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Bradley’s USMNT future may hinge on upcoming performances


Michael Bradley may be back with the U.S. Men’s National Team, but what he shows in this month’s camp may go a long way in determining if he is part of the future.

Bradley officially returned to the U.S. fold on Monday by taking part in his first training session with the team in almost a year, and it marked the start of what are an important two weeks for him on the international stage. They might even be two of the most important weeks of his career.

Unlike in the past three cycles, the polarizing 31-year-old midfielder is no longer an automatic starter. His place in the group itself is even in question, as he will be in his mid-30s by the time the next World Cup rolls around in 2022.

The U.S. is almost a year into transitioning away from its veteran-laden core of the past and into a new, young generation, and Bradley may not have a place in it as his aging legs lose more tread and promising up-and-comers continue to move closer to their primes.

Bradley, however, should have a golden opportunity in the coming days to demonstrate that he still has what it takes to cut it at this level and that he merits further consideration to at least be on the roster in the short-term, regardless of who the permanent U.S. head coach is.

Injuries to promising central midfielders Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams forced them to withdraw from the roster in recent days, and that has considerably raised the chances that Bradley gets the nod in both of the Americans’ looming friendlies against Colombia and Peru.

If Bradley winds up starting in the two matches, he will have to deliver some solid performances to remove at least some of the doubt that his critics have about his ability to still be effective on the international level. Look good or even prove to be a difference-maker against the technical Colombians and Peruvians and some of his staunchest detractors may have to start reassessing their stances.

But any subpar, indifferent, or downright poor showings like some of the ones he has had with a shockingly bad Toronto FC this season and it could be the end of his time in a U.S. jersey. After all, the pool of central midfielders right now is among the deepest of any position in the American landscape and young players best develop when they are playing.

Of course, how U.S. manager Dave Sarachan opts to use Bradley tactically will go a long way towards determining how effective the former captain can be in this pair of games. Does Sarachan try to use Bradley as a No. 8 with the hopes of seeing him get into some advanced positions so as to occasionally be involved in the attack? Or does he use him as a No. 6 with the main responsibilities being to break up attacks and quickly distribute the ball around the field?

At this point in Bradley’s career, it appears clear that his top position is as a defensive midfielder. Bradley’s chief strengths when he was at his very best as a box-to-box midfielder were his motor and ability to crash the penalty area to finish off plays with well-timed late runs. He was never the most fleet-footed, but his speed, range, and energy allowed him to effectively play both ways for 90 minutes more often than not.

Those qualities have naturally diminished as he has gotten older, though. His game is now centered more on being a cerebral destroyer, one who tries to anticipate where the opposing plays are going and attempts to move the ball to the more talented attackers as quickly as possible. Gone are the days of Bradley covering acres of ground on both sides of the ball, as evidenced by the fact that he has had less of an impact in the attack for both club and country. Bradley, who once netted 21 goals in the Netherlands, has scored just twice in MLS and twice more for the U.S. since the start of 2016.

Still, some of his biggest advocates will point to his overall play, presence in the locker room, and ability to guide young players through challenging moments as reasons why he should be included in the squad at least in the short term. Bradley is after all among the most seasoned American players still competing right now, with 140 caps to his name and loads of experience in big moments and matches under his belt, and this next wave of young talent could very well be in need of someone to help steer the ship when adversity hits.

Bradley has been given an opportunity to showcase all of his best qualities this month, not only in the matches but in the handful of training sessions the U.S. has. Of course, how he performs against the likes of James Rodriguez and Christian Cueva will be most telling about whether the American has anything left to offer at the international level.

These are a big two weeks for Bradley, and he will have to deliver the goods against two skilled opponents to continue to prove that he has something left to offer. Fail to do that, and his international career might very well be over.


