Injured Bradley opts to stay with USMNT ahead of high-profile Mexico qualifier

Michael Bradley

Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Michael Bradley will not be on the field when his U.S. Men’s National Team teammates take on Mexico in a highly-anticipated World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.

He won’t be very far from it, though.

Despite sustaining a Grade 2 left ankle sprain that ruled him out of last Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica and Tuesday’s bout with El Tri, Bradley has chosen to stick around with his U.S. teammates instead of heading immediately back to AS Roma.

Bradley was seen walking around the field at Crew Stadium without crutches or a brace during the Americans’ practice session on Wednesday afternoon and took some time to speak to the media to about his decision to stay with the U.S., something that the veteran midfielder clearly values.

“For me now, the main focus has still been being around the guys, being around the group,” said Bradley, who is the only U.S. player of the four unavailable ones for Tuesday’s match to remain with the team. “Just helping in any little way I can (to) make sure that as a team we’re ready to step on the field tomorrow night.”

Bradley said the ankle, which he injured while doing shooting drills late in pre-game warm-ups prior to the U.S.’s 3-1 loss to Costa Rica last Friday, is feeling good and improving with each passing day. But he also expressed some displeasure with having to miss such vital games in the Americans’ qualifying campaign.

“On a personal level, disappointing,” said Bradley. “As a player, as a competitor, you want to be on the field all the time, you want to be out there when the stakes are at their highest, so to miss these two games is for sure disappointing. Having said that, I’m not the first guy to miss some big games with an injury. I won’t be the last.

“That’s part of what we do, that’s part of dealing with things.”

One of the things Bradley had to do as a result of the injury is speak to AS Roma to discuss his plan for recovery and desire to remain with the U.S. a few more days. Roma ultimately agreed to that approach, deciding that leaving Bradley stateside a little while longer was the best course of action to let him recover.

“I needed to speak with them because, look, it’s my club team, it’s where I am every day,” said Bradley. “I spoke to the doctor there and spoke to them and made it clear that on my end, to be able to be around here for a few days, being able to get good treatment given that we’re in the hotel, having the ability to literally get treatment 24 hours a day, and in the first few days of an ankle sprain those are the most important.

“The ability to get those days of treatment without having to fly and then being able to be around the group for such an important few days before a big game, that was important to me and they understood. From a standpoint of getting my ankle back to 100 percent, they agreed that this was the best way to do it.”

With the 26-year-old Bradley out against Mexico, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will have to turn to any one of Kyle Beckerman, Jose Torres or Mix Diskerud to partner with Jermaine Jones in central midfield. That decision will be a big one for the U.S., as El Tri are expected to try and attack from the opening whistle as they search for three much-needed points.

Whoever it is, Bradley is confident that the job will get done.

“The national team is bigger than any player, it’s bigger than any coach, it’s bigger than any of us,” said Bradley. “So the idea that we have a group that on any given day is ready to rise to the challenge at hand and there’s 11 guys on the field, and a bunch more on the bench, and a bunch more who are maybe sitting at home watching on TV, that feel a part of it, are a part of the group, and are ready to give everything they have for the team.

“That’s what our team is about. When you step on the field in the biggest games, you need every guy to be committed to giving everything they have for the team. I’m sure we’ll have a team full of those guys tomorrow night.”

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152 Responses to Injured Bradley opts to stay with USMNT ahead of high-profile Mexico qualifier

  1. Ben says:

    If for some reason deuce doesn’t regain his top form and doesn’t make the starting 11 the armband should be his to wear.

  2. Paul Miller says:

    Apparently from the Costa Rican perspective, Bradley’s biggest mistake was to not blame his injury on Campbell.

  3. louisz says:

    I think so too

    • Paul Miller says:

      Honestly, though, if USMNT started living down the low-life standards that are common in much of this confederation, I’d have to start rooting for Moldova or somebody like that. Leaving the campbelling to the Costa Ricans. Seems to be the only way they feel they can get ahead, which when you think about, is about the worst fate for any team and its fans.

      • RB says:

        “campbelling”

        I like it.

        And I’d like to see it become the standard reference for such blatant dive-type behavior. Maybe we should all honor Sr Campbell with an effort at bringing that about?

  4. Dinho says:

    Class.

    This guy has Captain America written all over that shiny dome.

