camp Diary - Entry No. 3

I’m back for another chapter of Kljestan’s Korner. We’ve pretty much gotten into a routine for the mornings by now. Day 7 - Wednesday, started the same with breakfast. We have a pretty big buffet for breakfast here at the hotel, so every morning I usually eat the same thing: a bowl of strawberries and pineapple, yogurt, and half a bagel. The highlight of the morning session was a short 11 v 11 game. It ended with a 1-1 tie, Eddie Johnson scored early, and then Landon tied it for us on a penalty. Overall it was a decent game. I felt I combined well with Landon and Pablo Mastroeni in the midfield. We had a team lunch and rested for the afternoon practice. At 4 p.m. we headed over for a gym session. Dinner on our own was on the schedule, so E.J., Jonny Bornstein, Dasan Robinson, Michael Parkhurst, Matt Pickens, Ricardo Clark, and I went to P.F. Changs. Lettuce wraps and some spicy chicken … first-class! I came back to the hotel and watched a mean episode of Deal or No Deal, where the girl won $313,000. How do I get on a show like that to make so much money just for opening boxes? Somebody sign me up please.

Thursday, Day 8. I woke up for breakfast like usual, and the first thing I do is check my phone. I have a text message from my friend Mike Ferreira saying “Beckham to MLS for $250 Mil.” So I get on the web browser on my T-Mobile SideKick (good spot for product placement? sponsorship maybe? Call my agent T-Mobile!) and see that some dude named David Beckham has signed with my cross-town rival L.A. Galaxy for an enormous amount of money. Apparently he is pretty famous and played in a few World Cups or something, whatever. This was a pretty big topic around the tables at breakfast, on how much money he was getting, what it’s going to be like, and how things may change. We got to the training fields after breakfast and it was back to business. We started with a half field possession game, but this time it was a bit different. Each player was paired up with a player from the other team, and you could only steal the ball from that player, and had to stay with him the entire time. So if you beat him, you could dribble across the whole field to make him chase you. I was matched up with Kyle Beckerman. We had a few pretty good battles, and he is pretty tough player to match up against, something I learned this season in the four games vs. Colorado. We finished with a 7 v 7 game, first goal wins and the next team comes on. The afternoon session started with some crossing and finishing, and finished with a full field game for 30 minutes. It ended 0-0. After team dinner in the hotel, Heath Pearce, Dasan Robinson, Chris Rolfe, myself and my brother Gordon went to the L.A. Kings vs. San Jose Sharks hockey game. The tickets came from my agent Richard Motzkin and we were happy to get out to the Staples Center and see some hits on the rink. The Kings lost 5-2 and we hate losing to teams from NorCal, so that was no bueno, but otherwise a fun night.

Friday, Day 9 - Draft Day! Before training we were able to watch the first few picks of the 2007 MLS Superdraft. A few trades and the regular picks, nothing too crazy. The morning training session was focused on team structure on the field. It’s extremely important when playing with a national team that we are organized, because we don’t have the liberty of training together everyday during a season like with our club teams. So, we played a full field game with a perspective on really staying compact and keeping it organized. This made the game better today as compared to the past full field games we have played. It still ended 0-0 though. After training we learned about the new draft picks to all of our respective clubs. Chivas picked John Cunliffe in the first round, and I hear he can play, so hopefully he can make some noise for Chivas this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do. I was also happy to see my good friend and former U-20 roommate Brad Evans get drafted to Columbus - good luck, my friend. The afternoon exercise took place in the gym. We did a quick workout of mostly core stuff. Pretty good way to end the week as we learned Saturday would be another regeneration day and Sunday completely a day off. After team dinner in the hotel, I got a massage from our trainer Ivan Pierra to help get the soreness out of my hamstrings. I hung out with Heath Pearce and Michael Parkhurst for most of the rest of the night in the hotel and now I’m listening to the new My Chemical Romance CD- The Black Parade. It is my favorite CD out right now, so check it out if you haven’t yet.

Saturday, Day 10 - Regeneration Day. The morning was spent in another session to help rejuvenate the body. Having worked with A.P. during the season with Chivas, I’m used to the regeneration days as we usually did them the day after games, and I am big fan of it. After lunch and a meeting, we were off for the rest of the day and all of Sunday. So after lunch I played nine holes of golf, and finished even par. I birdied the first three holes and was pretty much ready to stop then, because I know I’ll probably never do that again. That night, Pat Noonan, Heath, Jimmy Conrad, Parkhurst, the real “Becks” of MLS (Kyle Beckerman), and I went out to Hermosa Beach to have dinner and watch the Saints vs. Eagles playoff game. Chris Albright must be sad, he’s a huge Eagles fan, but the Saints won my liking. Reggie Bush is the man. Up next is a full day of relaxation on Sunday …

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- Sacha