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Bradley injured in warm-ups, status for Mexico qualifier in doubt

MichaelBradley (JaneGershovich)


SAN JOSE, Costa Rica– Michael Bradley was the first member of the U.S. Men’s National Team to walk onto the pitch at Estadio Nacional on Friday night. Some two hours before kickoff of Friday’s World Cup qualifier vs. Costa Rica, Bradley patiently walked along the grass, by himself, and surveyed the field.

Unfortunately for Bradley and the U.S., he never got a chance to actually play on that field. He injured his left ankle toward the tail end of pre-game warm-ups, forcing Jurgen Klinsmann to thrust Geoff Cameron into the starting lineup, and leaving the U.S. without one of their best players in Friday’s crucial qualifier.

Bradley joined the team on the bench walking on crutches. At halftime he returned to the bench wearing shoes on both feet and putting weight on his injured left ankle.

His availability for Tuesday is in doubt now, and with Geoff Cameron set to miss the match due to yellow card accumulation after drawing another yellow card on Friday night, Jurgen Klinsmann will likely have to turn to Kyle Beckerman to start vs. Mexico.

That is unless Bradley’s injury isn’t as bad as it seemed on Friday.


  1. Please, PLEASE, keep Zusi out of the line up against Mexico!! He was a nice fill in for Donovan while he was away and Bedoya/Corona while they were developing but Zusi has no business being on the field. He is simply just not good enough for international play.

    Also, Orozco should not have started at right back in the first place he should have been on the bench, it should have been Cameron at RB and Beckerman or Mix should have been in the middle with Jones.

  2. I think Klinsmann should put Jóhannsson on for Altidore and give him a chance, the kid is talented and can probably do a lot more damage than Eddie Johnson does running around and waiting for the ball to get to him…..Also not a big Suzy fan….I would prefer if the whole midfield consisted of players like Dempsey Donovan and hopefully Bradley because lets face it those are the only guys who can do real damage when put together…Jones is okay i guess i don’t know what greatness Klismann sees in him but there must be something….also i believe the combination with Bedoya has worked kinda okay so far at least during their latest games so why not put him on as well at right wing and leave Fabian at left? Kind of like the same as the Bosnia game lineup because that turned out fine without Suzy, Gonzalez and Orozco who in my opinion are not okay to start…Besler is a horrible loss because he is good at defense but he just needs a partner like Goodson to help him out so that is another problem but i think it would be great if Klinsmann would just makes these changes and not keep putting in people who simply affect the team more

  3. One dim light at the end of the tunnel… Costa Rica has a pretty tough schedule remaining.

    @Jamaica – no longer a softball match, especially since the Reggae Boyz are now only 1 pt out of contention

    @Honduras – we saw what Honduras did last night at Azteca

    vs. Mexico – Mexico will likely be a bit desperate by this point

  4. Zusi and Orozco were awful together. Cameron and Jones were terrible together. Beasley is not a LB. That first 30 minutes was some of the worse soccer I have ever seen.

  5. Ultimately, Tuesday hinges on whichever Jones turns up. The one we have all watched over the past years, or the one some people seem to fantasize that he is.

    • While I agree with you, I think you’re being a bit hyperbolic. We’ve seen peak Jones for the USMNT, and it was great. However, I agree we don’t see that often enough.

  6. I agree with a lot of the comments, but the combo of Zusi/Orozco was atrocious tonight. I was hoping for a Bedoya appearance, but I would prefer Corona (call him!) or have Landon move over and have Bedoya or Castillo on the left. Beasley misplayed the first goal bad. Second goal was more Zusi not getting back, Orozco not covering well, Gonzalez sucked over, Besler lost, and Jones not getting back. Beasley had no chance with three Ticos on that header. Howard should have had the 2nd and the 3rd. He has made those saves before, not sure it means he needs to be demoted, just didn’t play those well. You can even argue that he could have had the crosses. Hats off to Tico keeper. We would have had a tie if it weren’t for him. Yellow card for Altidore made no sense, for Altidore. He has to keep his head there. I am not sure I like a Mexican referee before we play Mexico. I don’t think Vampiro was particularly bad or one-sided, just something to think about. Tuesday will be a fight for both teams. As long as we score a goal Mexico will do nothing better than tie. Just the way it is. We get the ticket with a win, I don’t think it as much of a must-win as it is for Mexico.

