Top Stories

USMNT Notes: Bradley talks more responsibility, Altidore unaware of Burnley rumors, and more

Michael Bradley USMNT 102

Photo by Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports


FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Michael Bradley wants to have a bigger impact this cycle than he did during the last four years.

Bradley was one of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s most important players during the run-up to the 2014 World Cup, but he still wants to shoulder even more of the load as he officially kicks off a new cycle on Tuesday. The 27-year-old midfielder was called into his first post-World Cup camp this weekend ahead of the Americans’ clash with Honduras, and he hopes the game at FAU Stadium will be the start of a four years that will see him serve as an even bigger leader than he was on the road to Brazil.

“You’re trying to take what you do and make it count for even more,” said Bradley before the U.S.’s first training session in South Florida on Sunday. “Be a better player, be a better leader, have a bigger imprint on things – on the field, off the field. For me, it’s no different than trying to be a guy who can be counted on to be a big player when needed and to make sure we’re moving this thing in the right direction.”

Here are more notes from USMNT camp:


If the latest batch of rumors are true, someone forgot to inform Jozy Altidore.

A mere hours afters reports in England stated that Premiership club Burnley were keen on acquiring Altidore, the 24-year-old striker said he knew nothing about the purported interest.

Altidore confessed last week at the start of the U.S.’s October camp that he would seek a move away from Sunderland this winter if his playing situation did not improve soon, but he is unaware of any interest from Burnley.

“I have no idea. I don’t know,” said Altidore. “I haven’t heard anything. No, I have no idea.”

Currently in his second season with the Black Cats, Altidore has struggled for regular minutes. He has just four league appearances, none of them starts, for a combined 53 minutes.

Altidore has started and gone the distance in two Capital One Cup games this campaign, scoring in one of them.


While the entire U.S. squad appears to be taking pleasure in the trip to South Florida, one player in particular seems to be doing so more than most.

Nick Rimando is back in Ft. Lauderdale and enjoying his time in the place where he began his professional career. Rimando played for the now-defunct Miami Fusion from 2000-2001, starting the 47 regular season matches he appeared in while recording seven shutouts.

“It feels good to be back,” said Rimando from inside Lockhart Stadium, where the Fusion played their home games. “This is where it all started for me, 15-plus years ago. It (is a) little different, the stands and field a little bit, but I have a lot of respect for this place and South Florida because they’re obviously my first stepping stone to where I am today.”

Since leaving the Fusion, the 35-year-old Rimando has put together one of the more impressive goalkeeper careers in MLS. He continues to shine in between the pipes for Real Salt Lake on a consistent basis, and his impressive form has him competing with Brad Guzan for the U.S.’s vacant No. 1 spot ahead of next summer’s Gold Cup.

It is down to Rimando’s hard work that he is in this situation, but getting his start in Ft. Lauderdale more than a decade ago also helped him.

“Times passed for sure,” said Rimando. “To come back here full circle and to be with the national team, it’s something that feels right.”


What do you think of Bradley wanting to take on more responsibility? Should Altidore consider Burnley? Impressed with the career Rimando has carved out since starting with the Fusion in 2000?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Absolutely impressed with Rimando’s career? All time leader in MLS shutouts at 5’9″ tall. Who wouldn’t be impressed.

  2. Things Jozy Altidore may also be unaware of:

    1. You know how Der Fuhrer cut his Landon Donovan just before the World Cup? That won’t be the last sacred cow he sacrifices, Jozy.

    2. You haven’t scored goal for anyone in a year.

    3. You have only seen the pitch three times this season for your current club.

    4. You had it awfully good in Holland

    • 1. No LD comparisons applicable here since as far as we know JK doesn’t have any personal enmity towards Jozy.
      2. Not entirely accurate.
      3. Not entirely accurate.
      4. Maybe from a playing standpoint but he makes 2.2m pounds a year now, which I’m pretty sure is a lot more than he was making in Holland, so you can hardly blame him for going to England. I bet if he didn’t go people would be also criticizing him for not challenging himself at a higher level like they did with LD. Then again, some people just like to complain and bash everyone.

  3. Sounds like early campaigning for the captaincy, which I’m all for. But it won’t happen until Deuce and JJ are no longer considered in the mix. Probably just after the Copa….I wouldn’t mind if it was after the Gold Cup though…I’d rather give the younger players a three year ramp up to the WC.

