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Casey only absentee from U.S. camp
by Ridge Mahoney, September 2nd, 2009 7AM



[USA] The top scorer in Major League Soccer wasn't on hand when the U.S. national team began preparations Monday for its seventh game of the Hexagonal, to be played Saturday against El Salvador in Sandy, Utah.

Colorado striker Conor Casey, scorer of 11 goals this season, is recovering from having his wisdom teeth removed. He will be evaluated during the next few days to determine his availability for the game against El Salvador, which tied the U.S, 2-2, when they met in San Salvador at the end of March.

The USA (3-2-1, 10 points) is tied for second place in the six-team Hexagonal standings with Honduras, two points behind leader Costa Rica (4-2-0). El Salvador (1-2-3, 5 points) is tied at the bottom with Trinidad & Tobago, which plays at Honduras Saturday and hosts the U.S. next Wednesday.

Casey is one of 10 MLS players named to the U.S. squad by Coach Bob Bradley, who also called up two Real Salt Lake players: midfielder Kyle Beckerman, who played impressively at the Gold Cup in July, and forward Robbie Findley, who has never been capped and is tied for second in league scoring behind Casey with 10 goals.

As of Tuesday, about 2,000 tickets remained for the match at Rio Tinto Stadium, which holds approximately 20,000. When the USA played Costa Rica in a Hexagonal match four years ago at Rice-Eccles Stadium, home of the University of Utah football team and former RSL home facility, a crowd of 40,586 attended.


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