  1. the unmistakeable Ronaldinho – i’ll have disagree with you over qualifying for the WC and here is why. UEFA is given 13 spots, meaning group winners automatically qualify(9 spots)and the second place teams play a playoff to determine the last 4 spots. If you look at the tables for UEFA WCQ there is only one tough group to qualify from and that one being Group A. The rest of the groups were pretty straight forward, especially considering Italy and
    the Netherlands had a down cycles(like the US). The difference between UEFA and Concacaf is the familiarity with which teams have with one another, and when you consider that Concacaf has more than half the number of teams that there are in europe, it easier for the opposition to familiarize themselves with your style of play making it harder to play against, and furthermore the Gold Cups played seemingly every year doubles down on that premise. People talk about talent level, and the idea that no matter what the US should beat lesser teams from CCF, but i call bullshit on that especially considering the smaller countries are developing players here in the states in MLS, making competition against these teams harder. It’s a well and good to have players over in europe at clubs but if they are not playing consistently, or at the bigger clubs, does it really make a difference with regards to calling in MLS players? In UEFA teams are not playing against one another with frequency in WCQ, nor in Euros because there are far more teams, meaning there is less familiarity and a chance for more upsets in big games!

  2. how is this player even being discussed. Too old for the next world cup and there is that little issue of HE DID NOT MAKE THE WORLD CUP!!!!! only in this country!!!!!!!

  3. I don’t see any point in sugar coating the reality. The reality of the US fan.

    The ignorance of the US fan comes to the fore here, as it has with other would-be seminal moments in US Soccer history. Really though, from my perspective, only the LD omission from 2014 rivals this conversation – as far as evoking the sheer amount of morons to appear out of the woodwork and vociferously express their moronic opinions.

    You have to wonder about a fan base that collectively dismisses, disrespects and even hates one of the very best players their country has ever produced. Why? Well, they couldn’t possibly tell you with any certainty or competence. They will probably tell you he’s slow and passes backwards. Thanks for your analysis.

    Think about it, though: here’s an entire nation, (and as we know, in theory, largely composed of morons), who want to axe a player (with immediate effect) that has been picked by every single coach he’s ever played for. Every single one, be it at the club or national team level. The fans? Eh, they largely don’t rate him. If that’s not quantifiable evidence that we have one of the most ignorant, unsophisticated and clueless fan bases you could possibly imagine at this juncture of the US Soccer timeline, I don’t know what is.

    This is a fan base that is young, naive, and as such is looking to point fingers. This is a fan base that resents Altidore for not being Lukaku. This is a fan base that simply has not developed a true understanding of the sport.

    What exactly does it take to start your career by amassing over 70 top flight appearances in each of Holland, Germany and Italy? You’d have to ask Michael Bradley; I don’t know that there’s any other American who can answer that question with his precision.

    This fan base… This is a multi-faceted, systemic issue and unique to the US due to our infrastructure. However, one of the shortest and most applicable explanations in my opinion is that American fans aren’t actually ‘watching’ the games. They’re watching highlights, tapping aggregators for info, and reading what the helpless/hapless American pundits write. Alternatively, they’re playing Taylor Twellman’s bumbling rant on ESPN on a constant loop (btw, thanks Taylor. Lot of good that did, feeding the frenzied morons by saying exactly what the uninformed wanted to hear, while not offering a single substantive thought of his own making).

    Again, are these ‘fans’ watching the games? Do they understand what they’re seeing when they do watch? In a hypothetical must-win game tomorrow, regardless of opponent, Michael Bradley starts in the US midfield because he is the best central midfielder in our pool.

    Have our fans absorbed Adams’ shortcomings facilitating possession? Did they watch Will Trapp against Mexico’s C team? The first half against Mexico was the most pathetic performance we’ve seen from a US team since that night in TnT. Someone in our dreaded pool has to facilitate possession, you morons. Your choices as a US fan have always been slim to nil – still are.

    -Do they realize that at 25 (Trapp is 25), Michael Bradley had amassed well over 200 professional appearances for clubs in the Eredivisie, Bundesliga and Serie A? There’s a very logical reason for the gulf between these two players, and the gulf that currently exists between Bradley and the other CM options CURRENTLY.