  4. Where was our running commentary today? I would have liked to interact with fellow SBIers who were watching some of the international fixtures, and MLS.

  5. Damn Franco, do you ever sleep? So many articles in the last week or so.

    Bradley needs to cool it a little bit. I think him putting too much onto himself was a large reason behind his poor World Cup for the NT, and it doesn’t seem to be helping his club very much either. I’m happy he is pushing himself, but maybe he’s being a little overzealous about it, mentally and emotionally taking on too much, and that it’s affecting his performance.

    • Bradley tried to do too much, sure, but he was shoehorned into a role that’s not his best due to poor personnel decisions on Klinsmann’s part, like not having a target striker besides Jozy to rely on and thus having to use Clint up top by himself instead of in the hole behind the striker. Playing in the hole is not Bradley’s strong suit, and his assist against Belgium illustrated that he’s best played cleaning up the trash, starting moves from deep, and going up in the attack when necessary.

    • I think that the role he should be playing for Toronto and for the US Nats. is as the team leader. At 27, he is not likely to improve athletically or technically, but tactically and from the leadership fronts, he can and those are things both Toronto and the US need from him. Much like Greene needs to get stronger (and some other things). Whether or not Bradley will rise to the challenge to do that is an open question, but he, at least, seems to view that as a challenge he needs to meet.

  6. Since Jones and Beckerman, long term, are toast, Bradley’s best position for us may be, as some suggested, as destroying DM. He has at least Beckerman’s level of nasty streak, and could then be a talented version of legbreaker with foot skills a la Jones. That would open the CAM spots up for some of our attacking talent……and address the potential soft area in the middle.

    The question then is if he has the wheels left. Like Adu, he signed young so he’s been playing about ten years. Thus the question is if he was simply hurt this past summer or is breaking down from mileage a la players like Michael Owen who signed young and fell apart in their late 20s rather than 30s. If he was just hurt, maybe he can play a different role for the team this cycle and be a benefit. If he’s falling apart we have a DM problem.

    As it is I’d be scouting DMs because Jozy’s Brazil underlines the risk of eggs in a single basket. That same mistake burned both Bradley (who relied on him for the 2011 Gold Cup roster) and JK, who had no fall back and thus was throwing Wondo out there to try and score on Belgium. Which is one reason I’m somewhat grumbly about the callups of late, which are either of Beckerman/Jones who will age out, or of non DMs (Ecuador) such that we neither got to look at potential new destroyers, nor were able to tactically control the game late.

    • I think most people see Bradley’s best position as number 6. Him playing that CAM role was a necessary compromise for a handful of games. Not trying to knock him either, I know he is box to box, versatile, and an engine, but those qualities seem to shine brightest from him playing behind the other CM(s). I don’t see any signs of him losing his legs, but it’s a fair question, since we’re addressing preparing a team for four years from now.
      JK knows this too. I think Morales is next on the pecking order, and Klinsmann just wants to bring him along slowly, to learn some things from the vets. I agree with overall point though, I just think the next tier of JK’s DM prospects (Williams, possibly Kitchen and Trapp?) may have to wait for the January camp.

      • No signs of him losing his legs? He looked slow and drained in Brazil. The question is if that was the heat and his foot aching, or if he is losing wheels, which is trouble for a center midfielder.

        Far as waiting til January goes, I thought this was the evaluation end of the cycle, and it has often looked like it, just not at DM. Why wait.

      • Really drained? He covered more miles per game than any player from any team in the WC and he was the recipient of more passes than any other US player, indicating he was moving to get into good spots in time to support teammates. Speed has not been his strength, but he is hardly what anyone would call slow.

      • Physically, he looked good in Brazil, and statistics back me up on that.

        You obviously missed my point. JK isn’t waiting. Morales is with the team, and being brought along slowly.

    • Bradley’s not a destroyer, nor is he a ball winner. I think we need to finally stop trying to find the best partner for Jr. We have spent 2 cycles doing that. We shouldn’t spend a 3rd doing so. We need to find a new CM pairing. And, we have 3 years to do it.

      • Without Bradley, qualifying would have been completely different. We might have replaced Mexico in that playoff game.

      • Bradley’s first 3 games in Brazil weren’t up to his standard, but he’s put in enough hours with the team that we know what he brings to the table. You don’t ditch a player after a short run of bad games, even if they’re the most important games on the slate.

