Quakes goalkeeper David Bingham is participating in his second consecutive January Camp for the United States Men’s National Team in preparation for two friendly matches. Ahead of Sunday’s friendly against Serbia, we caught up with Bingham to talk about life under new head coach Bruce Arena, what a normal day looks like for goalkeepers and what it’s been like to have Chris Wondolowski alongside him at camp.
sjearthquakes.com: You’re enjoying your second consecutive January Camp with the U.S. National Team. Overall thoughts on the first two weeks in LA?
David Bingham: “They’ve been good down here. We’ve had unfortunate weather - uncharacteristic you can say of California - but two weeks into camp and we’re all progressing well. It’s been great being with everyone again and we’re excited for these two friendlies coming up.”
SJEQ: This time last year you received your first-ever January camp invite. Explain how the 2017 camp has been different from 2016 camp.
DB: “The obvious one is that we have an entirely new coaching staff on board here. It’s been nice getting to know them and seeing how they want things to go. With this being my second year of January camp, my focus has shifted to not only these friendlies but these very important qualifiers coming up.”
SJEQ: You got your international start with Jurgen Klinsmann at the helm. Now, Bruce Arena has taken over. Explain what it’s been like playing under him and goalkeeper Coach Matt Reis.
DB: “It’s definitely different philosophies. Bruce [Arena] kind of gives you more leeway and the vibes have been pretty laid back so far in camp, but we know when we step on the field the intensity is always there. The level of competitiveness in this camp has been good so far, so I’m just excited to get back on the field with everyone and get the ball rolling again.”
This time around, you have Wondo alongside you in camp. Explain what it means to have a close teammate with you during such a long stretch with the national team.
“It’s always fun with him. It’s a really long camp so we’re here for almost a month by the end of it, so it’s been nice to have him around and being able to hang out on our down time to get away from soccer for a few hours. It’s definitely been good to have Wondo around.”
SJEQ:Walk us through a normal day of camp for the goalkeepers from preparation to regeneration.
“We’re up semi-early. We’re up anywhere between 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. every day. We always have team breakfast here at the hotel and then after breakfast, we hop into different vans and head down to the StubHub Center for our first training session. We get there and we’re in the gym for a bit before going straight out to the fields for training. Once training’s done, we’re either back into the gym stretching or stretching on the field. From there, we go straight to lunch and a team meeting after lunch almost everyday.”
SJEQ:What has preparation been like for Sunday’s match against Serbia?
“The preparation has been good. We all knew we had two games close together when we started at camp. The main thing is to keep everyone healthy and feel fresh going into those two games. I think we’ve done a good job of that so far.”
SJEQ: You’re getting more and more experience at the international level. Heading into 2017 with the Quakes, what do you hope to bring to the table?
DB: “Obviously, we want to start the year off strong. We really need to keep that going. Last year, we won our first two games of the year and I think that was the longest win streak we had all season. This year, we really need to start 2017 off strong and we need to keep that momentum throughout the whole year so we can rack up those points in a tough Western Conference. From there, we want to make a strong push for the playoffs and go from there.”