  7. 1. We lost the game when MB limped off, you could see it in their faces. Cameron-Jones was really tough to watch, and I don’t think I’m the only one who feels that way.
    2. Cameron is either on or off, tonight he was way off (Really hate to say so). GC Gave up the ball way too often in situations where MB has the technique (Vision, Touch, Strength) to win the challenge and play a simple ball.
    3. On, Jozy? Leave him on the bench and fire him up for Tuesday night, Absolutely no reason
    3.5 JK should only have brought on Aaron (I know he got to play) and Mix for the experience.
    4. Best Take away, Ice Man is Cap Tied.
    Watched the Game at Freetail Brewing in San Antonio.

    • Thrusting Cameron in last minute, while a bit unavoidable, led to massive confusion in the middle of the pitch. Costa Rica ran rampant through the midfield for the first 25-30 minutes before Cameron and Jones figured out their roles.

      Shouldn’t the coach be testing out different MF pairings in practice… y’know, especially since most of the players are on YCs, let alone the possibility of injury.

      I agree about Cameron’s passing… was a bit off all night, but his overall performance in the second half picked up. Despite the result, the US had the midfield for about 45 minutes in the middle of the game. They just couldn’t do anything with it.

      • I like the criticisms here a lot. Good stuff. But I think we can go deeper. While naturally players have individual limitations, we have to admit that the U.S. is not as deep as people seem to fantasize about. We lose one player to injury and no one can step up (and is psychologically ready to step up)?

    • There’s no cap-tie needed for a player who files a formal one-time switch with FIFA. Johannsson was already committed to the USMNT. It’s Brooks that needs to be cap-tied (I can imagine him playing at least part of the Mexico match to accomplish this).

  8. As I started watching at the half and therefor didn’t see the first half, I thought jones was a solid outlet and kept possession well on that crap field but his final through ball passes to unlock the stingy cr defense were very poor. He just didn’t have any answers when it came to helping the attack score.

    Maybe it’s mix d as attacking cm with beckerman as the d mid against Mexico. We need a cm with more creative ideas than Jones. Beckerman dependably stays at home to help the defense.

  9. Hopefully we can bring in Torres and Corona with a number of players out for next week’s match (e.g., Altidore, Cameron, etc.; hopefully, Bradley is not one of them.

  10. Starting XI vs Mexico if Bradley isn’t available:
    Parkhurst – Gonzalez – Brooks – F. Johnson
    Jones – Beckerman
    Zusi – Dempsey – Donovan

    If Bradley is available then the team will look strong even with the guys missing due to yellow cards, i’m not a fan of Beckerman but he played a really great GC. Parkhurst is way better than Orozco as RB even if he doesn’t gets much playing time in Germany.
    Also, as much as i love Fabian’s ability in the final third i think Beasley REALLY sucks as a LB.
    And Guzan is playing way better than Howard in EPL but if Howard starts is good too.
    Good chance for Johannsson to shine, i hope Jurgen puts him as a starter.

    • Never having Beckerman + Jones or Cameron in midfield like today (3 are wipers) – If Bradley cannot start then Mix D (or Jose) along with the wiper; otherwise we will see the same result as today. Those 3 cannot connect and provide good ball to strikers; . But the first priority is cut Dempsey off from the USMNT period, he is no longer a good player

      • please look at the whole game + past several games: Dempsey cannot control, pass or provide any support to others. Most of the time he likes to play “stupid art and complaint” rather than play soccer (do not expect to see him as a leader, he is not a player himself)

      • i completely agree. i always felt like Dempsey thinks hes better than he actually is. he’s constantly trying to showboat and take unnecessary touches. the worst part it almost never works!