    • Paul Miller says:

      He is classy, and has grown and matured much through the years. But I wonder about captain. There isn’t an official on the planet who doesn’t know what Bradley did after the semifinals of the 2009 confeds cup. Is this the guy we want talking to officials? I mean, Bradley would be fine, but how many would hold that grudge against him, even after all this time?

  5. Matt says:

    #shouldbecaptain

    • RB says:

      This. Has been clear for some time, and since before Dempsey was given the armband.

      Meanwhile, at least we’ve now cleared up what “foul” was called on Besler that will prevent him from appearing in this game. And this from a team who calls snow “cheating”…

    • Godfrey Ingram says:

      No brainer… And he would of told Dempsey to piss off on taking that pk and told Landon to step up!

  6. Ryan nanez says:

    Class act. His presence should be felt in the locker. When is he going to be given the armband already? I like demps but he’s definitely not captain material. actually a bad captian. Regardless here’s hoping for 3 points tomorrow!!!! USA! USA!

  7. David M says:

    And contrast this with Jermaine Jones leaving the team and going back to Germany right after the March Costa Rica qualifier instead of staying with the team for the Mexico game four days later.

    • jacknut says:

      Didn’t Jones have a concussion then?

      • David M says:

        Not according to ussoccer.com: “Jurgen Klinsmann made two significant changes from the USA’s 1-0 win against Costa Rica. Maurice Edu replaced an injured Jermaine Jones (left ankle injury) – See more at: link to ussoccer.com

    • EspinDOHla says:

      Come on.
      You can definitely question Jones’s skills and whether or not someone else should be starting over him. Fair play.

      However, don’t question his dedication to the team. It’s funny that you bring up the Costa Rica game because he played awesome in that game…all while having a massive hole in his foot from a bad challenge. A lot of players would have gotten subbed out after that.

      • David M says:

        I just stated a certain fact. You inferred a possible conclusion.

        • dikranovich says:

          no david, you just got busted. now fess up and come clean.

        • LIl' Zeke says:

          “Contrast” was your word. Please explain your choice of that word. For example, one popular use is to “contrast” black and white. Were you meaning to characterize these behaviors has opposites? If so, own it, and please justify.

        • Matt W. says:

          That’s the weakest of responses. Of course you wanted that conclusion inferred. It’s why you asked us to draw the conclusion. Don’t be that guy.

        • EspinDOHla says:

          You insinuated that Jones lacks dedication to the USMNT. If you were not trying to do that and “just stating facts”, it sure didn’t come off that way.

          • David M says:

            Sure that’s my opinion. Why would I hide that? I’ve stated it here before. It is based, among other things, on the fact I mentioned. Your opinion is based on wishful thinking. And it may well be that you’re right and I’m wrong; however, I just don’t happen to believe that.

            • Increase says:

              But then you did hid? You then pretended that might not be what you meant… and that you didn’t say that.

              Either you meant it or you didn’t.

              Also is a bloody gash in one’s foot that required stitches wishful thinking? You aren’t not very good at this whole logic and discourse thing are you.

            • EspinDOHla says:

              Wishful thinking…more like paying attention.

              “Why would I hide that?”
              Ask yourself why you did try to hide that.

              Come out and state your opinion. Don’t say, “I’m just stating facts” when all the while you had ulterior motives.

              Although we have different opinions about Jones, I couldn’t care less if you don’t like the guy (or question his dedication). But making these little snarky comments about him like you did with the “Contrast that to Jermaine Jones….” is kind of pathetic.

              • David M says:

                So, a pathetic comment by someone you don’t know and never will upsets you more than a US national team player (and an occasional captain) leaving the team before an important qualifier to go home?

              • EspinDOHla says:

                Wow, I don’t even know where to begin…

                David M, enjoy the game tomorrow.

                You don’t have to throw a player under the bus in order to compliment another player.

        • SBI TroII says:

          David M? If that stands for David Moyes, all I can do is laugh. But seriously, the “facts” are Jermaine Jones had a hole in his ankle the size of a ping pong ball. If you’re gonna attack people on the internet at least get the “facts” right. He laid his body on the line and finished that game for his country. If you’ve got a problem with that, well that says a lot about you.

  8. StevieBob says:

    Anybody see that video clearly showing Besler did nothing to earn the yellow card? Can we apply to FIFA to reverse it? What bullshit.

