"They’re settling in," Bob Bradley said of his young camp squad. "The little nerves of the first days are gone are starting to get under control."
Bradley and 25 players are in camp in Carson, California after Juan Agudelo and Eugene Starikov joined up for Friday's training session, and the progress seems to be pleasing the always cautious US National Team boss
"Now you get a little bit more sharpness, but also, they’re getting a little bit tired," he said. "They’ll work some more tomorrow and then Sunday’s an off day for them to get some rest. It’s normal for this cycle - some progress, but still a ways to go."
As always with a new group of players Bradley has the task of bringing them up to speed on the international game as the USA prepares to take on Chile at the end of the month.
"We try to establish our way of doing things, our ideas," the manager told reporters. "We try to open up, and get them to see what happens when soccer is at a higher level. Little things like the speed of the game, the movement off the ball, the precision of their play. There are things that at times you can get away with in different situations, but if you really want to play at the highest level, you start to need to understand that. We don’t expect just by talking about it we can take care of it, but by creating those in training sessions, we can see little by little, the ones who respond."
While progress may be slow, the goals are pretty evident to Bradley.
"You want to see at the end of the camp a team that is excited to play and gives collective effort and has a sense of the collective way that we play as a team, and then you want players to step up and show that they have something."
One player that will be hoping to show another burst of talent is Teal Bunbury who made the choice to play for the USA rather than Canada, but says he's happy with his decision.
"A lot went into that," Bunbury said of his choice. "It came down to where I really felt my heart lay, and where my pride and passion was and that was with the U.S. I’ve lived the majority of my life here and was raised here. That’s why I felt my ties were with the US. What they’ve done over the years, I wanted to be a part of it and what Bob Bradley had to offer. So far, it’s gone well. I still have a lot to learn, and a lot to look forward to, but right now I’m really happy."
Bunbury is not new to the USA setup, having been capped late in 2010, but the newness of January camp is not lost on the promising young striker.
"Obviously, it’s a different camp," Bunbury said. "There are a lot of younger guys and most of us haven’t played together and it’s a three-week long camp. There’s going to be a lot of training and a lot of playing. There’s a lot of tidying up on things. A lot of us have been on break, so we’re just trying to get sharp. In South Africa, we were mainly preparing for the game. Here, we’ve got to get used to different players and get used to what the coach wants us to do."
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