Bradley caps solid month with another goal

Michael Bradley 1 (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                       Photo by ISIphotos.com

by GIANFRANCO PANIZO

Michael Bradley's career-month ended as strongly as the rest of February has gone for him. The U.S. national team midfielder scored from the penalty spot in Borussia Moenchengladbach's league match against Hertha Berlin on Saturday for his fourth overall goal of the month.

While Bradley's 69th-minute goal was not enough to help his club avoid a 2-1 loss to Hertha Berlin, it did cap off a magnificent month for the 21-year-old. On Feb. 11, Bradley scored twice in the U.S. national team's World Cup qualifying win against Mexico, and he followed up that great overall performance with an equalizer for Moenchengladbach against Werder Bremen just days later.

Bradley's goal on Saturday marks his third in the Bundesliga this season. His other goal for the relegation-threatened club came in November when they tied, 2-2, with heavyweight Bayern Munich. Bradley's goal that day was also an equalizer.

Moenchengladbach still sits last in the Bundesliga standings, and are four points away from safety.

What do you think of Michael Bradley's month? Surprised he was given the penalty kick responsibility? Think he is emerging into the best young central midfielder in CONCACAF? Happy to see him evolve his game even with last place Moenchengladbach?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, European Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Bradley caps solid month with another goal

  1. Freddy says:

    I’m actually wondering what he’s going to do when BMG are relegated.

  2. Dave says:

    I think the second question is the most interesting and revealing. That Bradley is the choice for penalties speaks both to HIS quality and to the lack of quality of Monchalkjflsakdfj. I think this season should parlay him into a move to England-I’d like to see him in a top-6 side, Everton, Villa, Pompey, something like that.

    And he is the best central midfielder in the US pool now-it’s locked up-needs to improve his passing, but the kid just keeps coming along-really wish him the best-super talented.

  3. zoran says:

    watched him up here (Toronto) in the U-20’s and outside of Benega he was the best holding/control type midfielder. I liked him much better than Edu and Altidore back then and I expect him to be be the best player out of Concacaf for the next 5-10 years.

  4. Goalscorer24 says:

    It is definetly good news. For his team to trust him to take the PK is great. He just needs to continue along, and if BMG could pull themselves out of relegation that would be important.

  5. jpcsoccer says:

    i agree with freddy… i don’t like the prospects of B M’gladbach going down and him looking to settle in to another club. he needs to find some place stable.

  6. CrispyST3 says:

    So what happens if M’blach get relegated??? Does Bradley move to another team, or does he stay in 2. Bundesliga???

    I don’t know, what do you think guys?

  7. A.S. says:

    I agree with Dave. The most interesting thing is that he was given the responsibility for the PK.

    Does anyone know who was fouled in the box resulting in the PK? Was it Bradley himself? Or was someone else fouled, and Bradley called to take the kick?

  8. CrispyST3 says:

    Mo’ Edu also played a full 90 for Rangers today, pretty sweet, although Beasley didnt, he’s probably still hurt, but its good to see Edu play 90

  9. jacobi millionaire says:

    “Michael Bradley’s career-month could not have ended any better.”

    You mean, besides the fact that his team lost. Minor detail.

  10. jacobi millionaire says:

    Also, Bradley moves if Gladbach is relegated. It’s in his contract.

  11. Elliott says:

    His club will almost certainly get relegated, but his goal production has been good and I’m sure he will sign with a mid-table club in a top league.

  12. Kevin says:

    So with him playing this well, and the potential for a huge international summer, is his transfer imminent?

  13. Eric says:

    Anyone know if Jozy played today?

  14. CrispyST3 says:

    Jacobi millionaire, i didnt no that, thats pretty ligit, haha

  15. dave says:

    eh, this kid is exactly what’s wrong w/ US soccer… would he have been drafted by the MLS so high or even given one cap by the US nats if his dad wasn’t coach FOR BOTH TEAMS?? nah, doubt it.. he will continue to score garbage goals and even continue get substantial PT for the worst team in Germany, but if our future lies w/ him in the center mid, 2010 isn’t gona be pretty..

    dont get me wrong, cuz im sure i’ll get substantial hate for this comment, but can anyone really claim that this kid is a world class talent capable of leading the midfield of our national team?? he plays typicaly surburban white bread soccer, and it bores me to death every time i see him play.

  16. Igor says:

    Actually, he could have had a much better month if BMG could just get some wins. They’re still last and must be pretty worried about relegation.

  17. Wispy says:

    A.S. — Marin was brought down in the box and Bradley took the PK.