    – Is there any scenario in which Will Trapp might have achieved similar accolades? Or a scenario where Tyler Adams accomplishes a similar feat over the next 5 years? Could Adams or Trapp, under any circumstances, score 16 Eredivisie goals? How about right now?

    – How many American players in our history have had the ability, let alone the gumption, to score 16 Eredivisie goals?

    The irony of this whole thing is that, yes, this is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately sport. Well, Bradley has pretty much been Bradley, although his club is not playing great ball collectively at the moment. Almost all players find themselves in this situation at some point, some more than others. Bradley usually has been on the right side of this equation. The point is, let someone take Bradley’s spot from him. There’s a reason why he has one of the most impressive resume’s for any American to ever set foot on a soccer field. At 31, you do not want to be vying with Bradley for his spot. You will still lose. You want to be playing alongside him, like McKennie and Adams are hoping for.

    You can count the amount of American players to have garnered real, tangible respect from the footballing world at large on one hand. Bradley is one of them. You’d hope for a more sensible fan base. Culture has dictated otherwise. Bunch of morons.

  4. Its two games, relax. The bigger concern is having gone a year after not qualifying and we still don’t have a coach. Essentially all these friendlies are being wasted.

    Complain all you want about Bradley but he’ll go down as one the best US CM players, if not the best, to date. After the season he’s had you could argue he does not deserve a call up. However, you cannot say that Bradley isn’t in the same room as Acosta, Trapp, or Delgado.

  5. The only reason Bradley is even in this camp is because of Dave Sarachan. In the true Arena mold, he’s living in the past. Bradley is done and has been done for a long time. Columbia and Peru… two highly skilled teams…. What will the lumbering Bradley possibly do against them? Not fast enough to stop them, not skilled enough to do anything.

    The only positive here is that it will most likely remove Bradley’s name from the player pool once and for all. Clint realized it was over, why doesnt Bradley?

    Name your coach Ernie… stop screwing around!!!

    • Not to worry, USA_FAN there is hope. If Johnnyrazor has finally given up on Michael Bradley you known things are looking bad, and the realization has finally kicked in (Now all we need is DLOA to throw in the towel too and I will be at peace ? )…”Bradley is done and has been done for a long time”. Lets move on

  6. I hope he plays well and that will push players like Mckennie and Adams to want it even more. I don’t think he has a place in this team going forward but until the new manager is in place its hard to say. The best formation for this team is 4-2-3-1. With MMckennie and Adams in the 6/8 roles making runs when available but cleaning up the middle of the pitch and winning tackles.

  7. Mikes attitude will go farthest in impacting his play not his position . Was able to relax when he came back to mls . His skill level dropped . Wasn’t happy daddy got fired rarely played well for klins

  8. i love you guys for writing all of these great comments. [rose]
    i love you, franco panizo, for writing this great article. [rose]
    this is indeed a difficult moment for the usmnt, but we can get through it if we all stay together. [handshake] [fist pump] [heart]

  9. Bradley was captain during a time when there was a lot of rancor about “germericans.” He should have shut that down but he let it fester and perhaps even encouraged it. If that’s leadership, then I’d say the team could do without it.

  10. johnnyrazor: I never said he didn’t deserve to start then. He did. He proved that he didn’t need a veteran “leader” to guide him, either; he was thrown in the fire and played very well for many years. Edu, Clark, and Holden weren’t old holdovers who were past their primes. All but Pablo, as you pointed out, made way for the next generation.

    He just doesn’t need to be in the team now, especially in friendly matches that are meaningless in terms of results but vital in terms of giving the younger players valuable experience (like he got) to be ready once the matches actually matter.

    • If you noticed I said you weren’t saying that, but over the past week, several on here have tried to make the case that Bradley didn’t earn his spot in 2007. If Reyna or O’Brien would have had any knees left after 2006 Bradley would have shared time and learned from the old guard as well but O’Brien literally played under 5 matches the rest of his career and Reyna maybe 40. He didn’t learn from the old guard because there was no old guard.

