Our spy left the telephoto lens in the trunk—security was tight, he claims; copout, we say—but as you can (almost) tell from the above, Backpost had a presence at the final day of the U.S. national team’s camp in Princeton, N.J., this past weekend.
Squint real hard—through a jewelers’ magnifier, on a light table—at the photo above, and you can make out coach Bob Bradley in the middle, facing Tim Howard, Jay DeMerit, Chad Marshall, Oguchi Onyewu, Clarence Goodson, and the rest of the U.S. team. Landon Donovan is the second-to-last guy in red on the right side. Really–they’re all in there. But you’ll just have to trust us. (Our photographer will receive his usual payment, but it will be in Confederate dollars.)
Anyway, the Nats packed up camp and relocated to Connecticut for tomorrow’s tuneup vs Czech Republic. U.S. Soccer says that only 23 players will dress for the friendly, but no official roster-trimming has occurred. There are a number of likely starters with minor injuries, so we’ll probably see a mixed group of definites for South Africa and bubble players tomorrow night.
Among the dinged-up first-teamers are Carlos Bocanegra, who, according to a report on Saturday, had hernia surgery before coming to camp; Tim Howard (quadriceps strain); and Jay DeMerit (abdominal strain).
Bubble players Eddie Johnson, Chad Marshall (hamstring strains) and DaMarcus Beasley (thumb, shoulder pain) are also nursing slight injuries.
All eyes will be on the crop of forwards in camp, but we’re equally curious to see how Oguchi Onyewu looks as he continues his quest to get match fit for South Africa after not having played a game since last October.
The game is on ESPN at 8:00 EST.