DOWN TIME: The U.S. Men’s National Team takes its first day off from training on Wednesday, the first down time since camp began Jan. 4 at the National Training Center. Yesterday's lone session consisted of a 30-minute fitness exercise, with continuous running for 20 minutes and a 10-minute cool down run. All together, U.S. Manager Bruce Arena has held 10 sessions combining soccer training and fitness. The team will resume a twice-a-day schedule beginning Thursday morning.
INJURY UPDATE: Pablo Mastroeni has been diagnosed with a partially torn quadriceps in his left leg suffered during a crossing exercise Monday morning. He is expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks. Kansas City Wizards midfielder Kerry Zavagnin has been called into the Carson camp to replace Mastroeni on the roster, and D.C. United defender Bobby Boswell has been called to make his first appearance in a national team training camp. Both players will arrive Wednesday evening. Zavagnin is the fourth Wizards player to be called in, joining Jimmy Conrad, Chris Klein and Josh Wolff. Boswell is the fifth D.C. United player called in to join Freddy Adu, Brian Carroll, Ben Olsen and Santino Quaranta. Meanwhile, Chris Albright is recovering from a bruised right knee and has resumed fitness training. No other major injuries have been reported.
ALL_ACCESS VIDEO – HIGHLIGHTS: U.S. Soccer fans have grown accustomed to the behind-the-scenes look that all_access video provides with one-on-one interviews, post-game highlights, and the guys just being guys. Now we've decided to show you a different view of training camp, the one you would get as if you were standing on the field in Carson. In the first two installments, watch highlights of a seven v. seven tournament where you'll see a great side volley goal from Taylor Twellman, a great finishing run from Frankie Hejduk, point blank saves from Matt Reis, and more. Then move on to clips from the team's first full-field scrimmage, where Nate Jaqua scored the lone goal in the Blue Team's 1-0 victory. It's action you can't find any where else, and stay tuned for more.
Of course, you'll still get the behind-the-scenes goods on the players, beginning with a one-on-one 'sit-down' with Eddie Johnson. The young star at the club and international level had his meteoric rise curtailed by an injury that cost him precious playing time, but EJ is now back in full swing and hungry to earn a place on Bruce Arena's roster for Germany. Watch Eddie as he talks about the come-back trail.
PODCASTING - EJ AND THE TRAINERS: If the video wasn't enough for you, you can listen to the full-length version of Eddie’s interview in this extended podcast where he talks about being in a music video, his trip to the ESPY's, and much, much more.
Also new on the podcasting rack is a chat with U.S. national team trainers Dave Andrews and Rick Guter, perhaps the two busiest men in training camp so far. With the players coming off a long layoff and enduring grueling training sessions, these two are primarily responsible for nursing the group through the difficult opening stages while ensuring they are prepared to meet the physical challenges on a daily basis. They discuss warning signs for injuries, how players manage their bodies, diet, and a host of other issues that surround a group of players who know being fit to train is the first and most important step in their hopes of earning a spot for Germany.
DIARY OF A DOUBLE DAY: After making his debut with the full Men's National Team in the 1-1 draw against Scotland last November, Chicago Fire forward Chris Rolfe is getting his first full taste of life in a national team training camp. The 2005 MLS Rookie of the Year candidate is blending in quite nicely, and is bearing the demands of the intense sessions along with the rest of the group. From unexpected wake-up calls, his (boring) choices for meals, and the anticipation of what lies ahead in training, Rolfe gives a glimpse of a day in his life with the MNT with this journal entry dated Monday, January 9 in Carson.
CONVERTED CLIPPERS FANS? About 15 players took the opportunity to become spectators for a change when AEG hosted the national team at the Clippers - Magic game on Tuesday night at the Staples Center. The group was treated to a first-class dinner in the stadium club and fantastic seats in the AEG suite at mid-court. The team turned out to be good luck for their hosts as the Clippers snapped a three-game home losing streak with a 90-73 victory. The team would like to thank Tim Lieweke, Scott Blackmun, Bill Peterson, Doug Hamilton and the rest of the AEG staff for their hospitality.
PHOTO GALLERY: In case you haven't been following along, ussoccer.com has gotten hold of a pretty swanky camera and is now posting daily pictures from training camp. From tight action shots to the beautiful sunsets that coincide with afternoon training, see the best pics we have to offer in the photo galleries on ussoccer.com.
SO CAL MATCHES TWO WEEKS AWAY: The U.S. Men’s National Team has been training hard on the fields of U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with the first match of 2006 on the horizon. The USA’s preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2006 Germany will begin on Jan. 22 in San Diego, as the U.S. Men’s National Team hosts Canada in their first match of the year. Tickets, starting at $25, are available online at ussoccer.com, at the University of San Diego’s Jenny Craig Pavilion Box Office (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and by phone at 619-260-7550 (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets through the University of San Diego by calling 619-260-7550. One week after the Canada match, the U.S. will face Norway at The Home Depot Center on Jan. 29, 2006, at 2 p.m. PT live on ESPN2. Tickets begin at $20 and are available at ussoccer.com, all Southern California Ticketmaster ticket centers (including Robinson’s-May, Wherehouse Music and Tower Records), The Home Depot Center ticket office (stadium ticket office is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and by phone at 213-480-3232. Groups of 15 or more can purchase discounted tickets starting at $18 by calling U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or downloading a group order form at ussoccer.com.
ussoccer.com is the official site of U.S. Soccer, the governing body of soccer in the United States.