PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) — When the U.S. plays the Czech Republic on Tuesday night, coach Bob Bradley will use the game to make his final roster decisions more than to test a starting 11 for possible use in next month's World Cup opener against England.
All 30 players on the U.S. preliminary roster are in training camp this week, and Bradley hopes to whittle the group to the final 23 after the game in East Hartford, Conn.
"We have some ideas for sure, but there are still some decisions that need to get made," he said Wednesday. "The idea of having 30 people in camp gives people an opportunity to show where they are and ... (if) you had another injury or something, then you've got people prepared."
All 30 players were in training camp for the first time.
Defenders Oguchi Onyewu and midfielder Alejandro Bedoya worked out after arriving from their clubs in Europe. They were to go for their physicals after practice along with defender Clarence Goodson and midfielder Benny Feilhaber, who arrived Monday.
Forward Eddie Johnson (hamstring strain) and defender Chad Marshall (slight hamstring strain) continued to work out on their own rather than practice with the team.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard (quadriceps strain) and defenders Carlos Bocanegra and Jay DeMerit (abdominal strains) participated in part of the training.
"Bocanegra, DeMerit and Eddie Johnson all did the warmup and some of the passing exercises today," Bradley said. "Hopefully, they'll come out of that fine and we can continue to move them along."
Marshall appears to be farther behind. He did the warmup and then worked with trainer Ivan Pierra. Bradley said that was "a way of testing exactly where he is."
Timing could be running short for some.
"Every situation is different. In some cases guys might be on fence for the 23," Bradley said. "In other cases you may feel more confident that there's time. You're going to bring a player to South Africa knowing that, you know, you have the confidence that in those weeks he's ready to go."
GOOCH IS BACK: Onyewu hasn't played in a match since Oct. 14, when he tore his left patellar tendon during the final World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.
He had knee surgery seven days later and is likely to make his return on Tuesday.
"It's great to have him back. He's worked very hard," Bradley said.
In fast-paced drills set in tight spaces, Onyewu's timing hasn't been all the way back. But that's to be expected.
"It's almost more difficult than a regular game," Bradley said. "Maybe to release a pass or something takes a split second too long, but we're always confident that those are the kind of training sessions that get players back where they need to be quickly."
SECURITY THREATS: Bradley isn't concerned about security threats that might be made for the United States-England game.
"Whenever we travel anywhere in the world, the security in and around our team is incredible," Bradley said. "We have super people who do this for a living. They keep track of everything that goes on, so we're all very confident, as always."
JOZY'S WORK ETHIC: Bradley doesn't echo the concerns of Hull manager Iain Dowie, who said Jozy Altidore has to train harder.
"As long as we've had Jozy in our national team, we've emphasized to him how important it is to train the right way," Bradley said. "And often times young players, especially talented young players, that's something they need to understand as they move forward.
"I think he understands that that's the way it is. When you go to big clubs and you see experienced guys who train that way all the time, then you learn quickly that in order to establish yourself with your teammates and get on the field, that's just the way it need to be."
DEMPSEY'S CONSISTENCY: Bradley rejects the notion that Clint Dempsey needs to be more consistent with the national team.
Some fans have argued in Internet postings that Dempsey comes through on a more regular basis for Fulham than he does for the U.S.
"Whether it's club or national team, if you're a good player, a lot is expected," Bradley said. "Then at the end of every game there will be all sorts of thoughts in terms of how well that person played. And it goes with the territory.
"As a player you have to be above all that. That part of it, that outcry, you've got to have a confidence in who you are. You've got to have a sense as to what you bring to your team. And, you know, it's normal. It's there in all sports. So, you know, I think Clint's an important player for us and therefore at times, you know, he gets put under the spotlight."