USMNT continues to fine-tune ahead of Honduras match

Jurgen Klinsmann 1 (AP)


FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The U.S. men's national team isn't quite thinking about Honduras just yet.

The United States returned to the practice field on a cloudy Wednesday morning in South Florida, but rather than turn their attention towards their soon-to-be opponents, the Americans used the session to focus on themselves.

"Tomorrow we will be more focused on Honduras," said DaMarcus Beasley. "But right now, the last couple of days has been getting our team right. Everybody from the games on the weekend (are) getting back fit and getting to know the guys again."

The team went through a lively one-hour training session, which included drills that emphasized movement and quick transitioning. All 19 players currently in camp practiced, including Jonathan Spector, who sat out of Tuesday morning's session to recover from a slight ankle knock.

Here's more from Wednesday's training:


Jozy Altidore has gotten off to red-hot start with AZ Alkmaar, scoring seven goals across all competitions. That goal-scoring run is something that U.S. fans believe has come as a result of Altidore playing more confidently after cementing his place in Alkmaar's line-up.

But Altidore disagrees with that.

"Myself, personally, I don't think I ever changed," said Altidore when asked if he feels that he's playing with more confidence. "If I'm scoring goals, I'm not going to say I'm ecstatic. When I go through a bad spell, I go through a bad spell. It's normal. I just think things happen in your career. You just have to ride with the good and ride with the bad."

Altidore is likely to start against Honduras at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, though the competition for his place in the starting XI is as heavy as its ever been, with Juan Agudelo, Edson Buddle and Teal Bunbury all in camp.

But no matter who plays, Altidore is hoping the Americans can get Jurgen Klinsmann his first victory as U.S. coach when they face Honduras in three days.

"I think we want it for (Klinsmann)," said Altidore. "He's been really good to us. He's been working really hard, doing a lot of things and teaching us a lot of different stuff. As players, we want to actually help him get that first win and get that off his back."

Here are some other tidbits from Wednesday's early training session:

  • The team trained twice on Tuesday and will train for a second time on Wednesday. It will only train once on Thursday, as the players will undergo testing during the morning.
  • Former U.S. teammates Claudio Reyna and Fernando Clavijo shared pleasantries before the practice session. Clavijo, who is the current Director of Soccer for the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, attended the beginning of training while his club trained on an adjacent field.
  • The session began with the players splitting into two groups for warm-ups before they worked on a drill that emphasized movement and quick transitioning.
  • Practice for the players ended with a two-touch game between two teams of eight (gray vs. yellow). The game was played with big goals from one end of the field to just over the midfield line, and included three two-ways players in Danny Williams, Brek Shea and DaMarcus Beasley.
  • Williams played centrally amongst the rest of the players while Beasley and Shea stayed on the outside to provide players with outlets on the flanks.
  • The gray team was made up of Tim Howard, Steve Cherundolo, Oguchi Onyewu, Timmy Chandler, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Teal Bunbury.
  • The yellow team had Bill Hamid, Michael Orozco, Carlos Bocanegra, Jonathan Spector, Jeff Larentowicz, Maurice Edu, Clint Dempsey and Edson Buddle.
  • Altidore, Edu and Cherundolo looked good during the game, while Larentowicz scored the only goal.
  • After training, the players went in for cold baths while the coaching staff stuck around on the field and ran a few laps. After running, Jurgen Klinsmann continued to workout by doing some push-ups.
  • Altidore, whose family lives in South Florida, joked that out of the 6,800 tickets sold to Saturday's game, 3,800 were bought by his friends and family.
  • The search for an U-20 coach and Olympics team coach is slowly nearing a resolution, a U.S. spokesman said.


What do you think of the latest goings on from USMNT training? Think Altidore's club form will carry over to the national team? 

Share your thoughts below.

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74 Responses to USMNT continues to fine-tune ahead of Honduras match

  1. rusry723 says:

    Almost sounds like the Beasley at LB experiment could be returning.

