Friday, May 30, 2008

Back On The Pitch


The team cleaned off the cobwebs of a day of travel and two long nights when they took part in their first training session in Spain. With 17 players on hand and grey clouds hovering overhead, U.S. coach Bob Bradley quickly got the team back after it with a 'head tennis' tournament to start the afternoon. Any concerns of down spirits quickly dissipated, as the games got quite ... competitive, shall we say.

After a passing exercise, the group moved into 7 v. 7 to big goals that also combined some functional training on team movements. The field portion of the afternoon ended with a finishing exercise that focused on the forwards creating space for themselves to get shots on goal. Stay tuned for highlights.

The team trained on the ground of C.D. CayĆ³n a few minutes outside of Santander in Saron. In addition to a soccer field, there was also a tennis court and gym. There was also a mysterious indoor facility that had, at the center, a long and narrow sand pit that looked to be some kind of bowling lane. After observing the players for a few minutes, the MNT Blog went in and decided to have a try.

Turns out the game is called Bolo palma, a popular sport in the northern regions of Spain such as Cantabria (where we are) and the Basque country (where Bilbao is). One of the bowlers was kind of to explain us the rules and we were off (though not quite as effective with the ball as these guys). Despite jeers from Clint Dempsey and Steve Cherundolo, we did alright in the end. Maybe we'll be back tomorrow to in some more practice.

6 comments:

USAManUtd13 said...

Johnson, you're the man; you know you're the man. Now get out there and be a cocky sob for 90 minutes. Turn on the afterburners and run at defenders. Prove the doubters wrong.

Jey said...

coach bradley if you read this, think about this lineup:

howard
dolo-boca-gooch-pierce
donovan-bradley-dempsey-beasley
adu-johnson/jaqua/whoever

note: adu would be in the hole with jaqua or johnson up top.

note II: dempsey has the chops to play the CAM position so why not give him a go? he plays D, he holds the ball up well, he runs at defenders and he is a creative passer aka good distributor.

this formation will score goals and win games. i am not an expert just an american who would like to see the USMNT earn respect by scoring goals and beating top european competition. thank you.

Kartik said...

I WANT JOZY

Mystic Puma said...

Hopefully we establish control and dictate the tempo in the midfield. We lost too much possession in the midfield which led to counters from the English. The wingers and wing-backs need to work better together with overlapping runs and one-twos. The 2 D-Mids formation is good and all as long as attacking movements are incorporated. We need less back passes and square balls which lead to nothing except turnovers and instead produce combinations that link the mids with the strikers checking in.

Mystic Puma said...

Hopefully we establish control and dictate the tempo in the midfield. We lost too much possession in the midfield which led to counters from the English. The wingers and wing-backs need to work better together with overlapping runs and one-twos. The 2 D-Mids formation is good and all as long as attacking movements are incorporated. We need less back passes and square balls which lead to nothing except turnovers and instead produce combinations that link the mids with the strikers checking in.

byrankoehaler said...

johnson is a joke. he hasn't done anything for anyone since the beginning of the 2007 mls season and that streak with the USMNT. he's lazy. I watched him in kc during his career there and i just wanted to throw up. such a disapointment, which much younger, more talented, and coachable forwards in the US, or even veteran forwards, why we still waste our time with johnson is beyond me. stick with jozy or adu, or even vets like wolf and ching. who cares, just not johnson. and i agree with bringing dempsy down to the CAM. he definately needs to be playing centrally. get rid of clark for the time being. Edu, rookie of the year, and captained the U23's. he's solid and should be playing over clark I think. Clark gave up too many fouls in dangerous locations for just being outmuscled and outskilled by his opponents.