    • David M says:

      You and I can’t. The USSF can, but for some reason they never do.

      • tom says:

        No they can’t. On the field decisions can’t be appealed except in the case of mistaken identity (the ref clearly giving a card to the wrong player…and in that instance they’re just reassigning the card, not rescinding it).

        • Len says:

          Actually , I believe (though I’m by no means 100%) that egregious behaviour cannot be punished if the ref sees it on the field (eg a yellow given for a double leg studs up tackle that most would have given a red) but if the act in question was not seen by the ref (in this case egregious diving and simulation) then I believe it can be punished on review after the fact. Still probably would not result in rescinding the yellow to Besler.

        • divers suck says:

          It WAS mistaken identity tom! The Costa Rican should have got a booking for feigning/simulation/diving, you name it! Besler was just standing there with his back turned to the cheating Costa Rican! Mexican referee simply got it wrong!

    • Kev says:

      Saw it! Makes me sick to my stomach. I cannot believe USSF has not filed anything. Absolutely ridiculous and embarrassing for the sport and federation. This two card accumulation is so stupid.

  9. Scott A says:

    This guy, whatta guy.

  10. Nihal says:

    Has anyone thought about playing Zusi or Bedoya centrally? Remember, both players started out as central players, and played there up until very recently. I believe Zusi still plays there for SKC (but I could be wrong).

  11. Joamiq says:

    It’s true, it makes no sense for him to get on another plane so soon after the injury. Hope he regains 100% fitness before too long (and hope he can step right back into his place with Roma when he does)

  12. vik says:

    He’s the real captain of this team regardless of who wears the armband. It’s so clear with actions/comments like these.

  13. Ah says:

    The case for Bradley as captain: he’ll lead the team in a dignified way.

    For Dempsey: it will help keep Dempsey focused if he has the responsibility of the armband.

    Klinsman chose the option that focused on one star player rather than the option focused on the team. In the end, it’s not that big a deal because Bradley is an automatic starter and is a leader regardless, but as others have said, Bradley is the true captain of this team…

  14. TomM says:

    Bradley Jr. speaks just like his father- 48 snippets of sentences strung together with commas. I have the highest respect for both of them.

  15. sendord says:

    This is nothing. Wondowlowski once played a game with a shattered femur and scored seven goals.

  16. George Baldwin says:

    while landy cakes takes 3 month sabbaticals and forsakes the NT, this guy nearly breaks his ankle and decides to stick around to support the team. True class. My next NT jersey will have his name and number on it,

    • Paul says:

      My first was a MB90. Back in 08. i knew he would be special.

    • Nicole says:

      Pardon me, but shut up.

      It’s possible to praise one player without running down another player.

      How soon you forget: LD played for the NT vs. Mexico with the freakin’ Swine Flu. He’s done his fair share of giving his all for the team as well.

      • EspinDOHla says:

        Thank you, Nicole. THANK YOU!!!!

        When did everything become either/or?? We have a story here about Michael Bradley so people’s first instinct is to belittle other players…Why do folks feel the need to insult one player in order to praise another?? Landon’s great. Michael’s great.

        We all want the same thing folks!!

      • beachbum says:

        Nicole, you’re awesome. post more please

    • Advocate says:

      Bradley’s decision certainly reflects well on him. Regarding your criticism of Donovan, however, the man plainly needed the time off. As a result of his decision, the team’s all-time leader in goals and assists is now playing better than ever before. The team is vastly better off than if Donovan had listened to his critics and tried to tough it out and play through his physical and mental exhaustion. Considering how well Donovan has been playing, perhaps JK should require all members of the USMNT to take three months off every year and give them all a paid vacation in Cambodia.

    • JR says:

      so, he’s still not playing and getting good seats to watch the game.

  17. Paul says:

    woah. When did turn 26? It feels like just yesterday i was watching him tear up the 07 world cup.

  18. tom says:

    I’ll play the conspiracy theorist part…just for fun…
    I’m not a doctor but everything I see suggests that with a grade two ankle sprain you’re in a brace and/or have discomfort walking for some time after the incident. Yet all the reports are saying he’s walking around fine without a brace on. Say what?!?!
    DUDE IS GOING TO SURPRISE EVERYONE BY STARTING TOMORROW NIGHT.
    #ZOMG #XFILESO #BRADLEYSANKLEWASANINSIDEJOB
    I don’t actually believe this…but my heart wants to.

