USMNT Camp Reports: Nutrition and Fitness, with Just a Few Touches So Far

Paul MillerContributor IIIJanuary 12, 2013

GENOA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 28:  USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann watches players during a training session ahead of their international friendly against Italy at Luigi Ferraris Stadium on February 28, 2012 in Genoa, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

The fluff reporting from the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., is in full operation, but very little is being said that might actually help us fans with immediate gratification needs to get a better grasp on how this tryout is progressing.

And it is a tryout, in case anyone was thinking differently.

Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall made that clear when he said:

Every one of us has an opportunity to be on the roster and establish themselves in the team. It’s an honor to be here, and I’m looking forward to the competition.

Come on, Jurgen Klinsmann. We get it. You are a different kind of coach, and this is a different kind of camp, with modern techniques like formal nutrition seminars and fitness testing away from the field.

And the players are still in their fitness phase. But as early as the end of the second day, the players were getting a few touches on the ball. Presumably this was just to increase their comfort level with camp. It's tough for a player to go to a try-out and not see a ball for more than a couple days.

As D.C. United's Bill Hamid tweeted, it felt great to finally pull the keeper gloves out of his bags.

So spill the beans. Who looks good? Who is likely to be on your roster past the Canada friendly later this month and into World Cup qualifiers?

Klinsmann has said he envisions eight to nine out of the 25 players invited to be on the roster for the Feb. 6 hexagonal opener.

The coach stressed this isn't just an MLS preseason camp. It's a preparation camp for that first qualifier in Honduras (or Camp Preparation H... no, bad name, especially with most of those eight to nine riding the pine as subs).

At least give your campers the greenlight to offer more meaningful tweets. So far, even Jeff Parke's dog isn't talking, or barking, or tweeting.

All 25 players invited to camp have Twitter accounts (though Steven Beitashour has never used his, which arguably should elevate his ranking toward one of those top spots).

We see tweets like Matt Besler's (Sporting KC), announcing his arrival in camp. And tweets like Tony Beltran's (Real Salt Lake), saying just that "there is work to be done."

Compare this to the coverage from the MLS Combine, which concluded its first day just yesterday. Between live commentaries, first-day wrap-ups and new iterations of mock MLS drafts, we can almost piece together first games, pass-by-pass.

From the Carson camp, we just see things like Alejandro Bedoya's commentary, in which he said yesterday was "passing, finishing, fitness and ice baths."

Houston's Brad Davis offered a single tweet, seemingly expressing how thankful he was to be done with the dreaded VO2 test. That's the oxygen usage evaluation, which involves inclining treadmills moving at six-minute per mile pace.

Whether Molde's Joshua Gatt was referring to that test or something else, he tweeted his expectation for soreness on the second day. He also made arrangements to sign a fan's flag. 

Speaking of Gatt, Molde might want to extend his contract sooner rather than later. After growing up in Michigan and now playing in Norway, he seems to tweet his appreciation of warm beaches more than anything else.

Fellow Tippeligaen player Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg) recently tweeted, "Da skal jeg I alle fall ikke..." and that probably says it all.

But if you don't read Norwegian, you are left guessing blindly who the eight or nine might be.

Based on likely starters and known potential roster needs, a good blind guess might be Sean Johnson, Omar Gonzalez, Besler, Gatt, Kyle Beckerman, Graham Zusi, Diskerud and Eddie Johnson. 

Or maybe this is Chris Wondolowski's time to shine as an international. Or Will Bruin's. Or Brad Evans'. Or... So far, we're hearing nothing from Parke's dog.


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