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Why the U.S. nats like open practices (and notes from one)

Head coach of the U.S. national soccer team Jurgen Klinsmann of Germany speaks to his players before a practice session at the Azteca stadium in Mexico City

U.S. Men’s national soccer team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann (facing camera) of Germany speaks to his players before a practice session at the Azteca stadium in Mexico City August 14, 2012. The U.S team will play an international friendly match against Mexico at the Azteca stadium on Wednesday in Mexico City. REUTERS/Henry Romero (MEXICO - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

REUTERS

I have been to United States national team matches that didn’t draw 3,000 folks. It’s been a while, but it has happened.

So, it’s always interesting when these open practices draw healthy crowds. For instance, yesterday’s open session in Columbus, site of Tuesday’s biggie, attracted about 3,000 supporters.

U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann likes the open sessions for the stronger bonds they facilitate between the team and the fans, who get a little more personal look at the players in a more casual setting.

There are more details here from the Columbus Dispatch.

Also included in the report are some minor (but certainly not unimportant) newsy bits:

Like Steve Cherundolo returning to practice. If the Hannover man can reassume his spot at right back, it adds tremendously to the U.S. offensive push along that side.

And Tim Howard was held out of practice due to that bruise on his lower right leg. While concerning, Howard is expected to be OK by Tuesday.