  18. Dave says:

    haha my namesake, what are you doing? Sure there were the natural nepotism concerns when Bradley broke into the squad-but would you describe 2 goals in a WC qualifier against our arch-rivals garbage goals?

    I don’t know if he is “world-class” talent yet or if he ever will be-but he’s the best we got-and probably the strongest box to box central midfielder the US has EVER produced.

    So I’m not gonna “hate” on your comment-I just don’t really get why you would say it.

  19. CrispyST3 says:

    Wooooww, dave, if u knew ppl were going to hate on u for ur comment, why dont u keep ur negative commenting somewhere else, cuz this is SBI: Soccer with an “AMERICAN” voice, and we’re not here to bring down our players, but support them, Bradley is a great player, and he’s only 21, i guess u didnt see his cannon against Mexico did ya, well, hopefully in a couple months he’ll change ur mind

  20. cam says:

    im a spurs supporter so it kills me to say this, but he’d be great on arsenal. he’s exactly the kind of guy that wenger goes after, and arsenal could use a player like him. he could finally be the replacement for flamini that they have needed this whole season.

  21. brandon says:

    michael has proved himself in every team he has ever played in professionally. metrostars, heerenveen, us nats, and now bor. m’blach,… and as crispy said, he’s only 21, it will be exciting to see how high his ceiling is

  22. Trex says:

    Best young midfielder in Concacaf, no question. He is our future.

  23. MikeK says:

    BMG are a young team, I think we need to realize this. They’ve got Marin, a young kid who’s a prospect for the German NT if I’m not mistaken. I believe the rest of the team, from the keeper down, are relatively young.

    Gladbach would obviously fight tooth and nail to keep Bradley. Obviously, we’re back here to money. Memory serves me that they didn’t pay a small sum to bring him in, and I don’t think they’re desperate enough to sell him at a loss, but you never know.

    Gladbach is a historical club. They were dominant in the 70s and today aren’t an unpopular club by any standards. I think they’ve got the money to keep him if they get sent down.

    All that said, I don’t believe they’ll get sent down. 4 points isn’t much at all, there’s a lot to play for. I think they’re capable of getting results, especially if Mikey steps up to the plate.

  24. hokieunited says:

    Hey dave, if its only his dad who is picking him, why did Bruce Arena give Michael Bradley his first cap….. at a much younger age than he is now? He was 18 when he got his first cap.

    Nepotism then too yeah?

  25. LittleRockAnt says:

    Bradley is average to me too Dave…

    He’s pretty athletic, but has alot of growing to do. To much growing to be a concrete starter.

  26. AllNats says:

    I’ll take two “garbage” goals over one golazo any day.

    …also, if all of his goals are such garbage, then why doesn’t everyone else on his teams score at the same astonishing rate?

    I swear, Mikey could win world footballer of the year and people would still find ways to hate on him.

  27. bubba says:

    If there was nepotism, I am definitely glad it was with Michael Bradley. As mentioned before by others he has constantly proven himself at other teams where his father has no influence. If it is seem that he caught a lucky break, so be it because he took it in stride and is definitely showing he deserves to be where he is at. I hope he keeps up his good form and it helps in Monchengladbach not getting relegated.

  28. A.S. says:

    Thanks, Wispy.

    I disagree, BTW, with the claim made by some above that he is clearly the USMNT’s best midfielder. He had a great game against Mexico and it appears he’s playing well for a bad Bundesliga side. That doesn’t take away from the fact that played quite poorly for virtually the entire prior round of qualifying, and was benched at Gladbach for a good amount of time. A good month or two does not make Bradley our best.

    Also, the idea that Bradley is the best midfielder the USMNT has *ever* had is ludicrous. He’s not even our best *right now*, much less a world class player like Reyna was in the late 90s or Ramos was in the early 90s.

  29. CapeCodFutbol says:

    So many trolls :-(

    A goal from the spot does not a good day make, though it does demonstrate trust from his team. I think his progress has been impressive. He was fantastic against Mexico. If gladbach go down there is no way that he stays on; though I have no idea where he would end up.

  30. jddjsjsjdd says:

    M. Bradley is steadily improving. No doubt about it. I hopehe can keep BMG from being relegated and carve out a legend while there.

    If not than a midtable club like Borussia Dortmund or Wolfsburg would be perfect for him.

    Ohh and the fact that he works hard and puts everything on the pitch helps. Plus he can speak German or a least understand it. Took him just a year to be fluent in Duth. The kid works hard.