    • Adam says:

      Wishful thinking. Hope you are right.

    • Sandtrout says:

      #BRADLEYLOOKEDUPATCHEMTRAILSANDSPRAINEDHISANKLE

      #WHATARETHEYSPRAINING?

    • MN Footie says:

      I had a grade-two ankle sprain a couple years ago. Crutches on days 1-2, walking starting day 3, playing soccer on day 7. (That last one was against the advice of my doctor, obviously, who advised no soccer for 4 weeks. And it was very painful,uncomfortable, and black and blue. But my Co-ed Rec League team was short-handed, so what could I do?)

      • MN Footie says:

        I suppose I should add: My point with the above comment is that, sadly, it’s possible that he’s walking but still not match ready. I love your theory, though.

  19. Adam says:

    Give him the arm band already! On the other hand, he stayed to reflect the light off his head onto Chicharito and Gio’s faces.

  20. Mister JC says:

    I find it so interesting that everyone wants to take the armband away from Dempsey, as if you have knowledge of the locker room and just know he’s a terrible leader. I like Bradley and have stated numerous times that he is our most important player, but sheesh. We so easily forget everything Dempsey has done just in this year alone, and then he doesn’t play as well as you think he should and bam, no more captain. That’s ridiculous, especially considering the conversation below about not belittling one player to praise another…

  21. AC says:

    On the crazy Besler incident, I wonder why we haven’t heard anything from the USSF about the bogus card…..

    link to youtube.com

    • jefh says:

      WOW!!!!! Really good video on this! Obvious cheating! USSF should do something about this. What did the ref see that warrants the yellow card?

    • Mike P. says:

      Everyone should see this!!! These shenanigans need to be eliminated from the game entirely!

    • Guyud says:

      This gets me upset that he gets away with that and results in a yellow card for our player.

    • Ka7 says:

      Does FIFA think this ok?

    • AlexH says:

      Well now that Seth Gulati is on the FIFA executive board maybe he will take a stand for fair play and try……on who am I kidding. This is FIFA and nothing is going to change. If you want justice bring a bribe.

    • Galen H says:

      I agree, USSF should have no reason to not submit this for reconsideration!

      Ives – Send it to your contacts!!!

  22. Bac says:

    In the words of Mr. PINK….
    “What we need here is a little solidarity man”

    Michael Bradley is:
    1. A True warrior and a die-hard player & leader
    2. THE Field General on the usmnt
    3. THE MIP…Most Important Player
    4. The most difficult player to replace
    And the field leader and the future captain America….

    But reading all this negativity about Dempsey and Donovan is ridiculous…

    Replace Deuce as captain after one bad game?
    A. EVERYONE had a bad game
    B. What message does that send… A team with any character doesn’t pull a weak stunt like that
    C. How quickly everyone forgets who carried us through initial qualifying until Jozy found his form

    And regardless of what anyone thought of Donovans decision, he’s done everything 100% right , on and off the field, to regain his spot on the team….

    Why this pointless verbal diarrhea being spewed is beyond me…..

    • FRANK FROM SANTIAGO says:

      You’re making to much sense! and this is the internet, you know better.
      With that said…yeah there are to many drama queens around.
      Good post, Bac.

    • EspinDOHla says:

      Nice post Bac!!!

    • YO says:

      No one said to retire Dempsey…just bench him until he gets some fire up his ass just like JK did with Jozy. A Captain is the heartbeat of the team and leads by example and jumps and runs faster than all –even if it is in his own mind…I don’t see that out of Dempsey. Feels like we just went back to a year back when we were stocked in second gear.

    • Gary Page says:

      Remember when a lot of people said the only reason Bradley was on the national team was because his father was coach? Some fans have no clue.

    • Mackey says:

      From underrated to way overrated too quickly

    • chris_thebassplayer says:

      Bac, who would you rather have as captain at the WC?

      I don’t think anybody would take the armband off him for one poor performance.

      Deuce has always been an enigma with the nats. He scores big big goals, but also kills a ton of developing golden opportunities. He can look really poor with the nats and basically be a complete dead end for the majority of the game and then deliver a massive goal. I’ve had this same conversation on every board with numerous posters for many many years. It always boils down to this, until someone else can step up and deliver the big big goal… and also keep the ball moving quickly in the attacking third, we need Deuce. I totally agree with that, he’s the guy until someone else steps up.