        This WC cycle, we’ll have Diskerud all the way through instead of waiting for the Gold Cup 1 year prior to fully integrate him into the squad.

        If we have Bradley in the 6 role with Mix and, say, somebody like Nguyen or Powers ahead of him, we could see a much more functional midfield. Heck, if we put him in the 8 and put a Cameron, Danny Williams, Perry Kitchen, Alfredo Morales, or Wil Trapp behind him, I think we’ll still see something we like.

    • MB is not playing to his customary standard but I wouldn’t throw him out with the trash.
      The next 6 months should tell us if this is permanent but then again, we said the same with Altidore and we are still hoping.

      • True and a big part of the reason why is MLS. MLS is a difficult league on the players. First there is more talent than people realize (it’s just spread over more teams and each team has a few players that are a step down but you never know what position that will fall on). Second the travel is insane compared to a European league. Between the extra miles and changes in time zone it’s a lot harder on new players who have been playing in Europe to adjust to and it always seems to take at least a season to get there.

      • I’m not saying get rid of MB, but I do think we should be looking at alternatives, at minimum because you always need as much quality depth as you can unearth.

        That being said, I think we need to be thinking systematically and where players fit in that system. Bradley has historically played both CAM and DM, and of late played a lot of CAM. But if he is slackening and we need DMs, we have plenty of CAM options, he could move (assuming he is still running well).

    • No question that Bradley’s best position is deep in midfield. However, he did not seem hurt in Brazil — evidenced by the fact he covered the most ground of anyone in the tournament. He played poorly because of the way he was used. And he really didn’t even play that poorly. I would make the case that he was actually better overall than Jones was. Jones made some big plays, but he made a lot of mistakes. The ethos of the team was built around Jones’ energy and bite. Bradley is a smooth distributor with good positional sense, so he was not only playing out of position, but within a style that suited Jones, not him.

  7. Poyet did not bring Jozy in and has no apparent affinity for the American player. But Dyche has already had Shea in and used him a fair amount on loan until the crowd nonsense that got him sent back to Stoke. That sounds like a coach who appreciates the quality and value of American players.

    That being said, it’s questionable whether Jozy can fulfill the role as slick back to goal target man that most English coaches think they are getting when they signed the big dude. Occasionally he has his flicks going like against Ecuador, but he is generally mediocre at holding off his man and sometimes simply lacks touch or industry. I tend to think he is better poaching goals facing the other net in a flowing, fast style of play, a la Eredivisie. Like Kenny Cooper, he looks like a target player but is not one. If Burnley wants him back to goal, they might get him bought but end up in the same place Hull, Sunderland, and everyone else who buys him as a target striker does.

    • Well said. Although, I feel like Alitdore’s work rate has really improved over the last two years, and I haven’t found myself questioning that aspect of his game for a long time now.

      • Two or three times he got beat to the ball when he had position against Ecuador. A big fellah who is a target player would muscle them off and hold his position. McBride. Ching. But that’s not Jozy’s forte so they would run around him and get the ball.

      • Altidore is (or appears to be) stronger and more likely to use his strength than many players. I think that appearance causes referees to prejudge him (much like coaches do) and they think he is simply going to use his size and strength to foul defenders. The result is referees call Jozy for fouls he does not commit and disregard it when he is fouled and falls think ” a big strong kid like that must be diving” whenever he is knocked to ground. That makes it hard for Jozy to compete for 50-50 balls, if he wins them he has a good chance of being called for a foul and if he is knocked to the ground he mostly gets a look from the referee that says get up, don’t dive.

    • Bingo. He isn’t best as a back to goal target. He is best facing goal, running into open space, or on the half turn. That’s how he creates chances for himself. His strength can be used that way to draw fouls also. Playing him as a stationary column is a waste of his talent. He’d be better off as a second striker set back a bit, or on a “power wing,” sort of like how Brazil was using Hulk.

  8. Altidore won’t make it in the premier, should of stayed in holland or gone to Germany, France or Spain but Spain is racist.
    Now,I see jozy coming back to MLS or picking up a big fat check in ligaMX where a big club will want his ass like America or Monterrey, since ligaMX for some reason gets US national players.
    Oh and as for Bradley, can we just get over this guy, do we really think MLS will make him better, same thing with Bradley and jones.


Leave a Comment