  11. MLS regulars Adams, Trapp, Roldan, Acosta are already better than Bradley right now and they are all younger, faster and more athletic. And based on Bradley’s play over the last year, the competition he should face for the crusty old midfield veteran spot should actually be from Mcarthy, Kljsten , Cronin, and Beckerman. Thats the level Bradley’s at now and I dont see him suddenly getting better at his age. But there isnt really a reason to have that crusty veteran spot right given that we are 4 years out from WC and given all our other player options, including European based players . And I am not even mentioning Bradley’s great leadership that included creating a deeply divided locker room and stunning failure.

    • You would have a point if the younger players you named played the same position as Bradley. Only Trapp plays the same role as Bradley, I like Trapp, I’ve never really liked Bradley even in his prime, but what does it hurt to see the two in training together. Who is the next line in that role? Durkin? He’s not ready for MLS let alone the USMNT so he’s not taking a spot of someone. Perhaps Zelalem, but I don’t think he’s been in a match since his knee injury.

      • “I’ve never really liked Bradley even in his prime”….wait wait wait whhaattt???? Johnnyrazor????? Ok, who has taken over Johnnyrazor’s account…….GIVE IT BACK!!!!

      • Wrong. Cristian Roldán is a central midfielder and does play as a DM and RM. As a matter of fact when Dempsey was still playing as a CAM in the sounders 4-2-3-1 formation Roldan played mostly as a DM…..and had an excellent work-rate.
        So like danny kissinger said
        “Adams, Trapp, Roldan, Acosta are already better than Bradley right now and they are all younger, faster and more athletic”
        Really don’t know what he is doing on the team

      • there are in fact national teams, and club teams, that deploy a CM force without the lone destroyer to provide the back 4 cover. I know this is very un-Bruce Arena and un-Bob Bradley, but loads of very successful teams do it.

      • Bizzy: You always mistook my best man for the job in a flawed system as fandom and a much bigger dislike for Gonzo.
        Perhaps I should say role, not position. Yes, Bradley and Roldan are CM or DM, but the role they play under that moniker is different. Roldan plays it more as an eight getting foward and making runs into the space left by the striker. (This is why he was ineffective during the GC for Arena, he was being asked to sit deeper and stay as the protector of the back four in the diamond) Bradley since moving to DM role after his failed stint as a 10, is deep-lying often moving between the two CBs, his role is to initiate the offense linking the GK with the midfield releasing pressure (most teams who play the ball out of the back do this despite the heavy criticism that Trapp and Bradley take for it). Trapp does this for Columbus, even though he plays with another DM Artur, Artur is the ball winner that provides the hard challenge when needed and he will get forward and involved in the attack. If Sarachan continues or Berhalter is hired, the National Team will need someone in this role, likely Trapp or Bradley. All the other CM/DMs Roldan, McKinnie, Adams, Acosta fit into the other role (Artur) with the ability to get forward and to help in the press. At this stage of their careers, none of those players are especially positionally disciplined to play the Trapp/Bradley they also are not as good at moving the ball forward even if they might be more creative with passes. They do excel in the getting into the box and causing problems.

        Here’s an explanation of Berhalter’s system, the description of how Columbus uses the 6 role (which is similar to Sarachan’s 4-1-4-1 with Trapp as the lone DM). The midfield portions starts at 1:43.
        So long story short Bradley fits Sarachan’s system, I’m not sure he has the work rate at his age to fit Berhalter’s if he tries to play the same way internationally to cover for the gaps left by the press. When the new manager is hired Bradley may be left out if they want a tougher tackler like Danny Williams, Morales, or Russell Canouse.

    • johnnyrazor- you provide some good information but overlook an obvious point. Players at club level do not always play the exact same role and system then they do at the NATs level. The point of these friendlies is to test out and try different players and different systems. So what if Acosta doesn’t play the deep lying DCM role at his club team (or Roldan)? They are experienced pros who can be evaluated in different situations playing different positions (variations of midfielder). You sortof have it backwards… you are starting from the premise that the US most play these exact tactics and thus we must call in players that fit the tactics perfectly given there club experience. This is not the time for that and it doesnt even make sense generally. Even a given club team will adjust tactics from game to game and keep the same players often in somewhat different roles.

