MICHAEL ADUBATO - Tuesday, October 23, 2007
When Bob Bradley named Tally Hall and Steve Purdy ahead of more established Europe-based Americans like Josh Grenier and Adin Brown, many questions were raised as to why.
In Hall's case, the former San Diego State star has not played a single first team minute for his Danish club Esbjerg, while Purdy languishes in the German third division for 1860 Munich's reserves.
However, many fans forget that Bradley was initially named the Under-23 team head coach in addition to his senior team duties.
In August, Bradley relinquished the dual post, and the answer to the recent call-ups likely lies with his replacement - and senior assistant coach - Peter Nowak.
Among those who were not puzzled was veteran national teamer Oguchi Onyewu.
"I don't think the Olympic team has too many chances before their qualifiers to get together," the Standard Liege big man told YA. "I think it's good for them and good for Peter to see some of his core players and see how they adapt and cope with the intense training by bringing them in with the first team."
"A lot of them handled it well and it was good training. It was a good experience for them."
Onyewu, though unfamiliar with the likes of Hall, Purdy and HSV II striker Preston Zimmerman, did not come away from camp with negative opinions of his newest international teammates.
"I didn't know a lot of them before," Onyewu informed. "I really had no perception of them beforehand, so I had nothing to judge them on."
"I think, as we expected, for the first couple of days they were nervous and as their nerves settled, they started to play."
"I think for the most part they filled in well."