  31. Ted says:

    For the people who say Bradley isn’t good enough to start in central midfield for the US…

    Who is? I’d like to know.

  32. alexarmac says:

    reyna took one hit against Germany in the first couple of minutes in the world cup and backed off. He was a good player for us but not world class. Mike still may be

  33. Tom P says:

    The goal is great; be selected to take the

    PK for your team even better. However,the club, Borussia Moenchengladbach, is awful. He will be playing in Bundesliga league 2 next year if he stays with the club. I think he will have to go else where if he wants to play in the Bundesliga 1. Or he can stay and play regularly which may be even more important.

    Now if we could get Heath Pearce back to Denmark so he could get regular minutes.

    (and Adu anywhere he could get regular minutes- perhaps Greece or Turkey?)

  34. Brett says:

    He’s a good player and his fitness is top notch. He’s a full 90 workhorse who knows what to do when the chances fall to him and he knows how to bring other players into the games. I like those kinds of players, although they tend to have critics who speak up when they might go a few games without scoring, he does so many more important things and does them well.

    The one knock on him is he can be too aggressive and will give away some terrible free kicks and get himself booked.

    All that said, I don’t think he has more than a slight chance to be better than Claudio Reyna.

  35. Paul says:

    Wilson Palacious is the best conacaf midfielder. No question

  36. BrianK says:

    alexarmac,

    I beg to differ with your opinion. Granted Claudio was shaken in France by the German thug Jens Jeramy (?),…BUT,…Claudio was voted First XI in 2002. I’m inclined to think that when you are in the best eleven at a World Cup,….you are in fact world class.

    Also, let us not forget a certain John Harkes. He was co-MVP of the Copa America. He shared the honor with Evander Francescoli. How easy we forget!! Harkes was also a regular in a pretty good Sheffield Wednesday side that gained promotion to the EPL and appeared in the FA Cup and League Cup Final in one season. Not too shabby.

  37. Oranje Mike says:

    This Dave character has no facts to back up his opinions. Does he really think he has better insight than pro clubs?

  38. brentmcd says:

    obvious nepotism
    ;-)

  39. jpc says:

    Dave,

    you are gonna get hate here b/c you deserve it… The kid is a holding midfielder, boring is his game. His job is to do dirty work, and to help facilitate the offense w/ smart, simple, consistent balls… The reason everyone is excited about him is that unlike our other central midfield players like Claudio Reyna or Pablo Mastroeni (also a fairly boring player to watch), he has that extra killer instinct that is helping him to score a lot of goals from that position. He also seems to get better and better by the day, and is only 21 years old… Finally, there is going to be some high bids for this kid if BM is relegated at the end of the year from a lot of teams that really need a boring, consistent, stabilizing force in their midfield

  40. alexarmac says:

    Brian K It was very special that Claudio was on the the first XI in 2002 That was in part recognition of one of the better players on a US team that performed very well in 2002 . He was very smooth and played pretty.I still don’t think he was world class based on his club performances.When he played the attack always went through him and our national attack was particularly on the counters slower that it could have otherwise been.Mike defends well and is a two way player that doesnt spend a lot of time waiting for someone else to win the ball I also believe that he is tougher and braver than Claudio.Claudio had a long and distinguished career. If Mikes career ended today Claudio would be considered to be the best. Over time Mike has the potetntial to be a very prominent member of one of the great club teams and a dominant member of our national team. Harkes was a good player but I dont believe he is close to being the all around player Mike is.

  41. Jamie Z. says:

    Here’s to Bradley continuing to bag “garbage goals” for “the worst team in the Bundesliga!” Attaboy, Mikey!

    (By the way, lower-case dave, in order to score goals for the definitive “worst team in the Bundesliga,” you have to score them against teams that AREN’T the worst team in the Bundesliga with the help of the worst supporting cast in the Bundesliga. Right?)

  42. PDXjerk says:

    The guy is good but he is no Great. All this praise is a precursor to a letdown

  43. jig says:

    bradley wasnt exactly thrust into the mix by his pops at metro, either, as you seem to forget, Mr. Dave. He was drafted in the fourth found–exceptionally low for a Bradenton grad–and didn’t play a minute in his rookie season.

  44. Scott A says:

    Rangers manager Walter Smith: “Maurice Edu came in and played exceptionally well today and I think he’s got a terrific future.”

  45. Bradley is one focused dude with a mission. My hats off to him as he continues to grow and learn the game in a great league to do just that-the BL. Last week, Bradley got his best rating by Kicker of 3 out of 5.

