For the first time, all 30 U.S. candidates for the World Cup were at training camp Wednesday in Princeton, N.J. How long they'll all stay together remains to be seen.
Forward Eddie Johnson and defender Chad Marshall -- two players considered to be on the bubble -- again worked on their own because of hamstring injuries are the most likely to be released.
Johnson, who played two games at the 2006 World Cup, is one of six forwards in camp. Marshall is a two-time MLS Defender of the Year but appears to have been passed by Clarence Goodson of Norwegian club IK Start on the second tier of U.S. center backs behind Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra and Jay DeMerit.
"We have some ideas for sure, but there are still some decisions that need to get made,'' says U.S. coach Bob Bradley. "The idea of having 30 people in camp gives people an opportunity to show where they are ..."
Given the number of injuries to the U.S. squad this year, Bradley wanted to have as many players prepared to step in as possible, which is why he took at 30 to camp.
Most World Cup teams have narrowed their squads down to 23 players for the start of training camp, or brought in specific players as cover for teammates battling fitness problems. The status of a player on the team and the extent of his injury should determine how long Bradley will wait on him to be ready.
"Every situation is different. In some cases guys might be on fence for the 23,'' Bradley said. "In other cases, you may feel more confident that there's time. You're going to bring a player to South Africa knowing that, you know, you have the confidence that in those weeks he's ready to go.''
Bradley is expected to make the decision on his 23 after Tuesday's game against the Czech Republic in East Hartford, Conn.