Friday, October 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

U.S. team prepares for World Cup send-off

Greetings from the Linc, where the U.S. national team is practicing this afternoon ahead of tomorrow's World Cup send-off game against Turkey.

U.S. team prepares for World Cup send-off

U.S. star Landon Donovan (left) hopes for a pro-American crowd at the Linc tomorrow. (Jonathan Tannenwald/Philly.com)
U.S. star Landon Donovan (left) hopes for a pro-American crowd at the Linc tomorrow. (Jonathan Tannenwald/Philly.com)

Landon Donovan, Bob Bradley and Carlos Bocanegra meet the press at Lincoln Financial Field before Friday's practice. (Jonathan Tannenwald/Philly.com)

Greetings from the Linc, where the U.S. national team is practicing this afternoon ahead of tomorrow's World Cup send-off game against Turkey.

The biggest news of the day is that the pitch has been widened beyond the 68 yards that it measured for the Union's games this season, and for a number of past games here. The groundskeepers said it's now 72 yards and a U.S. Soccer spokesman said it's 70 yards. Regardless, the difference is clearly visible from field level.

The other news came from U.S. coach Bob Bradley, who said that "we certainly will have a team that's much closer to our regular team" on the field.

"We're prety set with most of our lineup," Bradley said. "There's just a couple of decisions that will be based a little bit on now wanting to see certain players, and a little bit on where others are in terms of fitness."

Landon Donovan talked about the subject I wrote about this morning: drawing a pro-American crowd tomorrow. Tuesday night's crowd was impressively loud for the home team, and Donovan very much noticed.

"My impression from the other night was in some ways how disappointing it was to not be able to play in a game like that, because not too often do we get really pro-American crowds in that way," he said. "When we play in qualifiers we always get a large contingent of passionate American fans, but more often than not the opponent's fans are more prevalent in the staidum. So that experience was cool, and we expect the same tomorrow."

You can listen to the entire press conference in the audio player below. There are also interviews with Edson Buddle, Tim Howard, Oguchi Onyewu, Jonathan Spector and José Francisco Torres.

And be sure to come back here tomrrow for a live chat during the game. I'm sure a lot of you will be in the stadium, but if you have an iPhone, the chat console will load on the mobile version of Safari. I hope you'll join the fun.

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Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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