    • Sigh,

      Klinsi will not start Aron Bacon, he will give the nod to EJ then sub him out at halftime after losing the ball countless times

    • Unlike,

      You cannot play Zusi on the wing. You need a speed player to keep Mexicos wing players honest. Guardado will run circles around him.

  11. They were lacking team chemistry, were out hustled on 50/50 balls, just like Altidore was not called in for some earlier WCQs while he was scoring goals at the club level Klinsman didn’t call him in b/c he wasn’t producing for the Nats. I think after the Mexico game if Jones doesn’t perform like he does for Schalke then Klinsman should send a message to Jones that he has to do better in a Nats jersey or take a seat on the bench.

  12. And Costa Rica has the nerve to complain about dangerous and unplayable in the snow? That match should have been abandoned. That field was incredibly dangerous.

  13. Deserving unit against Mexico (by default):


    • That’s not the worse line-up we could do at this point. Maybe I’d switch the outside backs – we have a great LB, so why not let him play at least one game in his best position. And I’d look at bringing Mix in – Dempsey left, Donovan right, Diskerud center.

    • I thought Brooks was scheduled to return to Hertha Berlin after the game tonight and wasn’t going to be available for the game in Columbus Tuesday. Am I making that up? If I’m not, do we have any CBs that can play?

      I assume Altidore will be fit to start Tuesday, so I imagine him up top over Johansson, with Bacon coming off the bench if Altidore starts to fade late.

  14. Dear LORD, that was painful to watch…

    Thanks to their loss to Honduras, the match just became a matter of elimination for Mexico. Hope we’re better prepared for a rival with passion than we were tonite.

    • Not direct elimination. Not even close. They still easily have pole position on a New Zealand playoff OR could catch Honduras even if they lose to us. That would involve Honduras dropping a few points, but is possible.

  15. No Eddie Johnson!!!

    Our midfield was a mess, Cameron doesn’t have Bradley’s IQ and brawn, and Jones does terrible in visiting games.

  16. A couple of thoughts:

    – I can’t believe Jozy just got himself kicked out of the Mexico game with 30 seconds to go. For an extracurricular shove. Another chance for Iceman to make his mark.
    – Is it unreasonable to start and question Howard’s lock on the GK spot? When does Guzan get a legitimate shot at the first team?
    – Eddie Johnson coming in for Zusi had a real, tangible effect on the offense. A negative one.
    – I don’t know that Dempsey should take our PK’s.
    – Has it ever been more clear that Bradley is absolutely the key to our team? And now that Geoff Cameron is out for the Mexico game, lets pray Bradley is good to go, or… uh oh.
    – I wonder if Orozco or Brooks starts at CB for Besler? I’m hoping for Brooks. And I would like Cameron at RB, but obviously he’s out. I guess that means we get Orozco again, but I don’t think I like that.
    – Man it will feel good if we eliminate Mexico. Oh man.

    • Good comment about Guzan. Love Howard, but he’s not as good as his reputation and the hands are going.

      Hopefully Bradley is a fast healer.

      • Howard WAS as good as his reputation. Unfortunately that window may be closing faster than everyone had anticipated. I think that this game wasn’t as true as it seemed but that might just be me hoping Timmy still has another few great years left.

        FIFA needs to address field conditions as well because that pitch was absolutely terrible.

    • First off, I agree with you on all points, but hey…

      – I can’t believe Jozy just got himself kicked out of the Mexico game …
      agreed, but that was a pretty quick card, wouldn’t you agree?

