My piece for the website and print edition focuses on Jozy Altidore, who seeks to regain his form after a miserable season with Sunderland.
Maurice Edu was cleared to practice after recovering from a concussion.
Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Graham Zusi and Matt Besler arrived from their respective MLS clubs.
Omar Gonzalez (knee) continues to undergo treatment.
*Aron Johannsson played the final 27 minutes of AZ Alkmaar’s 0-0 home draw with Groningen in the first leg of the Eredvisie’s playoff for a Europa League berth. The return leg is Sunday. Johannsson will report to camp early next week.
*Ticket sales for the Nigeria friendly on June 7 in Jacksonville have surpassed 25,000. The June 1 tune-up against Turkey at Red Bull Arena is just about sold out; the USSF will put additional tickets on sale soon. The Azerbaijan match May 27 up the road at Candlestick is not selling very well. Exact figures were not released. Given the day of the week (Tuesday), the venue (Candlestick is a bear to reach at rush hour) and the opponent, this should not come as a surprise.
*Joe Corona has filled various midfield roles for club and country, so which one does he prefer?
“I feel more comfortable playing at the 10, as a creative-type midfielder, but I am so used to playing on the right and left, I am comfortable playing on both sides.”
*Altidore was asked whether payback is on the Americans’ minds after losing to Ghana in the previous two World Cups.
“They can’t knock us out this time. So that’s cool.”
*The USSF will announce Friday that interim boss Jillian Ellis has been hired as the women’s national team coach. The Insider broke the story on Twitter on Thursday afternoon. Ellis won out over Sweden’s Tony Gustavsson, a U.S. assistant under Pia Sundhage and the current coach at Tyreso in his homeland. The British-born Ellis, 47, has deep ties to the Washington area: Robinson High School in Fairfax, Va., Braddock Road Youth Club, William & Mary, assistant coach at Virginia and Maryland, member of the Virginia-DC Soccer Hall of Fame. Aside from guiding UCLA from 1999 to 2010, she has been involved in the national development system since 2000.
The Americans will face France on June 14 in Tampa and June 19 in East Hartford, Conn.
*Road trip cuisine: Homma’s Brown Rice Sushi in Palo Alto.
*And finally …