Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

By FRANCO PANIZO

AS Roma are one step closer towards winning some hardware and reaching the 2013-14 UEFA Europa League, and Michael Bradley is a big reason as to why that is.

Roma were locked in a scoreless stalemate with Fiorentina and penalty kicks were looming in their Coppa Italia quarterfinals match on Wednesday, but Bradley stepped up to help give the Giallorossi a 1-0 extra-time victory by playing a part in setting up the winner. Bradley hit a slick but simple pass in behind the defense in the first half of extra-time, and it allowed Miralem Pjanic to hit a low cross to Mattia Destro for the game’s only goal. Bradley and Roma now move on to the semifinals of the competition, where they will meet Inter Milan in a two-legged series.

More good news came on Tuesday, as Stuart Holden completed his long road to recovery by making a cameo off the bench in Bolton Wanderers’ 2-0 FA Cup victory over Sunderland. Holden played the final 16 minutes of the match, a confidence boost for the midfielder who has spent much of the past two years rehabbing a problematic knee injury.

Here’s how the Americans Abroad who were in midweek action performed:

ENGLAND

  • Geoff Cameron started, played 120 minutes and received a yellow card in Stoke City’s 4-1 extra-time win vs. Crystal Palace in the FA Cup on Tuesday.
  • Maurice Edu did not dress for Stoke City.
  • Sebastian Lletget dressed but did not play in West Ham United’s 1-0 loss vs. Manchester United in the FA Cup on Wednesday.
  • Tim Ream dressed but did not play in Bolton Wanderers’ 2-0 win vs. Sunderland in the FA Cup on Tuesday.
  • Stuart Holden came off the bench and played 16 minutes for Bolton Wanderers.
  • Jonathan Spector did not dress in Birmingham City’s 2-1 loss vs. Leeds United in the FA Cup on Tuesday. He is recovering from an ankle injury.
  • Will Packwood did not dress for Birmingham City. He is recovering from a leg injury.

SPAIN

La Liga

  • Oguchi Onyewu dressed but did not play in Malaga CF’s 2-2 draw vs. Barcelona in Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

ITALY

    • Michael Bradley started, played 120 minutes and helped set up a goal in AS Roma’s 1-0 extra-time win vs. Fiorentina in Coppa Italia on Wednesday.

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What do you think of these performances? Impressed by Bradley’s pass that helped initiate Roma’s winner? How much longer do you think it will take before Holden can start a match for Bolton?

Share your thoughts below.

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52 Responses to Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

  1. Big Dave says:

    I use to be hard on this boy because he was the coaches son. Big Dave was wrong. This kid has developed into a beast. Great Xavi like pass to set up the goal.

  2. bgood says:

    It is those types of passes that may prompt Bradley to play as more of an attacking midfielder for us. We can then have Jones or Williams play in their more comfortable # 6 role. With his work rate he won’t be our ‘creative’ midfielder, but Bradley can certainly get the attack started.

  3. ed - houston says:

    hopefully there are no more doubters against cameron. he is the real deal and can play anywhere on the backline, not to mention the midfield. he will go the distance with the nats as well. hopefully gonzalez can win the other CD slot.

  4. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    What a ball by Bradley.

    • David JS says:

      perfect example of the killer pass not being an “assist”. All Pjanic and Destro had to do was not f*ck it up.

    • Kevin_Amold says:

      Conjures up memories of the ball to Fabian Johnson that was crossed for Gomez to put in against Brazil in DC a few months ago. Great pass.

  5. biff says:

    Must have been a wild game. According to the match report, there were nine yellow cards, one yellow-red, and two red cards issued, the game ending with only 19 players on the field. Bradley was the recipient of one of the yellow cards.

    • G-Loff says:

      I hear that Jermaine Jones also received one of the yellow cards even though he is not a member of either of the teams playing, and wasn’t currently in the same country.

