POWERED BY

U.S. Men's National Team

Bradley, Howard hoping to put politics aside ahead of USMNT-Mexico

Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The game of soccer is generally trumpeted as a safe haven from the outside world. For 90 minutes, the trials and tribulations of the world around you simply don’t matter. The game remains just that, a game, in the grand scheme of things. But to some people, soccer can represent so much more. It can represent an escape, an oasis, a form of expression no matter what is happening outside of those white lines.

On Friday, soccer and politics will inevitably mix as the U.S. Men’s National Team collides with Mexico in the first match of the Hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying. The United States is preparing to welcome a new president, Donald Trump, whose previous disparaging comments regarding Mexico have been well-documented.

Like many Americans scattered throughout the 50 states, Michael Bradley stayed up late into Tuesday night and, inevitably, Wednesday morning, watching the presidential race become clearer and clearer as the night wore on. At 29-years-old, Bradley is at an age where he says he feels the power of a “captivating” election, one which Bradley said was the most memorable of his lifetime. However, on Friday when he takes the field, Bradley understands that the ramifications will feel a bit bigger for a team feeling the weight of the current political climate.

“I certainly think, given everything that has gone on the last few months, there’s an added layer to this game,” Bradley said Wednesday, “but my general feeling is that we, as Americans, trust our system. We respect our democracy and we have, regardless of your beliefs or how you voted, we have an obligation to come together, get behind our new president and have faith and trust that he will do what’s best for the entire country. That’s what we’ve always done.

“In moments like this, it’s easy to question things, but again, this is what makes our country great: the fact that we have a system where, yesterday, every American could go and vote. The results may not be what people wanted. Some were happy, others aren’t, but the way forward is to come together and give our new president support and rally behind him and have faith that he will continue what ultimately, I believe, every president has always done and make decisions that are for the good of the country.”

Unlike Bradley, Tim Howard was not up until the early hours of Wednesday night. The USMNT goalkeeper awoke Wednesday morning to a new president-elect, even if he admitted it wouldn’t have been the one he would have chosen if he had voted. Howard says several members of the USMNT are more political than others and that he, by choice, is one that looks to keep the politics aside.

Howard understands that Friday may feel a bit different than any of the previous clashes he’s faced with Mexico. However, even with that in mind, he says that both teams should remain focused on the big picture. Friday is no doubt a big game, as the start of the Hex begins the road to Russia, and, politics or no politics, Howard is hoping his team steps up to win a game unencumbered by the current debates of the outside world.

“There’s politics and this is football,” Howard said. “They’re going to try and kick our asses and we’re going to try and kick theirs. This has nothing to do with politics.”

“I would hope that our fans do what they always do, which is support our team in the best, most passionate way possible,” Bradley added. “I would hope that they give every person in that stadium the respect that they deserve, whether they’re Mexican, American, neutral, men, women, children. I would hope that every person that comes to the stadium comes ready to enjoy what is and what we all want to be a beautiful game between two sporting rivals that have a lot of respect for each other. I hope that it’s a special night in every way.”

28 comments
  • Rob

    “I certainly think, given everything that has gone on the last few months, there’s an added layer to this game,” Bradley said Wednesday, “but my general feeling is that we, as Americans, trust our system. We respect our democracy and we have, regardless of your beliefs or how you voted, we have an obligation to come together,”
    SAID THE RICH WHITE GUY.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jordan Morris

    Make America Great Again Trump! Enough of corrupt liberal politics corrupting our nation!

    Like

    • Blind Partisan

      LoL Yes…. thank goodness corruption is limited to the left and the patron saint of virtue and moral correctness Donny Trump has come to show us the way to transparency in gov’t and equality for all…. just like Sir DICK Cheney and all his disciples from the right did before.

      Liked by 1 person

  • UclaBruinGreat

    “The USMNT goalkeeper awoke Wednesday morning to a new president-elect, even if he admitted it wouldn’t have been the one he would have chosen if he had voted.”

    So he didn’t vote? I’m not going to jump to conclusions solely from this article but if he didn’t vote shame on him.

    Like

    • Chase

      You do know people have the right to vote or NOT vote, right? I can’t stand when people do this “shame on you” crap.

      Some people are so disenfranchised with the system that they no longer trust it. Some people weren’t keen on either candidate. There are plenty of good reasons not to vote.

      Why does everyone think they have the right to tell everyone what to do? I hate that attitude. I did vote, by the way (Libertarian).

      Roll Tide!

      Like

      • Old School

        People have the freedom to voice their displeasure, but a failure to exercise a right (one of which men and women died to provide) to vote their displeasure is an absence of responsibility as an American and an absence of relevance to an individual opinion on the topic.

