AMSTERDAM -- The U.S. held its first training session at the Sportpark Riekerhaven here on Monday in advance of Wednesday's full-squad friendly against the Netherlands (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Galavisión), and coach Bob Bradley gave some of his most detailed public comments yet about the chances of forward Charlie Davies to be available for the World Cup.
Davies suffered multiple serious injuries (including two broken bones in his legs and a broken left elbow) in a horrific auto accident near Washington D.C. last October. His recovery has gone faster than expected, though, and Davies recently returned to France (where he plays for Sochaux) to undergo further rehabilitation.
"The most important thing that you get when you hear Charlie talk is the positive attitude that he has, the determination that he has," Bradley said. "It shows up in his rehab, it shows up just in terms of his new attitude on a lot of things. I think that when you have that kind of mentality, that kind of attitude, you always have a chance.
"The reminder for anybody is just that for any athlete coming back from an injury, if it's 100 steps to get back to the level that you were playing at, the last steps are the hardest, and they're the ones that are most difficult to predict how long they take. So in the moment you just want to see him continue to work hard. The fact that it's a World Cup year means that everybody has in a way a target and a calendar in mind. But that being said, it's just important that he continues to cover all the steps and gets back to that level."
* "The 23 Golden Tickets" is a regular department between now and the World Cup. It's a list of the 23 players that I believe Bradley will pick for the U.S. team that travels to the World Cup in South Africa. Players with a "*" next to their names are those I would consider locks at this point:
GOALKEEPERS: Tim Howard*, Brad Guzan*, Marcus Hahnemann*.
DEFENDERS: Oguchi Onyewu*, Carlos Bocanegra*, Jay DeMerit*, Jonathan Spector*, Jonathan Bornstein*, Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson.
MIDFIELDERS: Clint Dempsey*, Landon Donovan*, Michael Bradley*, Ricardo Clark*, José Francisco Torres, Benny Feilhaber, Stuart Holden, Maurice Edu, DaMarcus Beasley.
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore*, Brian Ching*, Robbie Findley, Conor Casey.
New addition: DaMarcus Beasley.
Fell out: Robbie Rogers.
New locks: Brian Ching, Marcus Hahnemann.
* José Francisco Torres was the final U.S. player to arrive in camp this afternoon and participated in training. Also present were non-roster players Steve Cherundolo (who practiced with the team) and Oguchi Onyewu (who did not take part in the full training session). "He's started to do a little bit," Bradley said of Onyewu, the AC Milan defender who is recovering from a serious knee injury suffered in October. "We had a chance to kind of ease him in a little bit [in Los Angeles last month]. Since he's been back to Milan I think they're still moving him along at that speed. So I can't give a definitive answer in terms of when he's back in full training. That's a decision that now gets made at Milan."
* The U.S. and the Netherlands will use a special red ball in their game on Wednesday. The ball is part of a shoe-company campaign to raise awareness for fighting AIDS in Africa. The ball itself looks like it was designed in the 1960s.
* Former Chicago Fire standout Lubos Kubik is here with the U.S. team and is now working on Bradley's coaching staff. Kubik played for Bradley on the Fire team that won the 1998 MLS title, and he also competed internationally for Czechoslovakia.
* Landon Donovan and Onyewu were the only U.S. players who were not made available to the media. Donovan is scheduled to participate in Tuesday's pre-game press conference.
What are your thoughts on Davies and the latest 23 Golden Tickets? Post them below and add to the discussion...