Without question, the most interesting part of the U.S. World Cup training camp in New Jersey is also the most private.
It comes long after the players have left the field, when Coach Bob Bradley and assistants Mike Sorber, Zak Abdel, Pierre Barrieu and Lubos Kubik get together to compare notes.
The conversation centers on one topic: which seven American players from the 30 in camp will not be going to South Africa when the U.S. team leaves for the World Cup on May 30.
No decisions have been made. The roster probably will not be finalized until after the U.S. plays warmup games against the Czech Republic on Tuesday and against Turkey on May 29.
The final list of 23 players has to be submitted to FIFA by June 1, and the uncertainty about just which names will be on it gives every day and every training session an extra edge.
"Everybody's hungry, man, fighting for that spot on the team," midfielder-forward Clint Dempsey said. "Because everybody knows it's the opportunity of a lifetime to play in a World Cup."
Some of the choices are clear-cut. Others will be difficult.
There are three goalkeepers in camp, so all will be going. Tim Howard is the starter, Marcus Hahnemann is his backup and Brad Guzan is the third choice.
There are nine defenders in camp, with the likelihood that Bradley will take all but one to South Africa. Steve Cherundolo and Jonathan Spector are the right backs. Oguchi Onyewu, Jay DeMerit, Carlos Bocanegra, Clarence Goodson and Chad Marshall are the center backs. Jonathan Bornstein and Heath Pearce are the left backs.
Spector and Bocanegra can also play left back, leaving Pearce on the bubble. But it is more likely that Marshall, with the least international experience of the defenders, will be the one left behind.
At the midfield spots things get complicated, not least of all because there are 12 midfielders in camp and also because Dempsey and Landon Donovan can play either there or up front.
Holding midfielders Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu and Ricardo Clark all seem to be a lock. Attacking midfielders Benny Feilhaber and Jose Francisco Torres also are a good bet to make it to the World Cup. Add Dempsey and Donovan to the mix and that makes seven.
Which leaves DaMarcus Beasley, Stuart Holden, Sacha Kljestan, Robbie Rogers and Alejandro Bedoya seeking the eighth and final midfield place.
Beasley has a slight edge, having been to the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, but he has been out of the picture for a while after playing poorly at the Confederations Cup in South Africa last year, thereby opening the door for others.
Holden is coming off an injury and needs to get back to match fitness, but his star is on the rise and it would be no surprise to see him make the final roster.
Then there are the six forwards: Jozy Altidore, who is a virtual certainty; Brian Ching and Eddie Johnson, who were on the 2006 team; and newcomers Edson Buddle, Robbie Findley and Herculez Gomez.
For all except Altidore, the games against the Czechs and Turks could make or break their World Cup hopes. If Buddle can sustain his fast start to the season and raise his game to international level, he could make it.