      I think we’re at a tipping point with new attacking options coming in (Johannsson), and also Jozy’s emergence, and LD’s solid form where we need to have the flexibility at ACM or drop forward to try different options other than Deuce. There should be competition at every position including Deuce’s. Making him the captain locks him in as a starter and denies that opportunity, which minimizes our potential growth in the attack. I think JK painted himself into a corner when he made Deuce the captain. Is anybody going to out compete MB in the middle this cycle…doubtful. Could someone step up and play better than Deuce…possibly. I’d rather go with MB as captain at the WC. Due to his stature at his position and his presence as a leader.

      • Bac says:

        Chris,
        With all due respect, I think you’re making my point more valid.
        1. What message does it send to replace the captain after one bad game? Last week everyone was pontificating how deep we may go in Brazil and now people are in crisis mode. If Deuce scores instead of hitting the post are we even having this discussion?
        2. It was ONE poor showing …. by everyone… you don’t go from a 12 game winning streak to replacing the captain after one bad game
        3. When you say he’s been an enigma, or up and down, or whatever, then coming through with a big goal… who else has exactly done anything around him up until a few months ago?
        Jozy didn’t score an open play goal for 2 years
        Donovan was off his game for quite some time even before his sabbatical (with the exception of the hatrick vs Scotland)
        Zusi and Fabian only recently started contributing any meaningful minutes from the wings
        JK put out a different line up every single game trying to find players that could play or contribute in some way
        I can’t wait to see Aron J. play.. but the truth is, he’s played one half in an international friendly, and scored 5 league goals… yet he’s already the annointed one…

        Everyone seems to forget that Deuce was named US player of the year the last 2 years, and put this team on his back through initial qualifying

        If JK has an issue with Deuce, then he should sit down with him privately and lay out his expectations and challenge him, in a positive way

        What he should NOT do, is show panic after one bad game and replace him, especially after a game when the entire team stunk the pitch up

        So to answer your question, right now Deuce is the ONLY choice for me to remain the Captain

        People seem to have an issue with him leaving Spurs, and crucifying him after not scoring in 2 games with Seattle… so be it… everyone has their respective opinion…
        But that has nothing to do with his Captaincy with the usmnt
        And certainly not after ONE game….

        • natsalways says:

          This is kind of an aside, Bac, but a lot of us thought Bradley should have been selected captain instead of Dempsey originally. But I agree with you wholeheartedly: this is not the time to make a switch. Still, I think we see Bradley take the armband after the WC and then hold on to it for six or seven years.

          • Bac says:

            Now that is a valid point, and certainly one for discussion at a future time. I also thought MB was going to get the armband, but he didn’t. He will.
            Boca had the armband for a long time even though he was not the field General for quite some time, yet there wasn’t this much negative venom about displacing him (especially after one game)

            I appreciate your response and agree it is what the future holds, for now I’d hope fans could direct their collective hate where it needs to be

        • chris_thebassplayer says:

          Bac, I respect your opinion.

          I never wanted to take the captaincy from Deuce based on the CR performance. My point was since he is captain and plays ACM/drop forward, he will start at that critical position just about every game…when will someone else get an opportunity to compete at that position. And hypothetically, what happens if someone brings more to that position than Deuce. Do you let that person play and bench the captain or do you automatically start Deuce as the captain?

          Honest question, do you think LD would play that position better than Deuce?

  23. Gary Page says:

    Some people have mentioned this, but I want to reinforce it. Why do some people find it necessary to bash some US players? Most of these players have played multiple times for the US. The US has always been known for its gritty, never give up style of play that continues to this day. That is a testament to the US players who give their all for their country. Donovan has well over 100 caps, has scored in two different WC’s and has more goals and assists than anyone else in US history. His total assists is about 56 and I think # 2 is Cobi Jones at 22. Dempsey now has 100 caps and is second in total goals for the US in history and has scored in two consecutive WC’s. Both players have scored vital goals for the US. And yet I see people who don’t deserve to wash their jocks pass judgment on these two absolutely great players. That is crazy. When I say pass judgment, I don’t mean so and so had a bad game (almost everyone has bad games, by the way),but those who say one doesn’t deserve to be captain or to start or whatever. Personally, I trust Klinsmann’s judgment. When one of the self appointed experts here has scored in multiple WC’s and coached a team in the WC, maybe then I will give their views some credence. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t intend to stifle criticism or discussion, this is aimed at those who make sweeping generalizations based on nothing but their own opinions and rarely if ever offer anything insightful in the way of actual analysis. Maybe I’m being naive in hoping for thoughtful discussion.