  2. Annelid Gustator says:

    I really am sad more youth isn’t coming in for the camps at least. I guess if there are Nov friendlies, maybe we see one more fringe player and one less current mystery crush.

  3. DeLarge says:

    “Slowly nearing a resolution.” For some reason, this is a generally accepted facet of our program.

    Anyway, good luck to the boys!

  4. Answer says:

    Where do you get that from in the piece? All i says about Beasley is that he was a midfield flank plus player during the session’s endgame.

  5. Answer says:

    What youth are you dying for? Players need to EARN their way into USMNT camp not get there simply because they are young.

  6. anon says:

    Is Reyna going to be an assistant? What happened to Tab Ramos and Thomas Dooley?

  7. Dinho says:

    Thanks again for the report. I wish there was more video of the training sessions. Always nice to see the guys playing.

    Glad to hear Altidore looked good. It sounds like Williams may be a focal point. Maybe we see him in the middle with MB and Edu? Could be interesting?

    A younger (and hopefully more effective) J. Jones, if you will?

  8. Bobby says:

    I love that the coaches look to stay fit as well. I know it’s going to be a long road, but I’m definitely looking forward to what the future brings under the Klinsmann regime!

  9. Aaron in StL says:

    How many push-ups did Klinsi do? Better be more than Bradley or ELSE.

  10. Dinho says:

    Maybe something like this?

    ————- Altidore —————

    Beasley —— Williams ———— Dempsey

    ——— Edu ——- Bradley ———–

    Chandler — Boca —— Gooch —— Dolo

    ————— Timmy —————–

    Just a thought…..

  11. Colin says:

    There’s only one goal when you don’t call up any trequartistas.

  12. Murph says:

    If I had to guess, it would be something more like this:





    From what I am hearing, Chandler is in better form that Dolo at RB in the Bundesliga and Beasley is playing a position in Mexico that effectively makes him a RB. Not necessarily the lineup I would choose, but thats my guess. I think this current squad without Donovan is more suited to a traditional 4-4-2 though

  13. Murph says:

    I meant to say LB re: Beasley.

  14. Luke says:

    Replace Shea with Beasley.

  15. Luke says:

    or the other way around. :)

  16. hogatroge says:

    I think there are November friendlies, but the USSF stated that they are waiting for the next round of Euro qualifiers to finish before they announce them. A certain opponent’s participation must depend on their next Euro result.

  17. hogatroge says:

    There are plenty of young players who have EARNed calls up. Do you need a list?

  18. hogatroge says:

    I love that JK’s warmups actually say “JK” on them!

  19. Tyler says:

    Reya is the Youth Technical Director. Dooley and Tab have not yet finalized their contracts with USSF but they’re still assistants nonetheless.

  20. Ja Ja James says:

    I see where you are getting at, but I don’t see a player in our pool that can play this position. MAYBE Torres and better yet Holden. Donovan plays that role in their offense but is not the classic “10”. Beyond that, who else? And please don’t mention Adu. He likes to float out to the flanks, mainly right, and seems more comfortable as a forward behind a target man.

  21. danny says:

    Clint Dempsey is the best candidate for that position.

  22. beachbum says:

    “I think we want it for (Klinsmann),” said Altidore. “He’s been really good to us. He’s been working really hard, doing a lot of things and teaching us a lot of different stuff. As players, we want to actually help him get that first win and get that off his back.”–Jozy Altidore

    Win!!! GO USA!!!!

  23. malkin says:

    Agreed. But let’s not kid ourselves…he’s certainly not doin’ as many pushups as Arena.

  24. Goalscorer24 says:

    “The session began with the players splitting into two groups for warm-ups before they worked on a drill that emphasized movement and quick transitioning.”

    Come in Klinsmann gear our boys up! USA!

  25. seriously? says:

    For the love of god, please no lineup with 3 defensive midfielders. Just telling one of those guys to go forward doesnt make them an attacker.