    • David says:

      I, not realizing what type of game I was watching, turned off the feed before the overtime session. But I can tell you that before that it wasn’t aaaaallll that chippy. Bradley caught a dude from behind, clear yellow. There was no in-your-face crap, just some hard tackles that the ref wasn’t standing for.

      Like I said though, didn’t see overtime, not sure if those reds were a blow up (if you look at the match report, they all happened around or at the same time) or just people getting second yellows. I assume the former as, like I just mentioned, the reds all came out around the same time.

      Also, I don’t watch a ton of Italian league soccer, is it typical for players to get sooooo whiney when they don’t get the ball? I saw at least a handful of times when a ball wasn’t pass to someone else and the play died and the player who wanted the ball would throw up his arms and fuss like a small child (two or three Roma players did this when Bradley was coming down the filed and opted to shoot instead of pass). It was kind of annoying to watch, but thought maybe it was typical of this league.

  6. Goalkeeper72 says:

    What position has Bradley been playing for Roma?

    • malkin says:

      He’ll play on either the right or the left side, but generally in an attacking mid role with another midfielder behind him. Didn’t watch the game and the goal highlight would suggest he was in his standard position in right midfield, but he was actually listed as a forward yesterday.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        good info, just goes to show that he moves all around. i’ve definitely seen him at left mid.

      • fortunate only says:

        Given the formation Roma plays, all the midfielders are “attacking” but that doesn’t mean Bradley is an attacking midfielder.

        • malkin says:

          I only say that because there is generally somebody (de rossi) that lies a bit deeper. Check out ESPN’s average position maps for the games over the last couple months … unfortunately they didn’t track it for yesterday’s game, which would have been nice to compare given the “F” next to his name for the first time.

          • Edwin in LA says:

            I don’t know why but ESPNFC has pretty much done without the positional maps and I hate it because it gives you a sense if someone like say Geoff Cameron played in Right Back, Left Back or Center Back???

            And where are they spending their time on the field with the heat map….

    • Nate Dollars says:

      believe he’s playing either center mid or left mid in a 3-man midfield, although it can be hard (for me) to tell because all of the front 6 (and at least 1 outside back) are constantly running on the break.

  7. the offic says:

    poor Gooch. Barely plays 1 match a month for Malaga. Dude should have signed with a French/Turkish club last summer and back in 09.

    • malkin says:

      Why did Sporting Lisbon loan him out, anyways? Wasn’t he playing pretty regularly last season?

      • kevin says:

        injury from feb to april. Manager was fired. New manager didnt want him. Not long after he was loaned, that manager was then fired

        • kb says:

          I’m fine with Gooch not seeing time. That means there is no way JK will insert him back into the USMNT.

          • Isaac says:

            Literally one of the DUMBEST statements I’ve ever seen on this website. Ever.

            Do you not realize the positive correlation between a player’s playing time and their quality of play? Come on, dude. It’s not rocket science.

  8. the offic says:

    Bradley may become the greatest ever American footballer ever in Europe. Friedel, Keller, Reyna, McBride, Beasley, Dempsey all have recognition but Bradley has a possible 10more years as a pro and 2-3 more WCs.

    • pgloerse says:

      Very valid point. The position he plays and his legendary fitness could have him playing until he is 35-36 even.

      • Ryan says:

        Plus whatever weird Italian voodoo where players can still be top quality until they’re almost 40.

  9. kevin says:

    dudes Bradley should have signed with Valencia. Theyre in the CL. Though Roma has more history and poularity

    • Philbin says:

      I think he made the right call… He built himself a good reputation while at Chievo last year to make this move and Italian teams shop their players around like it’s nobody’s business. He’ll probably end up playing for Juve, Milan, and Inter by the end of next season. I’m sure he’ll get some CL experience.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        “He’ll probably end up playing for Juve, Milan, and Inter by the end of next season.”

        wow, that’s quite the statement. i would love to see that, but you’ve really got to be top class to break into those teams.

    • TomG says:

      It’s difficult to sign with a club that doesn’t make an offer for you.