    • Brian Taylor says:

      Well said, Gary Page. I’m a Deuce fan and he rises to the occasion so much. It’s frustrating to hear all the haters come out every time he doesn’t score. And as for Bradley, I always looked forward to the day when an American would start for a key club in Serie A. And what he does for the National team is fantastic. And now he’s opting to cheer the team on from the sideline, and again the negativists rush to judgment. I think it’s a classy move. What a pleasure to watch these guys lead by example.

    • MN Footie says:

      Thanks for your comments – I think they’re absolutely spot on. I feel like a bit of an outsider for saying this…. can I say this?… I like Clint Dempsey AND Michael Bradley. Is that okay? I even like Landon Donovan, too… They’re all great players. We should be ecstatic that they’re on the team. And, regarding Bradley’s press conference: Let’s not read too much into it, folks. How do we know Klinsmann didn’t say “Okay, Michael, you’re staying around? Go talk to the media, and take some pressure off the team.”

      More importantly, from my perspective, if MB hadn’t had this press conference, and this article had never been posted, what would we all be doing? Work? That sounds lame; I’d rather post comments on soccer message boards.

    • beachbum says:

      agree bashing the players sucks. recognizing poor performances and why they occurred is different than bashing players. there’s a line between those 2 things, but this is a message board and it can blur up pretty quick evidently, and it seems plenty enjoy bashing certain players too.

      on Klinnsman, he’s been pulling the right strings throughout the summer and we’ve all been enjoying the ride, but no getting around the importance of tonight’s performance in the whole scheme of things

  24. Justin says:

    As far as the USMNT’s captaincy goes…

    BRADLEY > DEMPSEY

  25. divers suck says:

    Few, if any, would argue that MB is likely the undisputed captain of the NATS after Brazil 2014 (if not earlier. That said, the negativity towards Deuce being the captain right now is infuriating! He has been who he has since he donned the US kit 100 caps ago. In short, invisible and seemingly lazy to the point of maddening for many fans, until he scores that game winner and many, many other goals and becomes a hero again. Had Deuce scored instead of hitting the post, or steered his header closer to goal, both vs CR, is this conversation even happening? The unwarranted disdain for Deuce that has littered these, and other soccer boards, because of him returning to MLS is the most likely reason although virtually everyone has to know that he’d be riding pine for the vast majority of his time were he had stayed at ‘Spurs….Clint Dempsey has never been a vocal rah! rah! go team go type of leader/captain and has always let his “talking” carry on in his actions/results on the pitch for many years. If the players/coaches within the confines of the NAT team locker room and pitch had/has a problem with Deuce wearing the armband, then and ONLY then should it get relinquished….NOT because of a bunch of blowhard “know-it-alls” on any soccer thread(s)!!!

    • natsalways says:

      Agreed.

    • MN Footie says:

      I agree with your premise, with one quibble: I’m not sure that it’s perfectly clear that Dempsey would have warmed the bench at Tottenham this year. All he’d ever done in England is work his way from obscurity to stardom at every level, and under each manager. The guy’s a player.

      (Whether Tottenham still wanted him is another question entirely; but if they had, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Deuce work his way into regular playing time. That’s just how he is, and has always been.)

      • divers suck says:

        That may be true up to a certain point. He is 30 years old and, perhaps, took advantage of the last relatively long, big contract he is/will ever get, in addition to coming home to the states to raise his family. With the huge riches ‘Spurs got from selling Gareth Bale, they were always gonna purchase younger players and Deuce would have been easily replaced….He played the right card as far as I’m concerned, and certainly doesn’t deserve his NAT armband taken away because of it.

  26. Hayes says:

    About being captain, I have no clue as to what goes on behind the scenes so I cannot speak to it.

