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Why the U.S. nats like open practices (and notes from one)

Sep 10, 2012, 1:02 PM EDT

Head coach of the U.S. national soccer team Jurgen Klinsmann of Germany speaks to his players before a practice session at the Azteca stadium in Mexico City

I have been to United States national team matches that didn’t draw 3,000 folks. It’s been a while, but it has happened.

So, it’s always interesting when these open practices draw healthy crowds. For instance, yesterday’s open session in Columbus, site of Tuesday’s biggie, attracted about 3,000 supporters.

U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann likes the open sessions for the stronger bonds they facilitate between the team and the fans, who get a little more personal look at the players in a more casual setting.

There are more details here from the Columbus Dispatch.

Also included in the report are some minor (but certainly not unimportant) newsy bits:

Like Steve Cherundolo returning to practice. If the Hannover man can reassume his spot at right back, it adds tremendously to the U.S. offensive push along that side.

And Tim Howard was held out of practice due to that bruise on his lower right leg. While concerning, Howard is expected to be OK by Tuesday.

  1. docstraw - Sep 10, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    were you able to glean any details about tactics or personnel? The local paper said the practice revealed “a desire to widen the attack”. How did that manifest itself?

  2. Steve Davis - Sep 10, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Well, as everyone who watched Friday’s match with a critical eye has noted, there wasn’t much. Width, that is. Clearly, then need more. That’s the bottom line. Steve Cherundolo’s entrance (if healthy) will help. And it wouldn’t surprise me to see Brek Shea start.

  3. drewvt6 - Sep 10, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    I love these open practices. You see reasons why guys who don’t get much PT are called to camp. You see what they’re capable of and what Klinsi is looking for them to do.

    Watching practice sessions at field level without all the emotions going is a much better way for fans (and media) to evaluate players.

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