[USA] U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley named the 30 players who have been invited to take part in the pre-World Cup training camp in Princeton, N.J. He comments on the selection process, his decision to call up Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez, not to take Charlie Davies and to bring all 30 players into camp ...
On selecting the 30-man preliminary roster for the World Cup:
"We feel we've put a very good group together. Obviously a lot goes into qualification and many players are involved. It's not always easy to get down to 30, but we feel very good about the group we have. As a staff, we did everything to continue to watch games, assess players and look at situations that involved injuries. We needed to make sure we had full information and again we have been very thorough in being sure we're on top of each situation. Therefore the work has been quite good."
On what the toughest decisions were in making decisions about choosing the roster:
“To be fair, there are tough decisions in all aspects of the process. We have tremendous respect for players who have contributed in the past. We also take into account so many players that are playing well week in and week out for their clubs that haven’t had the chance to play with the national team. It’s a goal and a dream of every player to represent the United States in the World Cup. So, when you go about the process of putting a roster together, we understand and respect what everybody has put into it along the way.”
On the leadership and unity within the team now that they have been through the World Cup qualifying cycle together:
“Our leadership is key. From the beginning, we’ve talked to certain players that the need was there to take more responsibility to step up where other guys have been leaders in the past and assume those responsibilities. We’ve seen along the way Timmy Howard, Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Steve Cherundolo, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey are the guys who have responded well and I think that the group as a whole has shown that there are many guys capable of providing leadership at the right times. I think that’s very important."
On the process that ultimately led to the decision not to include Charlie Davies:
“Charlie has shown incredible heart and determination to reach this point in his recovery. We have followed his progress extensively during the past several months through physical examinations and personal observation by our staff, and he remained in consideration for this training camp until yesterday. FC Sochaux notified us that at this point Charlie has not been given medical clearance, and that they would not grant his full release to join the camp. Given that status and our own evaluation of his progress, we feel it is Charlie’s best interest to continue his rehabilitation and focus on getting fully prepared to resume his professional and international career.”
On the beginning of training camp:
“As has been the case in both and 2002 and 2006, we’ll put a big emphasis early in the camp on fitness. Pierre Barrieu has been involved in both those previous efforts and has done a tremendous job in terms of organizing our conditioning program. We’ve discussed how to find a good balance and still getting some regular training, but the early emphasis will be on fitness.”
On the decision to bring all 30 players into camp:
“We discussed different possibilities given the number of players that are rehabbing and getting back into training and at the same time not playing in regular games. We felt the need to bring 30 players into the camp and to use that time to further assess where we are with some of those players.”
On the status of the players who were injured:
“Oguchi Onyewu was named as part of a 23-man group for consideration for the squad for Milan over the weekend. He didn’t make the 18-man squad, but I think that shows he continues to make progress. Stuart Holden got back into the team at Bolton and played 25 minutes so that’s great for us. We are excited that both continue to make progress.”
On what Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez did to earn a spot on the preliminary roster:
“Both Edson and Herculez have had a very good season. Both have helped their teams a great deal. Edson has been the hottest goal scorer in MLS and has helped the Galaxy get off to a great start. Herculez was an important player with Puebla and scored a lot of goals. We feel that both of them have shown enough for us to take a look at them as we start the camp.”
On Jose Francisco Torres and his club commitments overlapping with a portion of the training camp:
“We will continue to monitor the next series obviously between Pachuca and Toluca. Those games are both scheduled on the 12th and 15th (of May) and then we’ll assess the situation following that series.”