    As far as Dempsey goes, I really wish JK would put him on the left with Donovan and either EJ/AJ up top and Bedoya on the right in a more traditional 4-4-2. F Johnson, behind Demps, provides the width on the right while the RB, probably Parkhurst stays home a little more. Dempsey and the teams he has played on have been much more effective when he is on the left and drifts into the pockets of space than when he plays in the center.

    Play something like this:

    ————————–EJ————————————–
    ———————————–LD—————————–
    ——Demps——————————————Bedoya
    ———————–Mix——-Jones————————-
    LJ———-Goodson———-Gonzalez——-Parkhurst
    ————————-Howard———————————

  27. biff says:

    Quite frankly, I think Michael Bradley ahead of this game should have kept himself in the background with his mouth firmly shut. Now he’s turned the spotlight on himself (surprise, surprise) ahead of a huge game instead of leaving it where it should be–on the team. His comments appear almost designed to trigger the inevitable captaincy discussion, and it’s clear he is campaigning for the armband. We’ve known for years he wanted the armband and if his dad were still coach he would no doubt now be captain.

    And for those who incessantly clamor for MB to be captain, I can only say that we do not know what goes in the locker room and it is possible that MB in there is not the most popular player or seen as a leader. We don’t know. And as I have said before, I think it would be a huge mistake to name MB captain until the senior guys are gone who were with him on the team back when he was still Baby Bradley with his father coach. There might still be some uneasy feelings from that time. We don’t know.

    • biff says:

      Just to add: I think Clint has been a good captain and I think Landon Donovan and Timmy Howard and Steven Cherundolo (if he comes back) and Jermaine Jones are all deserving of the captaincy and are ahead of MB on the captaincy list. There also are some younger guys coming up already showing leadership, like Joe Corona, who are potential captains when Clint steps down after WC 2014. It might be that the new generation of players will not be gravitating toward MB as their leader but one of the younger guys.

      • Brett says:

        Cherundolo would be an excellent choice, but his international career is over. He can’t even stay healthy at the club level, so how is he going to juggle that AND international duty.

        Same with Holden, whom I think would have made a good captain.

        Jermaine Jones is too much of an unknown quantity to be captain. The captain should be a steady, calming presence, not a reckless, yellow-card loving turnover machine.

        I don’t like keepers to wear the armband because the armband is like a license to jaw with the ref. Better to have that player box-to-box than stuck in his own area. That player should also be multi-lingual, and I think Bradley has everyone beat on that front (fluent in English, Spanish, German, Dutch, and Italian [maybe more]).

      • UMF89 says:

        Joe Corona, Captain?……Captain?….Captain after WC 2014? Captain…Biff slooooow down…..put down the glass of Corona and move away from the keg….

    • Brett says:

      Are you suggesting he went looking for reporters to ask him questions? I think he would have been perfectly fine to watch the team train without having to answer questions about why he was still there.

      I agree with you about the armband, but honestly, I don’t know who else is more deserving. Dempsey tends to sulk if he doesn’t get involved, and he also tends to finger-point instead of encourage. Landon isn’t one of the more vocal guys, otherwise he’d have been made captain for life two cycles ago. Most of the other guys are too young, inexperienced, or don’t have great chemistry with the rest of the team.

      Unless we’re just going to give it to the goalkeeper, MB really seems to be the most logical choice. Before his injury, he was byfar the steadiest, most relied-upon member of the squad. He links up defense and attack as well as the flanks. He’s always running. He sets a great example. He’s always been fairly soft-spoken, letting his play do the talking, but other than that he seems to be a fitting candidate for the job.

    • EvertonBrian says:

      I’m with Biff!

      Castillo for captain!

      MB is such a joke!

    • Nate Dollars says:

      oh you crazy, biff.

      the only reason his comments seem ‘designed to trigger the inevitable captaincy discussion’ is that he sounds like a captain, and always has.

      also, i love that you think that it would be a ‘huge mistake’ to name him captain while there are still bob bradley’s leaders on the team, but then in your next comment say that he should not be captain after 2014 because the younger guys may not ‘gravitate’ toward him.

      the conclusion: michael bradley–who’s been a stalwart for our national team for 5 years (and, most likely, at least 5 more)–who has rarely underperformed–who has always shown a passion for winning and defending the team against critics–shouldn’t ever be the captain because he’s too young…and too old.

