“Good morning and welcome to your first day of Camp Cupcake.
For those of you that I’ve only spoken with on the phone, I’m Assistant Coach Mike Sorber and I’ll be taking you through some camp pointers this morning then out to the warm-up pitch. Perhaps some of you youngsters caught me on the tube around 1994–I hope you show the same intelligence and cautious temerity that I showed on the pitch during the Cup run….I digress.
Coach Bradley will be joining us shortly. He’s on the horn with Owen Coyles over in the UK
wondering why the hell he’s got Iceman Stu in for trials with the Clarets when he’s about to take off for Bolton. Let that be a lesson to you all as you bask in your new found MLS success, be cautious about your overseas moves especially during World Cup time–things aren’t always what they seem. I’m talking to you Freddy….Freddy….oh….whoops.
During your time in camp here, we’ll be looking for one or two more folks for the plane to South Africa…I don’t mind telling you that. It’s important not only to dazzle for one practice or one game–one game against a bunch of scrubs from Sweden where you received one really perfect lead pass and pk award for two of your three scores does not a candidacy make–<cough, couch>pardon, but to do it day-in and day-out at practice. The coaching staff will let you know when you’ve arrived, not the other way around.
Take Benny here for example. Young Benny, the apple of many a TSG columnist’s eye, smacked that Gold Cup shot in 2007. Sure Benny had some dings, but Benny will be the first to tell you that he needed to put in more work than he did and focus on improving. It’s been a long road back for Benny <Benny nods> and now he’s one of the most valuable players on the team and leader here in this camp. I’d spend a few minutes with him if you can over the coming weeks–who knows maybe it will get you an invite over to Denmark.
Also chat up that guy that looks like William Defoe over there, his name is Jimmy Conrad and he should be familiar to all of you. Beyond being your player rep and fighting for your salary, Jimmy’s got the job done before and was there in 2006. We’ll be sure to send you over to Jimmy if you need a little kick in the rear so he can share with you the oh-so-warm reception upon his return in 2006. Icy.
(Oh and please discount Jimmy’s MLS rambling manifesto…that even TSG is still attempting to decipher.)
That’s about it, you’ll learn more as we get going here.
A few other notes:
• Don’t tussle Dax’s hair–I’m only going to say it once–he’s a teammate not a toy. And speaking of hair- Alston, Beckerman…if the drain is clogged you know I’m coming straight to you.
• Heath, JB, Marvell: You guys are to split the reps on the wingfulls with Brad and Cameron. I think you get our drift…….Oh, Marvell, since I’ve got you here I still have like 500 of your dad’s rookie card and I can’t even get $.05 per….so throw an extra sprint in there when the day’s over.
…and while we’re on sprints CC….we all saw that Slovakia game…and yes we know the pitch was soggy, but…..
• Do not hang out late night with Hollywood Kljestan <Kljestan giggles> over there–if you feel that Sunset strip pull just park your ass right next to Benny or Jimmy.
• Where is Mr. Tracy…..Marcus?….there you are….hey no pressure young man, just remember last year’s striker from Scandinavia was Mr. Charlie Davies.
Alright, that’s it for now boys. Get out there and make it happen. Show me that MLS All-Star means something.
Gonzalez, you come with me so we can get you some shorts that fit. You look like Bruce Murray in those things.”
- USMNT January camp starts rolling…today.