      – Another chance for Iceman to make his mark.
      = thank god we seem to have some depth at forward

      – Is it unreasonable to start and question Howard’s lock on the GK spot?
      I know that I stick up for Howard a lot, but honestly, I don’t see another keeper having any better chances on any of those goals, (#1 was between Beasley’s head and the post, #2 was a far post header, #3 was a full speed breakaway where Besler was just fully beat by a guy being courted by Arsenal)

      – Eddie Johnson coming in for Zusi had a negative effect on the offense.
      Disagree. Not having an answer for missing MB90 resulted in subs bringing more of the same.

      – I don’t know that Dempsey should take our PK’s.
      Agreed, but it was his 100th cap and he was wearing the armband. I think on another night LD takes that spotkick.

      – Has it ever been more clear that Bradley is absolutely the key to our team?

      – I wonder if Orozco or Brooks starts at CB for Besler?
      I think Parkhurst gets the nod and we see Orozco for Besler. It worked in Azteca

      – Man it will feel good if we eliminate Mexico. Oh man.
      Yeah it will, but not so fast… they are playing for survival now and we just took a big one right on the chin. Now it gets real. This is a good test for the USA and I have great hope we will get the three points, but it will be a nail biter for sure, especially the next few days…

    • I’m cringing at the thought of starting Jones and Beckerman together. I’m okay with Beckerman over Jones, but not both. It would be nice if Kliestjan were in camp, can he still be called in? Otherwise there’s Mix and that’s it.

    • I don’t know why everyone thought it was Jones.

      Orozco playing leftback is what screwed us. His crap play pulled Omar out of position and Beasley was there but the dude cant just grow a few inches, it wasn’t his fault.

    • Yeah, Howard should have totally saved the first goal, which was headed directly at his man on the near post, Beasley. He totally should have pushed Beasley out of the way and saved that, GUZAN would have!!!!

      And the second one, on a cross/header/far post where three Costa Ricans overloaded the weak side and Beasley (with no US reinforcements in sight, aggravatingly), a made a great tackle/header combo.

      You might argue Howard might have played better – but there’s no question the defense got outplayed, and left him hanging out to dry. Those goals are on the back line.

      • For all the problems this game demonstrated, one of them that has to be talked about is age. The speed and aggressiveness you lose with the older players isn’t being made up for with some other quality (incisiveness, creativity, or even like composure). Tim Howard is an example among many. He just obviously is not the keeper he used to be. He’s slow off his line, indecisive in the air, and he just doesn’t have the kind of shot stopping ability that he used to have, and that makes up for those other faults in some players. He’s not last year’s David de Gea where you forgive some shaky punches and tentative set-piece defending and the hesitation to challenge strikers one on one [Howard Howard Howard] because de Gea was still making two or three saves a game that others wouldn’t make, so he gives up one goal maybe, but he keeps out three for sure. Last night, forgetting all the mistakes that led to the third goal, the shot itself was pretty poorly taken, and (although I won’t say it should have been kept out) it definitely could have been stopped by an aggressive keeper willing to challenge for it. Howard is one example among many of how this attachment to an older guard of players whose playing time is not only holding back the development of younger players (who could, with more support, far surpass the older generation, given their levels of talent/athleticism) but at best is forcing the US to play a slower style of soccer that they lack the precision to carry off, and at worst leads to games like this where they lapse into the bad old days style of ugly predictable defensive soccer.

    • could not have picked a more irreplaceable player… Donovan and Dempsey can switch on and off as the 2nd striker. EJ is a homeless man’s Altidore, but if everyone else is around it’s workable. LD can take left wing for FJ…but once Bradley drops it’s like AYSO-level in midfield: obvious passes missed, balls booted way ahead of teammates, unforced errors all around… hoping for a point vs a Mexico team with backs against the wall.

    • so true. donovan, jozy, dempsey, howard might have bigger profiles but are more replaceable than Bradley who is the most irreplaceable player in the US Pool.

      i understand that he is getting an MRI today.. eagerly awaiting this pr. I have injured my ankles many times playing soccer.. at first it always hurts and swells up but a couple hours/next day you can really determine if its going to be 24 hours out or 24 days..


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