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Injury worries of concern
by Paul Kennedy, June 4th, 2010 8:35PM

TAGS:  men's national team, world cup


[USA-AUSTRALIA] As the clock ticks down to the start of the World Cup, injuries -- or the possibility of injuries -- are of primary concern.

U.S. forward Jozy Altidore was held out of field training Friday afternoon as he continues to recover from a mild sprain to his right ankle suffered in training two days earlier.

That means he's unlikely to play against Australia in their friendly on Saturday in Roodepoort (TV: ESPN2, Galavision, 8:30 a.m. ET).

The Socceroos, meanwhile, express concerns about the Ruimsig Stadium turf.

Australia will be training at Ruimsig Stadium before its opening game against Germany on June 12 and hope the turf, which has deteriorated over the past year, lasts.

"We are thinking, of course, about plan B and plan C," said Coach Pim Verbeek, "but let's see first tomorrow how it looks."

Verbeek is not going to take a chance on midfielder Brett Emerton, while Harry Kewell will be on the bench but may play.

"I am just taking no risk for [Emerton]," Verbeek said. "He is too important for us. We have three tough games in qualification, so I want him fit next week."

U.S. right back Steve Cherundolo knows what it's like to be injured so close to the start of the World Cup. A late addition to the World Cup 2002 team after Chris Armas and Greg Vanney were injured, Cherundolo was himself injured and couldn't play in the finals.

“I certainly don’t expect anybody to be playing in a reckless manner tomorrow," he said of the final tuneup, "but the best way to get injured is to go out and try not to get injured. Guys are going to go into tackles, and play hard, but I don’t think you’ll see any reckless tackles or any sort of dirty tackles that would be rewarded with a red card during a game."

USA-Australia Preview:

  1. Bret Newman
    commented on: June 5, 2010 at 3:13 p.m.
    After watching the game today, maybe we should rest Altidore, and use him as a sub if necessary against England. Bob might consider starting Herculez & Edson. They look like are best strikers right now. Suddenly we have an emergence of offense and forwards. I don't see us getting shut out against England. Not if you play Edson, Herculez, Landon, and Dempsey. As far as Findley goes, I would prefer him as a sub. He blew too many chances today, and he blew opportunities last game.
  1. Terence Chu
    commented on: June 5, 2010 at 4:41 p.m.
    I agree. All if our forwards look like they can handle themselves and contribute. Findleys finishing and decision making is poor, but he makes good runs and creates space. Can definitlely cause some havoc late in a game. Still worried about the defence. Gave Australia way too many chances today.
  1. Robert Kiernan
    commented on: June 7, 2010 at 5:43 a.m.
    Our defense is in very real trouble and considering that even if we wanted to make a player change this late in the day... we only have Pearce, who has NOT been impressive and Marshall, who has a suspect hamstring... Bob Bradley and his staff have done a piss poor job of doing anything about our left flank now for well over a year and I for one am angry as hell that he saw fit to only bring seven defenders... and not even seven HEALTHY defenders... this is looking very likely to be something that might come and bite us in the ass before too very long... no Castillo, no Simec, no Gonzalez, no Parkhurst... but a camp with Kljestan and Rogers! ... too many midfielders and not enough defenders is something we may come to seriously regret!!!

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