STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Four years later, Maurice Edu still doesn't know why his goal against Slovenia was disallowed.
After the U.S. gave up a pair of first-half goals, Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley scored to leave the Americans even at 2-2 in Johannesburg's Ellis Park.
Edu volleyed in Donovan's free kick in the 85th minute, but it was whistled off by referee Koman Coulibaly of Mali, who has never explained his decision. With the 2-2 draw, the U.S. needed Donovan's stoppage-time goal against Algeria to secure a place in the second round.
"When it first happened, I watched it a few times and didn't know the call on the pitch, didn't know the call afterward," Edu said Friday. "To have been that close and have it taken away did kind of suck, but now the focus is try to do it again and have it count."
Now 28, Edu is trying to make the World Cup roster for the second time. He made three appearances four years ago, entering at the start of the second half against Slovenia, starting versus Algeria and entering in the 31st minute of the second-round loss to Ghana.
After spending six years with European clubs, Edu returned to the United States in search of playing time that could help him earn a trip to Brazil.
On loan from Stoke to the Philadelphia Union, Edu sustained a concussion last Saturday when he collided with D.C. United's Chris Korb in a Major League Soccer game. He was held out of Wednesday's match at Kansas City and reported to the U.S. national team, where he has been cleared to practice.
The Californian joked and laughed with teammates as they jogged around Maloney Field at Cagan Stadium on Friday. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann looked on as prepares to cut seven players to get down to the 23-man limit by June 2.
Players took turns dribbling the ball off their knee and passing it to one another as they jogged. When the ball hit the ground, the players did likewise and did a series of push-ups.
While the practices have been primarily private, with media allowed minimal access, the U.S. team did get a surprise visit from former Women's World Cup star Brandi Chastain, who watched practice with son Jaden and a friend.