Spector revels in new role

Jonathan Spector could get another major test with the United States on Wednesday evening when they take on fellow FIFA World Cup finalists Denmark.

The West Ham United defender is in line to win his 23rd cap and may yet again figure at centre-back after impressing in that position against Slovakia on Saturday, another nation that will be taking part in South Africa next summer. US coach Bob Bradley singled Spector out for special praise for his weekend performance.

Spector's partnered US captain Carlos Bocanegra in what proved a competitive friendly with Marek Hamsik settling matters in Slovakia's favour with the only goal of the game from the penalty spot. Bradley wanted to see Spector in that position with the long-term absence of first-choice AC Milan defender Oguchi Onyewu.

Bradley, mindful that it was at centre-back that Spector first came to prominence before being signed by Manchester United as a teenager, said: "Jonathan Spector and Carlos Bocanegra played well together and both showed good understanding. It's the first time we've used Spector as a centre-back and he was good."

All of that said, Spector may revert to right-back, his usual national-team position in Aarhus on Wednesday. He has no qualms about playing in the middle. Indeed, he would like to settle into that position in future. "I'm used to being back there. I played in that position throughout my career with youth national teams and club teams.

"I was comfortable back there and playing next to Carlos [Bocanegra] and Steve [Cherundolo] made it easy. They're two experienced players and we had a lot of communication so that made it easier for me."

Of his performance against Slovakia at the weekend, Spector said it was a positive display before taking on the Danes. "We gave up a goal fairly early in the game unfortunately and I thought we were playing well up to that point, connecting passes and getting in behind their defense to create chance. They went ahead and their game plan was pretty clear.

"They sat back and countered from there and made it difficult for us to break them down. Taking away from it we played some good soccer at times and passed the ball really well. They're a good team in Europe and I thought we had the better of the game, to be honest."