  26. away goals says:

    The usmnt is the ultimate rorschach test.

  27. wilyboy says:

    Nostradamus, everyone.

  28. wilyboy says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see the 4-2-3-1 formation again, with Dempsey as attacking mid, Chandler on the right, and either Shea or Beasley on the left. Jozy up front, obviously. Too many D-mids not to use two of them, probably Edu and Bradley. I sincerely hope Williams gets a look at leftback, while Dolo of course is right back. While I’m at it, get Gooch on the field.

  29. Dinho says:

    Is Williams a DM? HOnestly, who in that lineup is an attacking CM? Maybe Dempsey (but he didn’t look great in that role against Belgium). If so, then how about this?

    ————- Altidore —————

    Shea ——– Dempsey ———— Chandler

    ——— Edu ——- Bradley ———–

    Beasley — Boca —— Gooch —— Dolo

    ————— Timmy —————–

  30. Dinho says:

    Agreed. I like your thinking. I want to see Gooch’s form.

  31. donttreadonme says:

    I like this new reporting. Unless I just blatantly missed it I’ve never seen a report on a USMNT practice as detailed as the last few. Thanks!

  32. Ken says:

    Check out this Studio 90 vid. You can see some clips of the practice.
    link to

  33. Angel FAN of USA says:

    Gray Team:






    Yellow Team:






    They way Ives is explaining how they were doing the two-touch game between two teams of eight, gray/yellow setup it look like he was doing a 3-2-3-2. What you guys think. is very very offensive minded

  34. biff says:

    That is interesting. When the roster was announced, with all the mids and forwards, I was wondering whether Klinsmann might be thinking about risking a 3-5-1 like Napoli is doing. That would be wild.

    link to


    And he has Williams as the central offensive midfielder? That is a major surprise.

  35. Eurosnob says:

    Hey, I’ll coach the USMNT, and I don’t really care that much about how much power I have over the federation… JK!

    Hey, I’m going to call in Diskerud, Gonzales and George John for the next USMNT camp… JK!

    Hey, I want to sit down for dinner with Bob Bradley… JK!

  36. Bryan V says:





  37. Klinsman the Legend... says:

    Klinsman believes the gray team is made up of winners and he thinks the yellow team is made up of losers. He even candidly admitted this to the players after practice when pressed on the issue by Demarcus Beasley. Apparently he told them, “This is what I think and now its time for the Winners to prove me right and the losers to prove me wrong. After making these comments he paused and made eye contact with the entire team and then quietly left to go do his pushups.

  38. mistadoblina says:

    i think that could be a great idea to play out. with the lack of quality outside backs and the surplus of DM’s why not try out a 3 backs/2 d-mid formation something like:


    basically gives 5 defenders and frees up Chandler, Bradley, Shea, Beas, whoever else to be on the wings or in attack.

    p.s. i know Jones isnt in camp but will be in future ones..

  39. Angel FAN of USA says:

    Opps yellow Goal Keeper is Hamid by the way.

  40. biff says:

    It seems in that video that MB does not feel real comfortable talking about the new USMNT coach. Kind of painful to watch.

  41. Angel FAN of USA says:

    maybe you are right or maybe u are are wrong what ever it is, I think is great for him to talk to them like that. Everyone need to win their spot on the USNMT I like the gray team. I wonder why dempsey was on the yellow team. Anyway you have any prove of this?

  42. KNPonder says:

    In the parts of Puebla matches that I have seen, Beasley has an advanced role. More like a LW or LF. I think he is usually listed as a F in lineups – not that those are 100% accurate. We have seen DMB at LB before . . . I don’t think that is going to work. He can definately be a LW or LAM in the system provided his in form.

  43. Justa Guy says:

    Anyone know what formation Altidore plays in at AZ?