        Let’s not mince words: opting to not participate in the electoral process is completely ignorant. If you or anyone else harbor a differing opinion then perhaps we can trace back why some people woke up to an legitimately elected official “they wouldn’t have chosen”.

        Liked by 1 person

      • UclaBruinGreat

        Yup you have the right not to vote. You also have the right to be an idiot but that doesn’t mean you should exercise that right. The people that complain or feel disenfranchised as you put it but do nothing and don’t get involved are ….. well I’ll put it nicely and just call them lazy. I will reiterate, if you don’t inform yourself and make an effort and vote then shame on you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Old School

        …a historic moment in time. No, not the election, but rather UCLA and I agreeing on something.

        Like

      • Rob

        So, along with their rights people also have the obligation to live up to your standards? Get off your high horse. Believe it or not there’s more than one valid opinion in this country.

        Like

      • Old School

        Ah, yes. The resident troll decides he wants to engage in an actual discussion again. Need I remind you of the complete nonsense you’re trolling about above “SAID THE RICH WHITE GUY.”?

        Let’s hold a mirror up to your train of thought and just recycle your own words so you can chase your own tail.

        So, along with their rights people also have the obligation to live up to your standards? Get off your high horse. Believe it or not there’s more than one valid opinion in this country.

        So, along with their race people’s opinions are rendered irrelevant to your standards? Get off your race baiting nonsense. Believe it or not there’s more than one race in this country that can have a (valid) opinion.

        It’s too easy to highlight the hypocrisy with your type, Rob. To clarify since you’re having difficulty: yes, its your civic duty and obligation to participate in the election process or your opinion does not matter to any standards of relevance, intelligence and progress. You’re old enough to know that, but then again, you troll soccer websites so I shouldn’t be alarmed at your lack of comprehension.

        Like

      • RB

        “Get off your high horse”

        Ha — if you think OS is ever likely to go that route, you clearly haven’t been paying attention.

        Let’s not mince words: harboring a different opinion from that of OS is completely ignorant, as he immediately informs anyone here who dares to do so.

        Like

  • milkshake of despair

    Friday’s game will be fine. I’m more interested in how the CR game on Tuesday will be affected. The crowd there may be more hostile than usual.

    Like

  • Scott e Dio93

    American people won the election, now USNT has to continue destroying our enemies!

    Like

      • quozzel

        I am uncertain if this is tongue-in-cheek or if we have been Trump’d.

        I will assume joke.

        Ordinarily I would worry about the tone and tenor of the USA/Mexico game being affected, but considering the Mexican fans greet the USMNT with thrown batteries, bags of urine, and lasers in the eye during set pieces anyhow – not to mention pelting anybody taking a corner kick or throw-in with garbage – I wouldn’t sweat it. It’s not like the El Tri fans don’t already hate the USMNT, and this one’s in Columbus. I suppose Rafa Marquez may cleat somebody extra hard, but again…wasn’t he pretty much good for that anyhow?

        Not sure what beef the Costa Ricans would have with us beyond the usual either. I have no doubt Trump will work his way around to offending them eventually but to the best of my recollection he hasn’t done it yet.

        Like

  • johnnyrazor

    In the no where else to put this category.

    Jack McBean got his first, first team start for Coventry City in the EFL Trophy Cup, as they clinched their group. Apparently they used a mostly reserve side as they and Wycombe had already clinched advancement. The Coventry website said he worked hard and did well, but was starved for service. This is the old Vans or Johnstone’s Paint Trophy that’s competed between teams in League 1 and League 2 of English Football, this year they added some EPL and Championship reserve sides as well.

    Ariyibi and Homes sides Chesterfield and Scunthorpe also advanced. Ariyibi played 90 minutes, Homes did not dress, and Novakovich went 90 for Reading Academy in its loss (they still advanced). Antonee Robinson went 90 minutes at LB for Everton Academy as they were eliminated on penalties.

    Also McKinze Gaines was a late sub in Wolfsburg friendly against Union Berlin in the 87th minute

    Like

  • Xantiro

    I wanted to come here and rant. Rant about everything this horrible election represented. But this is not why we have sports. We have sports to forget. We have sports to escape. And we have the USMNT to remember we are all Americans and we can at least agree on that. And we can all agree no matter what your views are on immigration the Mexican national team is our biggest rivals and we can love to hate them all we want. Let’s keep this a safe space where we can debate all things soccer but keep politics elsewhere.

    Like

  • JCC

    That’s rich that Tim Howard is putting politics aside. Isn’t he the one that made political hay out of the announcements being in Spanish when Mexico won the Gold Cup 4-2 in 2011?

    Like

Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More from SBI Soccer