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Coaching staff prepares for final cuts

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
May 26

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- If there is one thing the U.S. players like about manager Bob Bradley it's that he is always straightforward and honest with where each player stands. He has no problem sitting down with someone, looking him in the eye and telling him what he likes and doesn't like about his game.

But when he sits down for seven such meetings either late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, the sessions will carry a bit more weight. That's because the U.S. manager will be telling seven individuals their dream is over, that they won't be part of the final 23 players the team will take to South Africa.

Bradley said after Tuesday night's 4-2 loss to the Czech Republic that the plan was to have a team meal, a team meeting and then gather with his coaches to see where they all stand on the final 23. Everything from form to fitness to chemistry will be considered. Then, once the decision is made, Bradley said he would meet with each player individually to give him the news.

"It won't be a long discussion," he said. "It's not the time for a long discussion."

Most of the 32 countries that will compete in next month's tournament have already named their 23-man rosters. Bradley will officially announce the U.S. team at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday on ESPN.

"It's important for the group that's going to know they're going," Bradley said. "That in and of itself is the nerves that you sense at times. Once the decisions are made a little of that goes away and we can continue next steps in the team-building process."

That will happen after Wednesday's announcement, when the team travels to Washington, where it will meet with President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton Thursday morning at the White House.

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