U.S. welcomes options

From left, Americans Tim Howard, Jay DeMerit, Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore, Edson Buddle and Maurice Edu jog during training. Altidore has been battling a sprained right ankle.

Associated Press

From left, Americans Tim Howard, Jay DeMerit, Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore, Edson Buddle and Maurice Edu jog during training. Altidore has been battling a sprained right ankle.

PRETORIA, South Africa — F Jozy Altidore ran sprint after sprint while a fitness coach looked on.

He was held out of Saturday's exhibition win over Australia, three days after spraining his right ankle in training, and he tested the joint Sunday as the U.S. team held a light workout at Pilditch Stadium.

"It seems like he's getting a little bit better," G Tim Howard said. "It's going to be sore, of course, but we've still got a long way to the game, you know, a long way in terms of needing time to heal. I think he'll be fine, but again, that's barring any setbacks."

Altidore, 20, wasn't available to reporters.

While coach Bob Bradley left training without speaking to the media, he responded to questions in an e-mail through spokesman Michael Kammarman.

"Jozy has been able to add to his workload every day, which has been positive," Bradley said. "We are pleased with his progress and will continue to move him forward. The team has a day off (today), so we have another opportunity to work with him individually and gauge his status for training."

If Altidore isn't healthy for the Americans' opener against England on Saturday, options have emerged. Edson Buddle scored his first two international goals in Saturday's 3-1 victory. Herculez Gomez got the other goal. And speedy Robbie Findley stretches the defense, even if he missed an open net and hit the crossbar.

"All the talk surrounding training camp was that Charlie Davies was injured, and it gave an opportunity with some new faces," M Stuart Holden said. "We've seen that all these players can contribute, and it's nice to know you have guys that can come in and score some goals and provide a spark when they need it, or even play from the start. And it speaks to the strength of our squad."

Meanwhile, England star M Frank Lampard sees a dangerous foe in the Americans.

"They'll be very organized," Lampard said. "There is a certain rivalry considering the players they have who play in the (English) Premier League. It'll be a tough game — the first one always is.

"Considering we're playing the strongest team in our group, other than us hopefully, then I think it'll make for a tight game."

Argentina: About 5,000 fans created a party atmosphere when coach Diego Maradona and the players made their first public appearance since arriving.

Australia: Backup G Brad Jones returned home because of an illness in his family and could miss the tournament.

Brazil: G Julio Cesar will sit out today's warmup against Tanzania to rest his aching back.

England: Coach Fabio Capello has no plans to rest key players for the final training match today before facing the United States in the opener Saturday.

Honduras: M Wilson Palacios (left leg) and F David Suazo (right leg) say they are feeling better.

Netherlands: F Arjen Robben is likely to join the team this week because his left hamstring injury isn't as bad as initially feared, coach Bert van Marwijk said.

Uruguay: F Diego Forlan completed practice despite being hit on his left leg in a collision with M Walter Gargano.

Ready to go: President Jacob Zuma declared South Africa ready for the World Cup and praised the world's most popular sporting event for bringing cohesion to his nation.

U.S. welcomes options 06/06/10 [Last modified: Sunday, June 6, 2010 11:24pm]

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