    Dave – It does say alot that he was picked to take the PK. Meyer knows Bradley has an extra bit of adrenalin going that others do not have and he is taking advantage of it.

    He is no doubt a defensive MF with an eye for a goal and good services know and then, and when I saw him in Stuttgart in early Feb, he played that role very well. If Bradley continues growing, his stock goes up.

    As for moving to the EPL, I hope he doesn’t waste his time thinking about it and turning into Convey. he needs to stay in Germany and learn the technical and tactical aspect of the game as well as get some great fitness training.

    I like MB, traditionally a strong Bundesliga side with tons of tradition. Unfortunately, they have been teetering with regulation and promotion the past three years, thus Keller’s decision to leave.

  46. jurgenbauman says:

    you americans make me laugh..I grew up here in germany and everyone is talking about this young american.. but somehow you guys find a way to hate on him, its quit laughable really. Why do not you just let his play speak for its self?? He is one of the top YOUNGSTERS in the league..

  47. jurgenbauman says:

    .

  48. dave says:

    all the comments on here despising my post are awesome, you actually did change my mind a little… nonetheless, i do view the kid as a typical us youth soccer product, too full of structure and void of creativity.. as of now, players like dempsey and adu capture my imagination on the field, and i don’t believe bradley is ever going to be capable of that – but, as someone else on here said, maybe he does exactly what a holding mid should do, and i should shut up.. i guess the bottom line is that i still havnt been quite convinced that he deserves the position he’s in, irrespective of his father (and no, the mexico game didnt convince me)… what does he have to do? maybe i just have to get over my assumption that all “inside” us soccer connections (that are so typical btw in our system) are always bad for the game and produce bad players..

    freedman wrote a blip about this exact topic after the mexico game: link to sportsillustrated.cnn.com

    he was convinced, i’m still not

  49. ThaDeuce says:

    HOORAY FOR BRADLEY!!!
    GOOD WORK.
    ALL YOU HATERS, QUIT HATING!!!

  50. Richard says:

    Nice to see Mike doing well, but the fact that a U.S. holding midfielder is scoring goals regularly in a top European league while U.S. attackers (see Donovan, Dempsey) still couldn’t score in a cheap cathouse over there remains a serious concern for our national team program…

  51. flowmo33 says:

    your an ass dave. move to chile

  52. Jamie Z. says:

    Easy flowmo. Anybody who’s going to call someone an ass on a public forum should know the difference between “your” possessive and “you’re” contracted. Lower-case dave stated his opinion and he’s willing to reconsider. I think that should be the point of a good discussion, no?

  53. americanabroad says:

    Michael Bradley is a star. He may not become a Ballack or Xavi, but he certaintly will make his own mark.

    What other young stars do we have? Altidore and Adu? MB is doing his best. Scored 3goals in 15 matches for BMG and is integral part of their starting XI. We can critique him but let’s support okay guys.

    USA, USA, USA,

  54. jddjsjsjdd says:

    Michael Bradley will be a star in the Bundesliga. Even if BMG get relegated i can see him getting picked up by Wolfsburg or Borussia Dortmund or Bremen.

  55. kanu says:

    it looks like MGB are going down, and, as pointed out earlier in this thread, bradley will not go down with them due to a forward-thinking clause in his contract. where should he go in the crucial pre-WC year?

    i tend to think he should stay in germany with a team who gives him a frequent 90 minutes and the opportunity to further his 2-way game. i don’t follow the bundesliga close enough to know which solid, mid-table teams could use an upgrade in the middle of the park who won’t break the bank. any suggestions?

    england is an option though. everton has shown interest in the past, and phil neville isn’t getting any younger. the arsenal suggestion is provocative. they could use some defensive bite in the midfield, bradley offers more mental toughness than song, diaby, or denilson, and he fits into wenger’s budget. it would be awesome, and great for his development, to see bradley ping it all over the park with cesc, arshavin, nasri, van persie, etc.

  56. Jurgen – You really think he is one of the top youth in the BL? Is that your opinion, or what are you reading that quantifies that comment. I agree, he is good and improving with every game, but I am not sure he is one of the top “elf” U21 in the BL. Maybe top 20.

    Where in Germany are you?

  57. Kanu – He needs to stay in the BL and develop more.

  58. Mike_D says:

    His passing has improved so much. He sent a perfect long through ball to Neuville who blew a 1 on 1 with the keeper. Some of the Borussia fans call him the American Ballack.