Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Nowak returns from China with some answers
by Ridge Mahoney, December 18th, 2007 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Peter Nowak was almost home, back to his residence in Naples, Fla., but he had one more layover and one more flight to endure. "Almost home," he said on his cell phone after eating dinner with U.S. head coach Bob Bradley and several U.S. Soccer staff members during the layover. "It was a long trip, 17 days, but I think some good came out of it."

He and the U.S. under-23s had just landed in LAX on their return flight from China, where they played 0-0 and 3-3 ties against the Chinese U-23 team. Nowak gave every fit player on his roster, except backup keeper Zac MacMeth, significant playing time as he begins evaluating his player pool.

"You can't go 12,000 miles just to have players playing for 15 minutes," said Nowak, whose squad was depleted shortly before departure by injuries to Nathan Sturgis and Sal Zizzo, who didn't play in either match. "There were a lot of questions before that, and we have a couple of answers after the trip, so we're moving forward to January."

Nowak will conduct a two-week camp in Bradenton, Fla., starting Jan 6. At the same time, Bradley will be at Home Depot Center preparing the national team for a Jan. 19 match against Sweden.

The injury to Sturgis, who Nowak plans to use as a central defender, prompted Nowak to move Toronto FC midfielder and MLS Rookie of the Year Maurice Edu into the back line. Edu earned praise from Nowak after playing the full 90 minutes of both games.

"We didn't have too many options in the back," said Nowak, who also used Marvell Wynne, Hunter Freeman, Aaron Holbein, Patrick Ianni, Jon Leathers, and Mike Randolph. "It was a pretty pleasant surprise, how he played, how he organized the defenders, how he covered. He's a very smart kid, intelligent, and can read the game pretty good."

The Americans ran all over China in the first half of the second game, rolling up a 3-0 lead on goals by Robbie Rogers, Charlie Davies, and Ianni. But after six halftime substitutions, the U.S lost momentum and China rallied to earn the tie.

"The whole situation in the second half of the second game was completely different," said Nowak. "Considering most of the guys hadn't played competitive games, real games, for more than a month, having two games in three days was hard. They were getting a little tired the second half of the second game.

"These are the things they are starting to learn: if you are ahead, how to manage the game, and if you are behind, how to go forward and push the game. We tell them how to adjust to different situations. Some of them were able to do this but not all of them. But this is why we play these games; to look at players and try different things."

For the January camp, Nowak will have few European-based players. Davies, whose Swedish club Hammarby will be on a winter break until February, is expected to attend, but most of them will stay overseas.

Freddy Adu (Benfica), Michael Bradley (Heerenveen), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United), Benny Feilhaber (Derby), Kamani Hill (Wolfsburg), Lee Nguyen (PSV Eindhoven) and Danny Szetela (Racing Santander) won't be available. Preston Zimmerman, who just signed a first-team, professional contract with German club Hamburg SV after playing a year in the reserves, will attend according to HSV's official Web site.

A few will be called up for the national team friendly against Mexico Feb. 6, since it is being played on an international fixture date.

Nowak doesn't plan on another camp until early March to make final preparations for the CONCACAF qualifiers scheduled for March 11-23. Eight nations will vie for the region's two Olympic spots.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
USA-Costa Rica: Olympic tuneups end with easy win    
The USA closed out its preparations for the Olympic women's soccer tournament on Friday when it ...
Video Pick: Golazo by Dortmund's Dembele vs. Manchester United    
Why did Borussia Dortmund spend a reported $15 million to get 19-year-old Ousmane Dembele from French ...
Arsenal names roster for U.S. trip    
Arsenal's preliminary list of players who will travel to the United States includes American midfielder Gedion ...
What They're Saying: Axel Sjoberg    
"I don't think I have to sell myself to Dominic Kinnear. He picked the team and ...
USA-Costa Rica: Scorcher expected for final Rio tuneup    
The USA plays its last game before it heads off to the Rio Olympics when it ...
MLS Countdown: Marsch comments roil waters for derby    
Three times a year comes the question: will New York be red or blue? The Hudson ...
Crowd Count: FC Cincinnati sets another USL record    
FC Cincinnati set a USL single-season attendance record when it drew 16,127 fans Wednesday at Nippert ...
MLS Countdown: Quakes duo has red cards rescinded    
The San Jose Earthquakes will have their Panamaniacs available for a game at Real Salt Lake ...
MLS Moves: Orlando bolsters backline with Aja signing    
The first player signed by Orlando City after the hiring of head coach Jason Kreis has ...
U.S. Abroad: Ankle injury sidelines Hyndman    
Emerson Hyndman, who joined Premier League club Bournemouth from Fulham as a free agent in the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives