PRINCETON, N.J. -- As the U.S. men's national
team wrapped up its weeklong training camp and headed for New England
on Sunday afternoon, the feelings of the players could be summed up in
two words: exhaustion and happiness.
the players have been pushed to the limit, with 90-minute practices,
running and sprinting drills and daily weight lifting sessions. And
happiness because the hard-core, boot camp training sessions are over
and it's finally time for games -- be them friendlies or not -- to
"That's enough running," forward Jozy Altidore
said. "It's time to play."
Bocanegra said the soccer has been sloppier than the team would like the
past couple of days, but given the physical exhaustion most of the
players are wrestling with, it's not a surprise.
trying to get sharp now. We're trying to get our legs back," Bocanegra
said. "Today was easy. [Monday] will be relaxing. Hopefully after the
game the soccer will start coming back and we'll get sharp. That's what
we're looking for."
After Sunday's final training session
in Princeton, the team headed to East Hartford, Conn., in preparation
for Tuesday night's match against the Czech Republic (7:30 p.m. on
spoke for the first time Sunday about the surgery he underwent May 5 to
surgically repair a sports hernia.
Bocanegra said he
thought the injury occurred after he was kicked in the knee in a match
for his club team and compensated for the pain in his leg by running
differently, causing the hernia.
He said the entire
procedure took "15 or 20 minutes" and he walked out of the office and
was running three days later. U.S. Soccer officials said Sunday the
recovery time for such an injury is two weeks. Bocanegra resumed full
training with the USMNT on May 19, exactly two weeks after the surgery.
"It wasn't a big thing to me," he said.
said he is "ready to go" if Bradley calls on him for either Tuesday's
match against the Czechs or Saturday's against Turkey in Philadelphia.
Dealing with "Deuce"
Only one American
found the back of the net during the last World Cup in 2006, and my how
life has changed for Clint Dempsey since then.
he was a budding young star for the New England Revolution, a confident
kid from Texas who was perhaps better known for his rap song, "Don't
Tread on Me" than he was for anything he had done on the field in
Now, four years later, he's a husband, a
father and one of the most important pieces of the U.S. attack. He
earned the bronze ball after scoring three goals in last summer's
Confederations Cup. And earlier this month, he became the first American
to appear in a European Cup final with his club team, Fulham.
the same time, Dempsey is also one of the most criticized U.S. players
for a perceived lack of intensity and consistency.
this week, ESPN.com sat down with Dempsey to talk about expectations,
critics and his goals for the World Cup. /sports.espn.go.com/stations/player?id=5208470">http://sports.espn.go.com/stations/player?id=5208470','Popup','width=1000,height=600,scrollbars=no,noresize');
return false;">Take a listen.