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World Cup Daily Update for June 3, 2010

U.S. MNT World Cup Update
June 3, 2010
Irene, South Africa

U.S. Men's National Team forward Jozy Altidore sat out training today after incurring a mild right ankle sprain during Wednesday’s practice. Altidore’s status is considered day-to-day, and he will undergo a fitness test Friday to determine his availability for the June 5 friendly against Australia. An x-ray taken early on Thursday was negative.

In October of 2008, Clint Dempsey and Jose Torres met for the first time as teammates while preparing for the USA’s World Cup qualifying match against Cuba on October 11 at RFK Stadium. Torres earned his first cap that day, coloring himself in the Stars and Stripes for the rest of his international career. Both currently in South Africa, has a look at how the two Texans have become roommates and friends.

U.S. Soccer’s popular web show Studio 90 will feature two shows a day during the FIFA World Cup, and here’s a look at June 3’s rundown.

Studio 90: Today’s Studio 90 takes us behind the scenes at the team hotel as the U.S. MNT players and the hotel staff hold a Meet and Greet to make acquaintances. We will also take a look at training as Studio 90 goes Inside the Lines and hear from Claudio Reyna about his favorite World Cup memory.

Studio 90 Extra Time: In today's Studio 90 Extra Time, Hahnemann answered some the Twitter questions we received from fans, answering why he went with the shaved head, how he keeps his soul patch so perfect and whether or not he sees himself making his way back to the Pacific Northwest and MLS in the near future.

Sounds from South Africa: The June 3 episode of Sounds from South Africa features U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley and midfielder Clint Dempsey in a press conference. Marcus Hahnemann is interviewed about his club season at Wolves and his role as coolest dad ever before answering questions from fans. Listen now.

A collection of notes, anecdotes and links:
• FIFA welcomes the U.S. team, takes some pictures
• Photos from training on June 3, 2010
• A look at the players’ lounge and game room at the team hotel
• Earnie Stewart named technical director at Alkmaar
• Irene is for the birds

QUOTEABLE: June 3, 2010


On improvements he is hoping to see against Australia on Saturday:
“We’re always just looking to move ourselves forward as a group. That’s everything from all-around understanding on the field, to sharpness, to concentration. Our team, certainly in the last four years, has been tested on a high level. I think we have a good sense of the fact that when we play well as a team we can compete with anyone, and as you get close to big games you want to make sure that everybody’s on the same page with the right mentality and is excited and ready to get going. That just requires a good all-around sense of the work that we’ve established over this time.”

On what they are expecting from Australia on Saturday:
“Australia plays well as a team. They have a great mentality; we’d like to think that there are similarities between the mentalities of both teams in that regard. Their game against Denmark was a fast game, their field is a little tight and it made for a fast game, some turnovers and put a premium on reactions when the ball turns over, so it wasn’t a game that had a great flow. But I think it provided a good kind of match for getting teams ready, so we’ll try and have the same thought as we prepare.”

On being injured mere weeks before the start of the World Cup:
“It’s always difficult when you’re going through injury. It’s frustrating because every player wants to be on the field playing. But what upset me the most was stuff getting leaked out that wasn’t true about my injury, but at the same time the people that needed to know like my family, Bob, people with the national team and my friends, they knew what was going on. We knew it wasn’t that serious, in the sense of needing surgery or missing the World Cup or anything like that. I’m smiling because I’m in the World Cup, and things are going good now, we have a good attitude around this camp and we’re looking to do something special.”

On the ability of this team to make history like the 1950 U.S. National Team did:
“If we didn’t believe that we could, why would we be here? It wouldn’t be right, I shouldn’t be part of this team if I didn’t feel we can do something special. Every time you put on the U.S. jersey, you should think you can do a good job. If you don’t, you shouldn’t be here. We’re trying to do something special, hopefully we can do something special like we did in the Confederations Cup here.”

On the tendency for America to produce world-class goalkeepers who succeed in the Premier League:
“In the U.S., we’ve had a lot of goalkeepers in England, and the main thing I think is that the games we watch are predominantly from the Premier league. That’s where you want to go, that’s the first choice for anyone to go overseas is England. We grow up playing a whole mix of sports, and all of that helps. I think it’s changed recently, in youth soccer, that kids want to be goalies. In the past, it was always sticking the worst player in goal, but now it’s a sought after position. A lot of ‘keepers have really come in late, I played half and half in high school, I think Brad Guzan came in late as well. We played a lot of different positions, and I think for all of us goalkeeper kind of chose us as well.”

• CONCACAF teams have a played 108 FIFA World Cup matches with a 25-65-18 record.
• CONCACAF’s winning percentage, .315, is fourth of the six confederations. COMNEBOL leads the way at .573, UEFA is next at .537 and Africa is third at .356. AFC has a .240 winning percentage, while OFC is at .200.
• Mexico (45), the USA (25) account for nearly two thirds of the CONCACAF World Cup appearances with eight other teams making appearances at the finals.