    The reason I ask is that there is a connection in my mind between who starts at striker(s) and our formation. Altidore has NOT looked good as a lone striker, whereas Agudelo has looked creative. In a 4-4-2 though, I’d love to see Agudelo and Altidore together (or, better, or 4-4-1-1 with Altidore up front).

    Actually, we’d probably have better success with a 4-2-3-2!

  44. KNPonder says:

    Re: Beasley positional talk above.

  45. WK says:

    So what’s our depth chart for the back? Spector, Ream, who else? Not just for this game but the upcoming Nov games as well.

  46. Jamie says:

    I watch the office too.

  47. Alex G says:

    I don´t get it, why would you prefer that lineup over a diamond lineup or a 4 3 1 2 lineup?, it´s insane, people need to know we don´t have the players to do it, we need to be playing with two fowards, as such:

    Altidore— Demps,Agudelo, Teal or Edson.


    Edu — Beckermann— Williams

    Boca—Onyewu–Goodson–Dolo or Chandler


  48. GW says:

    I’d be curious to see who you think earned it.

  49. GW says:

    Colin, danny and JaJa,

    None of the guys mentioned by any of you is a classic 10 or trequartista at least in the sense that none of them normally plays that way.

    But players can evolve so we’ll see.

  50. GW says:

    When have you ever seen any USMNt video of MB where he was truly comfortable talking about anything?

    I think you are reading way too much into it.

    MB has never loved the interview camera.

  51. GW says:

    “I was wondering whether Klinsmann might be thinking about risking a 3-5-1 like Napoli is doing. That would be wild.”

    It would be but the problem with a 3-5-1 is that it gets easily overwhelmed by the opposition.

    Something about a numerical advantage.

  52. GW says:

    AZ generally pay a 4-3-3 with Jozy in the middle of two very good wingers.

    He is a little bit right about saying he isn’t really playing any different in the sense that those two wingers have been creating a lot of opportunities for him. The kind he rarely saw when playing for the US.

    And of course, once you score a few goals your confidence rises and so does your overall standard of play.

  53. hogatroge says:

    Um… CLEARLY Adu is!!!111 He should play GOALIE 2!

  54. Second City says:

    Not sure. I didnt see their “workout report”….

    After training, the players went in for cold baths while the coaching staff stuck around on the field and ran a few laps. After running, Jurgen Klinsmann continued to workout by doing some push-ups.


  55. Dave says:

    Klinsi might be getting Joe Benny Corona after all. Washington Post’s Steven Goff tweeted tonight: “Getting word Tijuana F Joe Corona, Mex-American-Salvadoran from SD on MEX U-22 roster, now taking hard look at #usmnt commitment”

  56. Brian says:

    Seriously who let that f*#ker Clavijo at practice?

  57. abc says:

    “6,800 tickets sold to Saturday’s game”

    No MLS expansion back to Florida confirmed.

    Anyone living in the southeast United States, in the semi-circle created by Dallas, Kansas City, Columbus, and DC has NO right to complain about not having a MLS team nearby if there are less than 7,000 tickets sold for a US national team game with just a few days remaining. Sorry, better go ahead and renew that subscription to MatchDay Live.

  58. abc says:

    That’s nothing new to the Klinsmann regime, Bob Bradley was the ultimate fitness nut, he took it to ridiculous levels.

  59. abc says:

    smh it was a joke dude, you did not get the reference……. but it is funny/telling that you would defend such insanity.

  60. abc says:

    You are reading waaaaaaaaaaay too much into it. Have you ever seen MB give interviews before? Go search Youtube.

    That is just MB90 being MB90, he is truly his father’s son.

  61. biff says:

    I mis-typed above, meant to type 3-5-2, as in the Wiki diagram. I agree that while a 3-5-2 would certainly open up a lot of offensive options, it would at the same time be opening up a Pandora’s box of potential defensive problems. Would be ballsy of Klinsmann to try it.