      • @danny kissinger: “the competition he should face for the crusty old midfield veteran spot should actually be from Mcarthy, Kljsten , Cronin, and Beckerman.”
        uh, yeah exactly. Bradley is far superior to all of those guys for this role.Are you going to suggest that because Sam Cronin was not a part of 2018 qualifying, that makes him a better candidate for the team? It just makes no sense.

      • I don’t think the point of these friends is to try out different systems at all. That might be what fans want but I haven’t heard that from Stewart and Sarachan hasn’t shown that playing his preferred 4-1-4-1 most of the time. It is to acclimate players to the differences of the international game but as to try out different formations its not. The new manager will choose the tactics when they get here. As far as players playing different roles you are right you don’t have to play the same position (unless you hated Klinsmann then that was the biggest sin ever committed by a manager). With Roldan and Acosta we have plenty of film from MLS to tell whether or not they could play that deep pivot role. Neither has shown the skills or acumen to do it. Are those players better than Bradley or Trapp overall, probably, but are they better when they are playing in a role that does not fit their skillset? That role sounds like what Parks was being groomed for at Benfica but since we heard that he was going to be moved deeper he’s gotten no run with the A team so it is hard to know how it is working out. Hopefully, we will have a manager by November if not the end of the week and this will begin to sort itself out.

      • Johnnyrazor
        you have always been a Bradley defender. Do not try to give it up now. To NOW say you didn’t even like the guy is Ludacris.

        Now let’s talk about positions. The positions in question are CM and DM. I went through your write up and it appears that you are trying to say there is a different way to play in these positions. “Bradley and Trapp play it a certain way, and Adams, Roldan, Acosta, Mckennie etc. play it another way…… If Sarachan continues or Berhalter is hired, the National Team will need someone in this role, likely Trapp or Bradley”……no we do not. The team doesn’t conform to a “Bradley or Trapp” midfield or is not going to be built around their style of play. You are either a good effective CM or DM and can play in that role (being effective and actively participating on both offense and defense) or you can’t.

        Roles – Behavior expected of someone who holds a particular status or position.

        “…deep-lying position moving between the two CBs, to initiate the offense linking the GK with the midfield releasing pressure” is not the job description for a DM/CM, furthermore being ineffective on offense or lazy on defense staying close to the CBs and having other midfielders in the group be the ball winners or make the hard challenges is absolutely not what we need on the USMNT. No Top soccer nation plays the game like that (taking a position and adapting it to fit a particular player, is the reason the USMNT moved Bradley all over the place and failed in the end), as in the midfield, DMs have a standard role, CM have standard role, CAM have a standard role, RM/LM have a standard role.

        We attack as a team and defend as a team (not having certain midfielders do the chasing or be the ball winners), a standard Klinsmann tried to set in stone. Understand the position, know the role and make sure the BEST player selection for the position. Whether DM, CM or CAM the player selected should have the skill, technical abilities, athleticism and attributes to BEST fit that role. Therefore, with mediocracy aside, the USMNT is not looking (or should not be looking) for a “Will trapp” or “Michael Bradley” way of playing in the midfield, which only makes sense in MLS. We need the BEST CM or DM in those positions to fit our tactical and technical strategy (younger, faster and more athletic), both offensively and defensively.

    • Danny,
      I wish we had a coach with the mentality like Tata Martino, who is respected enough to do his own thing, seems to make the right player selection according to their abilities and is a genius in get the best out of his players. How do you maximize the abilities of OLD players like Michael Parkhurst (34) and Jeff Larentowicz (35) to play and be very effective on one of the most electrifying teams in MLS? The USMNT still has this paradigm about national team players.

      Paradigm – a set of assumptions, concepts, values, practices and beliefs held by an individual or group. Like the concept that we need a midfield player that plays like Michael Bradley (Trapp) or we need a strong forward like Altidore with “hold-up” play (which we seem to be looking for) or a goalkeeper like younger Howard that makes 10 saves a game etc.

