What We're Reading

Nothing Soft About This Camp

  • USA Today, Friday, January 19, 2007 4:55 PM
U.S. national team stars Landon Donovan and Pablo Mastroeni talk with USA Today about their experience training with interim national team coach Bob Bradley. They say his training sessions are marked by intensity, competitiveness and physical play. "He wants to make sure that this isn't a Club Med gathering," Mastroeni says. "Everyone's got to earn their keep, whether they've been here before or they haven't." This is a good thing, Donovan says, adding that, "too often, even myself, you come here and think, 'OK, it's another camp.'" Not under Bradley's watch: "He forces you to toughen up and play," says Donovan.

If you recall the U.S. opener against the Czech Republic at the World Cup summer--many of us have tried to forget--what stood out more than anything else was how soft the guys looked out there, out-muscled by the likes of Jan Koller and Pavel Nedved and out-run almost single-handedly by Tomas Rosicky.

That U.S. team badly needed a hard dose of toughness, which arrived in part against Italy and then sputtered out against Ghana. To be sure, there was complacency about that squad with all the positive press Bruce Arena, Donovan, Beasley and others received for the team's inflated ranking. It looks like Bradley is trying to wash that out of this young squad. On Saturday, we'll see how far he's come.

Read the whole story at USA Today »

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