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SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Michael Bradley

Michael Bradley Brek Shea USA 02082015

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

As if his spectacular game-winner was not enough, Michael Bradley delivered one of his best U.S. Men’s National Team performances in recent memory to help snap a five-game winless streak.

Bradley paced the U.S. to its first win since September on Sunday afternoon, turning in one of his most complete performances in some time to help the Americans oust Panama, 2-0. The veteran midfielder not only bossed possession by constantly finding and getting on the ball, but he also was consistently dangerous with his set-piece delivery.

Incredibly, Bradley scored directly off of one of those dead-ball situations, sending a corner kick over Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and inside the far post in the 27th minute. The highlight-reel goal served as the decisive tally in the match, and helped the U.S. settle into the proceedings after a mixed opening 20 minutes.

Bradley’s fine outing saw him run away with SBI’s Man of the the Match award. Other U.S. players who looked solid against the Panamanians and received consideration were Gyasi Zardes, Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones.

What did you think of Bradley’s performance? Agree that he was the USMNT’s best player vs. Panama? How many times have you watched his olimpico?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. I think MB and Mix have the capability to form a really decent partnership. Mix retrieved a lot of balls and was able to move the ball quickly to Bradley with space. We saw that given time and room, Bradley is very capable. He beat the keeper on his first corner kick from that side as well, but had it headed clear. So he picked out the upper 90 the second time.
    But the team Panama brought was rubbish, and we need Bradley to play like that in big games as well.

    Reply
    • He was fun to watch, but faded. I was very impressed by his willingness to backtrack, all the way to the end line. In fact, there was a sequence in the second half where I noted him collecting a ball about 5 yards from his own touch line, then 20 seconds later on the ball in the opposing box. I pointed it out to my young son. If we get players who are willing and able to cover ground like that (not to mention at the rate he does) the team will be in good shape.

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  2. Agree on Bradley and Zardes having strong games. I thought Mix actually played well, he loved the ball around and had some nice passes. Contributed defensively too with some tackles.

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  3. I haven’t seen the stats yet, but I am willing that in addition to scoring the winning goal, Bradley had the highest pass completion and probably the most passes for the US.

    He picked off a pass, dribbled forward but then missed a pass to Jozy that that would have put him through on goal.

    He combined with Obarra early on and later with Zardes in combination play that helped each of those new guys get into the game.

    As always, he was the guy who moved to get open for teammates whenever they were in trouble.

    Zardes was my second best on the team and Jozy was third. I was not impressed by any of the back line or Mix who was invisible much of the first half.

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  4. I think he played really poorly in the first 20 min of the game. Turned the ball over something like 3 times in the first 5 minutes. He definitely settled down after the goal.

    I would say my man of the match was Zardes. He was sharp from the first whistle, and really showed how much he’s improved even after just this camp, especially his first touch and vision.

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