      No we do not. I hope we get a coach that can change that perspective, make the right player selection based solely to their skill / abilities, that can make current players / young prospects believe that the USMNT will reward their performance in TOP leagues around the world or “above average effort” on the field here in MLS. Players need to believe that they will receive attractive outcomes or recognition for their hard work, especially if they are able to maintain a level of play, day in day out, at the highest level.

      • Bizzy: There isn’t much point in a debate because you disagree with me fundamentally and I disagree with you on a fundamental basis. I didn’t say the manager should adapt to a style that fits Bradley/Trapp I said Sarachan and Berhalter’s style fits them. Berhalter didn’t develop his system for Trapp. Just because the name of a position is the same doesn’t mean its the same position. Shaquille O’Neil and Draymond Green are both centers in basketball, but Shaq would not be a star for the Warriors and likewise, Draymond would not have worked on some of the teams Shaq won with. Tim Tebow and Aaron Rodgers, Tebow would have stunk with Cal and the Packers and Rodgers wouldn’t have won a Heisman with the Gators, they aren’t the same type of QB. Just as Pirlo and Gattuso were two totally different CMs, they worked together because they had different skill sets. Finally, you don’t just put your 11 best players out there and say go be good. Its why a midfield of Acosta, Adams, and McKennie stunk. Its why despite being our two best midfielders from 2011 – 2014 that the Jones/Bradley combo never worked, they were the same player so they were constantly in each other’s space. And please get over this I’m a Bradley fan business, its just that Sepp, Beachbum, and SoccerDadinCali aren’t around anymore as they used to routinely question my intelligence and morality because I dared to question Bradley, way back before even Joe Dirt started.

  12. Bradley, at this point in his career – considering age, form, slowing motor, etc. – should realistically be the 6th choice at the CM position, if not the 7th. It’s hard not to rate Weston Mckennie, Tyler Adams, Will Trapp, Alfredo Morales, Danny Williams, Cristian Roldan, or even Kellyn Acosta higher than him. His best days are gone, and we should say goodbye.

    • I don’t have a good understanding of Bradley’s locker-room persona. If he could accept being benched for the younger kids and help, he could be a great asset in a leadership role. However, if he is ultra-competitive, as he is on the field, he may not be able to accept being 5th or 6th on the depth chart and could be a hindrance. Isn’t that why JK didn’t take Donovan to Brazil in 2014?

      • the deadspin article chronicling the WC qualification failure described Bradley’s leadership style as “overbearing” (according to some of the players). I’m not sure his leadership, including his attempted uprising against JK (whether or not JK was doing a good job), is a quality we want in these players.

        I think Sarachan should be told that his ONLY job at this point is to help on-ramp these young, internationally untested players into the program as opposed to calling in older players that will not be part of the next WC cycle, and who are already below the level of the young and untested kids, in order to grind out meaningless friendlies results. He said in a recent interview that “giving our all and hoping for a result” is the best we fans should hope for. This isn’t a mentality our players need. Sack Sarachan and stop calling in the MBs and Guzans unless we’re planning a send off or tribute to the old guard, which maybe they deserve based on past successes pre-WC qualifying failure…but the mentality needs to change in this program, and it won’t by reinforcing the old ways.

    • I would put Bradley fifth behind McKennie, Adams, and probably Morales and Nagbe, somewhere in a group with Trapp ahead of Williams, Acosta, and Roldan.
      1. Adams
      2. McKennie
      3. Morales
      4. Nagbe
      5. Bradley
      6. Trapp
      7. Acosta
      8. Williams
      9. Roldan
      Wildcard – Parks, who could jump high on this list in a relatively short period of time.
      Dropped Out – Nguyen would be on this list somewhere if not for his age.

  13. Funny, I thought his USMNT career would hinge on World Cup qualification last cycle. How many hinges are on this door?

  14. Not sure these friendlies will hold much if any weight with the new regime whenever they are announced. If they think Bradley has a chance to help us start this cycle he will be called in to be looked at. If they are going to go full on youth movement he’s likely out. We keep trying to place importance in these friendly games when they mean next to nothing. Health and club form are probably the most important factors until we get the new coaching staff.

