U.S. Men’s National Team Update

A brief one I’m afraid because I have a column to write, a profile of Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez who capped a remarkable rookie year with a call-up to the annual national team camp at Home Depot Center.

And that meant I spent an extended period of time interviewing Gonzalez and was therefore unable to chat with Coach Bob Bradley (who I don’t think was talking to media today anyway) or any other players.

Aalborg striker Marcus Tracy remained sidelined with tendonitis, but Sacha Kljestan and San Jose’s Brandon McDonald were back out on the practice field for the morning session after suffering minor knocks last week. Robbie Rogers also sat this one out (nothing serious I was told).

Bradley did not sound happy with the level of passing on display and perhaps as a result of that ended the session with a running drill (as if to say “if you guys aren’t going to get the fun part right, I’ll inflict a little pain”). And there’s more pain to come: two a day sessions will continue at least through Thursday (maybe they”ll get Friday off if the passing improves, one assumes).

Gonzalez and veteran Jimmy Conrad (as well as McDonald) manned one back line together and the big Galaxy rookie did not look out of place marking Conor Casey, although former Galaxy striker Robbie Findley scored the only goal of the morning on that team with a nice little near post run. Veteran Jeff Cunningham looked lively, too.

The big debut of the day? The Nike Total 90 Ascente ball, which the team used for the first time. It is, apparently, an improvement over the last ball the team used, which featured a design that created an optical illusion that made it appear not perfectly spherical, which some players found a little off-putting.

Someone apparently told Nike because the Ascente promises “a flicker effect as the ball rotates, making the ball easier to spot.”

I should think so, too, for a ball that can apparently cost up to $140.

Equipment geeks can revel in this:

For earlier camp news, click here.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Studs Up

    Hats off Green, didn’t expect this much effort from youS covering this camp. Keep it up, we deserve more. Love the local angle but this is a NATIONAL team camp. Mo info on others, please.

  • PocketKings

    I’d like to echo part of SU’s comments. Thanks for the coverage of the USMNT. I appreciate getting the info during my breaks at work, especially since the USMNT gets ZERO COVERAGE from Broadcast TV News.

    I am curious about something… When did SU become you editor? And a rude one at that!

    Hey SU! If you don’t like it, then take you bee-hind out to the HDC.