That's right, dear readers, the diminutive gentleman pictured above is none other than Freddy Adu. Didn't he retire a few years ago? Haven't heard much from him in a while...Ok, so he's actually rotting in the reserves for Monaco. Same difference.
Freddy and the rest of the US Men's National Team are training in Miami this week ahead of their game this weekend in El Salvador. A spin through the CONCACAF qualifiers, after the jump.
Bradley has called in a full strength roster for the Central American road trip this weekend and next Wednesday's game in Nashville against Trinidad & Tobago (tickets still very much available). The squad is mostly euro-based and has the usual suspects, except for Steve Cherundulo who is battling injury. Perhaps we will see Jonathan Spector get some minutes at right back. Jay Demerit is also in line to sub for Bocanegra or Gooch in the middle. Realistically, though, this two game set should produce 6 points without too much trouble, despite the always exciting hostile crowd/ref/pitch/water/urine combo in San Salvador.
The biggest game this weekend actually takes place in Azteca between El Tri and the Ticos. Despite pasting Bolivia in a meaningless, quasi-unofficial friendly in Denver (?) two weeks ago, Sven Goran-Eriksson remains very much on the hot seat. Rumors are swirling that he could be sacked if results don't go his way this weekend. Costa Rica has won in Mexico City before, and an upset on Saturday could be the final nail in Sven's coffin.
Rafa Marquez didn't travel as he is hurt, while Carlos Vela is suspended for the first game. Marqeuz told FIFA.com that "it's unfair that people are trying to pin the blame on me for the bad results we've been having. If you ask me, Mexican football has a deep-rooted problem and that's the cause of the bad patch we've been going through. Our football is stagnating and with everything that's happened, it's time to come right out and say it. If we carry on like this we're all going to pay for it." I think I just shed a tear of pure shadenfreude.
And Sven has called in poor Oswaldo Sanchez, who will at least be happy he isn't facing Landon Donovan this week. Sylvester Adame of Goal.com notes:
Once again Sven has called up Sanchez and we resume the soap opera of who will be starting for El Tri. For many the game against Bolivia was going to be the start of the Guillermo Ochoa era but Eriksson sees it different.
“We will see who starts but I don’t want to discuss that now. Oswaldo looked fine on the weekend but I don’t want to talk about that now,” Eriksson said.
The full CONCACAF schedule is here, and without promising too much I imagine there will be a UF liveblog of the USA-El Salvador game on Saturday night.