  10. Scrandal says:

    Did Malaga play their first eleven versus Barca? I noticed Demiceles did not start and it seemed some of the player numbers were outside of the 2-11? I was discouraged Gooch didn’t start as he’s started all the other Copa del Ray matches.

  11. Annelid Gustator says:

    Nice pass.

  12. Brain Guy says:

    Isn’t this where somebody is supposed to make a snarky remark about Bradley getting so much playing time only because he’s secretly related to Roma’s coach?

    • ThaDeuce says:

      No, it’s the time where you say the defenders sucked, they lapsed and should have done better. anyone could make such an easy square pass at an angle on the spot that cuts through the defense if the defenders aren’t playing!

      • GW says:

        “anyone could make such an easy square pass at an angle on the spot that cuts through the defense if the defenders aren’t playing!”

        Anyone? Sure, anything you say.

  13. THomas says:

    Wow…the old 4-1 extra time win. Not very common

  14. 2tone says:

    Bradley continues to evolve into a great all around midfielder. Most important player for the USMNT right now. How nice would it be to have Holden and Bradley as the two attacking CM’s in front of a DM like Edu or Williams. Personally I think Jones will be on the bench when Holden is back.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing somethign like this against Germany in May.

    Deuce—————EJ—————–Zusi

    ———–Holden———-Bradley———-

    ——————–Edu————————
    Fabian—–Cam——Gonzo——-Chandler
    ——————–Howard————————

    • malkin says:

      Edu over Jones or Williams? Really? And I’ll stick with Jozy over EJ, but that’s a different topic altogether (and a toss-up anyways).

    • Jeremy says:

      If you are using that formation, then I would put Gomez as right forward instead of Zusi; and put a Zusi a spot in the middle. But, I think USMNT works better in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-1-1.

    • STX81 says:

      Holden has no business being any where near the USMNT right now. His just seeing the field for the first time in almost 2 years. Let him recapture his form before we start penciling him in.

    • ed - houston says:

      no edu and no holden…

    • bryan says:

      ok, i’ll pretend Holden is back and in good form….but still, no Jozy and you have Edu over Williams or Jones. i don’t get that.

    • Paul Miller says:

      Bradley is our most important player, and he’ll be given what right now is the most important responsibility in our midfield, I believe. That’s stopping through balls before they start. DM. And he will stay play box to box, but he goes forward knowing what his responsibilities are upon transition to defense. At least that’s how I see it.

      Jones will be with him. If anyone doubts that, they arguably don’t know Klinsmann well. Klinsmann is a chemistry guy, and believes Jones’ edginess is part of the chemistry USMNT needs.

      I don’t think it will be Zusi on the right (and I think the wings will be viewed as coming out of the midfield). Maybe Gatt, or maybe Klinsmann uses an attacker there like EJ. I’m thinking Gatt – at least I think the Donovan-replacement job is his to lose at camp.

    • GW says:

      “Personally I think Jones will be on the bench when Holden is back.”

      Only if JK is not the manager.

  15. Dennis says:

    Bradley certainly did not play like a forward. Destro did almost all of the forward running and
    Bradley hit him with at least two 50 yard passes from deep lying positions. The only time MB looked really forwardish is when he stole the ball up top and gave it to Destro on a very quick counter. Most of the time MB was back about even with diRossi, roaming around midfield and breaking up plays. He covered a lot of ground and was looking pretty gassed at the end of regulation time, but then so was everyone else. The game had a lot of end-to-end action and more than enough chances and near-misses that it looked more like a 3-3 game than one that was 0-0 at the end of 90.

  16. ThaDeuce says:

    Bradley absolutely unlocked that defense.

  17. skyman says:

    Almost COMPLETELYoff topic: I watched some parts of the 2009 win over Spain, and I still haven’t gotten over the loss of Charlie Davies on the USMNT. He was soooo fast, and very solid with the ball. Does anyone know if he’s playing for the Randers still? Shall I just write him off entirely? I know his character hasn’t the best, but I’m very curious still. . .