Spector facing Wembley race

Jonathan Spector is battling to overcome a hip injury in order to lineup for the United States against England at Wembley on Wednesday night and a potential duel with club-mate Dean Ashton.

The 22-year-old West Ham United defender, already capped 12 times, has been suffering with the irritation to his hip since the 12 April trip to Bolton Wanderers and missed the final four matches of the domestic season. It was a frustrating end to what proved a significant campaign for the youngster who is still learning his trade and who showed his versatility across the back four and also even in a defensive midfield position. The Americans have been sufficiently concerned to call up veteran Columbus Crew performer Frankie Hejduk as extra defensive cover.

"I am taking one day at a time," said Spector from the US training camp at Sopwell House in Hertfordshire before adding he did not want to take any unnecessary risks. As well as wanting to ensure his fitness for when he returns to club duties, he is eyeing the Beijing Olympics having already played a key role in securing the US's qualification for the August sporting extravaganza. That said, Spector would love to realise a boyhood ambition and play at Wembley - a venue he is familiar with after going along to watch last October's rain-sodden competitive NFL encounter between the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins.

"It will be a huge honour to play at Wembley but we're looking to win," added Spector, who is one of a number of highly-rated young players in the US selection including midfielder Michael Bradley and forward Freddy Adu. "I'm really looking forward to it as not many players have the opportunity to play there ... we're excited to see how we compare to some of the top teams in the world and we'll be looking to win. I've got a number of friendly games to play, followed by two World Cup qualifiers then we have a break and then back for the Olympics. It will be a busy summer but I'm looking forward to it."