Cali Camp and the year to come

U.S. Soccer’s annual SoCal Training Camp is well under way, ushering in the year.  2011 will lack the drama and draw of last year for the team (naturally), but it still has several themes and events worth following for fans.  The Training Camp, which always includes MLS and Scandanavian-based players on break from their leagues (and therefore not all the A-team), sets the tone with a number of youthful call-ups.  Saturday’s (Jan. 22) friendly against Chile is the culmination of this camp, giving some young and otherwise unknown players their shot.

Coach Bob Bradley brought in a youngish group, with many of the call-ups eligible for next year’s London Olympics.  Some of these guys, we’ve barely heard of – especially those with dual-citizenship (like Ukrainian-American and Russian-based Eugene Starikov) or guys who skipped MLS after school with little fanfare.  The objective here is not only Olympic qualification, but getting a chance to evaluate the depth chart before the next cycle of World Cup qualification begins.  See for yourself…

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