No rest for U.S. as they prepare for Gold Cup defence


JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – United States switch attention from the Confederations Cup, where they finished runners-up to Brazil on Sunday, to defending the CONCACAF Gold Cup this weekend.

Exhausted yet exhilarated by their exertions in South Africa, where they fought back in style to earn a place in the final after losing their first two games, the Americans left for home yesterday to seek another trophy.

However, coach Bob Bradley has chosen just four players from his 23-man Confederations squad to play in the Gold Cup. The team kick-off against Grenada in Seattle on Saturday.

“It’s been a great experience here; we’ll turn the page quickly and get to work with the group. The Gold Cup is still very important to us,” Bradley told Reuters before leaving for a 25-hour flight and a change of 10 time zones.

“We knew it was going to be a challenging summer. We go to the Gold Cup with a new squad but it’s a great opportunity for some of the new players.

“It’s different to the Confederations Cup but it’s still the championship of our confederation. We take it very seriously, it’s played in the U.S. and we want to do well,” added Bradley.

The Americans, who also face Honduras and Haiti in their opening-round group, have won the last two Gold Cups in 2005 and 2007 and it was as champions of the CONCACAF region that they competed in the Confederations Cup.