SAN JOSE, Calif. - David Bingham has spent the past three weeks representing the Earthquakes organization at the U.S. Men's National January Camp in Carson, Calif. Ahead of Friday's friendly against Canada, we spoke with Bingham about his camp experience, working with Jurgen Klinsmann and what it's been like being away from his Quakes teammates during the first two weeks of preseason.
sjearthquakes.com: Has the January Camp been everything you anticipated?
David Bingham: “It’s pretty much everything I thought it would be. We’re playing every day. The first week and a half we had double days. It’s physically demanding, but it’s also rewarding at the same time. We won our first match against Iceland and now we’re looking to replicate that this Friday against Canada.”
SJEQ: You’re the youngest of the three goalkeepers called into January camp. How has it been working with the likes of Luis Robles and Sean Johnson, both fellow MLS goalkeepers?
DB: “It’s been fun being around those two. I’ve worked with Sean before, so him and I had a great relationship going in. Luis is a great guy as well, so it’s been a fun experience. We work hard, we push each other, horse around when we get the chance, so it’s definitely a good group of guys to be with for a month-long camp. It makes it a lot more enjoyable.”
SJEQ: What’s the biggest thing that you’ve learned from your first camp?
DB: “It’s been a great experience. We got in here a few weeks ago now. The main thing, really, is the consistency you have to play at to be here at this camp. It’s an every play kind of thing. You can’t take any plays off. It’s just top class and you have to bring it at every training session. That’s the main difference.”
SJEQ: Talk about your relationship with Jurgen Klinsmann and the coaching staff.
DB: “Every coach is a little different. Jurgen likes to focus on playing out of the back and verbal organization. Mainly, we do goalie training every session, so I spend a lot of time with Aron Hyde. For us goalkeepers, he’s our main channel of communication.”
SJEQ: What teammate have you become close with over the past week?
DB: “I spend a lot of time with [Steve] Birnbaum. We’ve grown up together playing at Cal. We go to dinner and do all that kind of stuff together. Seeing him score the game-winning goal against Iceland was great. Birnbaum is great in the air, so it wasn’t a surprise to see him score that goal. Couldn’t be happier for him to get the first assist and follow it up with the header.”
SJEQ: Have you been in contact with your teammates since you’ve been in Carson? Does it feel weird being away at the beginning of the season like this?
DB: “It’s definitely weird not being there. It’s hard when you see the posts of everyone playing, but I’ve been in contact with Dominic [Kinnear] and Tim [Hanley] since I’ve been gone. It’ll be great to get back with the guys and focus on the upcoming season.”
SJEQ: Did any of your Quakes teammates give you any advice for your first camp?
DB: “I definitely picked Wondo and Clarence’s [Goodson] brains before I left for camp. They told me what to expect going in and how to prepare for certain things. Not every camp is the same, so you just have to be ready for anything and go in there with the right mentality.”
SJEQ: What has the preparation been like for your last match against Canada?
DB: “The preparation has been the same leading up to the Iceland match. We have to work hard, put our heads down and maybe improve on a few things. Overall, the performance was there and we hope to replicate that this weekend and come out with another victory.”