    Actually, as Angel Fan says, it appears Klinsmann was practicing with a 3-2-3-2, which would be sort of a tweak to the 4-1-4-1 he tried in his first friendlies. In other words, instead of 4 defenders and 1 holding mid = 5 in back, it would be 3 defenders and 2 DM = 5. I am in no way advocating a 3-2-3-2, but it would be fun to watch in a friendly as the USMNT prepares for the truly important games next summer, the WCQ.

    Such as:





    —–howard (the brick wall)—

  62. biff says:

    and with 4-man backlines:

    *4-1-4-1 (I do think agudelo could play ACM)*






    *Or a 4-1-3-2*











  63. Shmenge says:

    And that’s probably 50% Honduran–at least–who are obviously motivated to support their national team far more than they would any MLS club.

  64. andrew in tally says:

    If you look at the goals Altidore is scoring at AZ it is because he is getting the ball/service in places that plays on his strength. It has been ages since he has received that kind of quality services on the USMNT – lots of high balls, long balls, running at the defense from midfield etc. this team needs a central midfielder who can consistently make that one pass that slices through a defense. Until we have that we are going to struggle to score goals.

  65. Shane says:

    On how many different levels will fans give Klinsi credit for things that no one ever gave Bradley credit for?

    you know Klinsmann’s son get’s called into U14 US National camps. I look forward to the day he plays for the US senior team under Klinsi and fans marvel at how wonderfully supportive he is of his son’s career.

  66. pd says:

    not necessarily.

    If you have DM’s that are organized and disciplined enough that one stays home at all times (Beckerman, Bradely Edu and Jones all do this well) and two of your CB’s are fairly mobile (Spector Bocanegra Ream and Cherundolo all fit that bill) and have two wingers with the wheels to track back (Beasely, Williams, Chandler, Donovan) and back three could be very successful and quickly becomes a back four, back five or back seven.

    It’s been working great for a Napoli side that has kept defensive counter attack minded italian sides at sixes and sevens for two seasons now…

  67. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Murph, I agree with you on the 4-4-2 or some semblance of it, but Beasley is playing up top in Mexico….where did you get the idea he’s playing in the back?

    Secondly, Klinsy loves Beckerman, unless something has changed between game #1 and now, the #6 role is Beckermans….hence






    I could also see Dempsey either sliding into the middle, (the proverbial #10 role), with Bradley on the outside similar to his role with Chievo (though higher on the pitch); or switching with Beasley up top and leaving Beasley on the wing.

    Something like this:




    A 4-3-3 on paper and a 4-1-2-2-1 in practice

  68. Nigel Aghaincourt says:

    Let it go “answer”. Everyone has players that they think could have US National team potential.

    and everyone, not just you, need to layoff the “EARN” pedal. Unless you care to spell out a strictly followed criteria for this alleged EARNING.

    Every coach uses a certain “in form” based criteria, then follows a personal unpublished set of criteria that they go by.

    because if anything, Freddy Adu EARNED inclusion based on his Gold Cup performance. but since then he hasn’t played very consistently, so did that UNEARN him his spot?

  69. Detroit! says:

    Unless Shea needs rest (he certainly deserves it), I’d be surprised to see Bunbury or Buddle or even Agudelo start over him.

  70. Justa Guy says:

    …or stop playing Altidore as LONE striker.

  71. bryan says:

    Williams likes to play in a more advanced midfield position. he said he can be a holding mid too. he actually does not prefer to play defense.

  72. bryan says:

    he likes beckerman, but he doesnt rate him over edu or bradley. and if jones is back, beckerman will slip further back. beckerman is a great depth option off the bench, but i don’t think he’ll see too much more than that.

  73. Bird says:

    Many of Altidore’s goals have come from distance this season. I think it is something he has been working on, a la the goal in the Gold Cup. He has a few headers and some great through balls played in as well, but I’m pretty sure about 3 or 4 of the 7 were on distance shots….