  15. These friendlies should be announced as a thank you to MB90 and Guzan for their past contributions and because the rest of our midfield in injured.

    The best thing that could happen is that Bradley teaches someone how to step up in important games like he did against Slovenia and Algeria in 2010 in South Africa. I know he didn’t score all the goals, but he really stepped into a leading role in both of those games to help us advance.

    • I would LOVE the Bradley mentality from 8 years ago to show up in camp, even if his body can’t perform the same way. He was a scrapper with a chip on his shoulder that wanted to prove he wasn’t there because he was the coach’s son. He ran himself ragged for the team, thrived on disrupting passing angles and challenging hard in the tackle, and for playing one step ahead.

      Unfortunately, Bradley changed significantly after he became a veteran “leader” for the team, shortly after he came back to the MLS. I don’t blame Toronto or the MLS for this, as it’s produced lots of hungry talent who have pushed themselves to achieve all that they can and to continue to stretch themselves, but Bradley took a step backwards and, in my view, became far too comfortable and complacent.

      Now, I see a player that thinks he is the heart and soul of the squad, who feels entitled to plaudits and adoration based on past contributions, and who hasn’t been the same player that he was in the Bundesliga, at Chievo, or even at Roma for quite some time. I wouldn’t say he leads by example in any admirable way any longer, and his mentality had de-evolved to compliment his eroding motor and atrophied skill set. Plus, the locker room problems that he as a leader played such a part in during the most epic failure in program history is not something I want to see reproduced or elongated.

    • patience, friend. it will all be over soon but it isn’t over yet. we must discuss this now, yes?

    • you need to get over it though, because at the end of the day every NT has to bridge the gap between older and younger players coming though and the US should be no different. Bradley has done far more good than bad for the USMNT, and people seem to forget that because of a few bad games which is ironic because these same folks were singing his praises when he scored that wonder goal versus Mexico from the halfway line smh…people really need to grow out of this entitlement phase of fandom, this team had qualified for more WC’s in a row than a lot of more popular nations around the world, qualifying is never guaranteed and can’t be taken for granted so there is that! We were bound to have a down campaign at some point and if i’m being honest qualifying from Europe is not harder than that of Concacaf when you consider the histrionics of the teams you are playing against, pitch shape, refereeing and accomodations the players are dealt.

      • who bridged the gap for Michael when he became the starting CM for the squad when his father took over? Reyna stepped away from the national team after 2006, and Bradley should do the same.

      • Ill take issue with only 1 thing you said. Qualifying in Europe is significantly harder than concacaf. There are many difficult situations we all know about in our region that make some of the games very frustrating, but at the end of the day you only have to do better than 2-3 of Honduras, T&T, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico. There are many easier games played in european qualifying, but you’ve got to beat out quality opposition to actually get to the World Cup. Not the case in concacaf.

      • Gabe: If a 19-year-old American was a starting midfielder for an Eredivisie team that qualified for the Europa League and then the next year scored 20 goals, everyone wouldn’t be calling for them to be the starter? This myth that comes from people (not saying you) that Bradley only joined the national team because of his dad, and then those same people call for these U20 guys that are playing in reserve leagues to start is ridiculous. The MF before Bradley were Olson, Mastroeni, O’Brien, and Reyna. Reyna retired after the WC match O’Brien essentially did as well as I don’t think he played more than a match or two at any level after the WC. Mastroeni stayed around for a few years and Olsen for one. Edu, Clark, and Holden came in in the following years and moved out Pablo and Ben.

      • During the last tenure, we pretty much skipped a generation. Guys like Fafa and Trapp are the few that remain or were ever called up from that age bracket other than Altidore.
        With such a clear delineator, I think it’s pretty easy to make a clean cut and just go with a young group from the start. It’s not like the group coming up now doesn’t have some big game experience already. These guys have been playing together for a long time now in the younger NTs.

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