    • Jason B says:

      As you said “we dont know what goes on in the locker room”. How do we know that he wants the captains armband? How do we know he isnt putting more attention on himself to take some pressure of the other guys? How do we know that he has some hidden agenda? Cmon Biff, there are 2 sides to every story. Dont hate on MB90. Read the last 2 paragraphs in the article. Isnt that all we can ask from a player. You gotta love this guy!

      • MN Footie says:

        This was exactly my thought – it’s just as likely that he’s holding a press conference as a way to release the pressure the team must be feeling ahead of this game. Auditioning for the captaincy? Or falling on his sword by talking to the media? I have to think the latter.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Biff says a lot of dumb stuff.

    • beachbum says:

      biff my man, come on now.

  28. Dennis says:

    I don’t think who the coach names a captain makes that much difference. There is little the captain actually does that any other player cannot do. It is a nice way for a coach to demonstrate that he has faith in a player, but little else. There is nothing in the LOTG that recognizes a team captain. To make some claim that a coach choosing a team captain is anything more than locker room politics or that it might be interpreted as a coach having a favorite or in the case of “demoting” team captain that the player was no longer a favorite is just wrong. Perhaps one could argue that a coach choosing a player the team felt was unsuitable would be poor team management and could have negative effects, but that is about it.

    • Brett says:

      The captain is typically the only player allowed to confront the referee.

      • Dennis says:

        That is not true. It is some old throwback to customs from school games. Certainly, the captain or any player may not confront the referee unless he wants a caution or ejection for his trouble, at best, he can ask for an interpretation of a call, and the referee is not obliged to give it.

        The captain and for that matter, the coach as well, have no role during a soccer match. Eleven player present themselves on the field and if they are among the players allowed in that particular competition, they are the team. Substitutes, who must be legible for the competition, similarly must present themselves to the referee. Admitedly, the coach acting on behalf of the governing body names a roster (that must be approved by the governing body(ies)) and names the starters who will present themselves on the field, often with a formal list, and tells the substitutes and officials when/who will be substituted. The team captain by custom participates in pre-game formalities, coin toss, exchanging trinkets before the game, etc. But neither the coach nor the captain have any formal duties or rights conferred on them for actions they might or should take during the run-of-play.

  29. Brain Guy says:

    The notion that Bradley sought out the press to start up some sort of discussion or controversy about the captaincy strikes me as preposterous. He’s sticking around the team to support his teammates, answered reporters’ questions, did not criticize anyone, and stressed that “[t]he national team is bigger than any player.” What’s the problem?

    • biff says:

      I didn’t say that, Brain Guy. But after the comments look what has happened. Before a huge important game, we now have MB fans attacking Captain Clint Dempsy and creating turmoil that we do not need and that might now spill on to the playing field tonight. I just don’t see the need for MB to be out now before the press acting captain-like when he won’t be playing. I don’t see it being beneficial. On the contrary it seems to be disruptive as we see from hate below directed toward Clint and this cannot be helpful for Clint or to the rest of the team. The focus and all the support now should be on the guys who will be suiting up and playing.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        ‘I just don’t see the need for MB to be out now before the press acting captain-like when he won’t be playing.’

        you’re so close and you don’t even know it. MB has always acted ‘captain-like’.

        all he’s doing is answering questions from reporters; it’s just that you (and the rest of us) are recognizing his quotes as something a captain would say.

      • Brain Guy says:

        Here are your words, biff: “His comments appear almost designed to trigger the inevitable captaincy discussion, and it’s clear he is campaigning for the armband.” Now you claim that Bradley is somehow to blame because fans are saying things — to each other — that might “creat[e] turmoil” and “spill on to the playing field.” I think you give us way too much credit. Is it at all likely that the team will be distracted by what we post on websites?

        • Brett says:

          Yeah, you didn’t know that Clint and Landon frequent the SBI comment sections when looking for inspiration?

          Deuce doesn’t need to worry about what the fans say, he needs to worry about his WORK RATE and start playing the game for his team instead of for himself.

      • run says:

        biff, I think you add a lot of interest to SBI comments and I enjoy reading your threads (just properly buttering) but you are making a blind supposition here about Bradley’s motivations. I also have a hard time seeing how his (and SBI commenters) words and his dedication to the team are concerning to Dempsey or any of the USMNT.

  30. Dirk McQuigley says:

    Armband? Captain America doesn’t need no stinking armband. He wears his freaking cape underneath his USA jersey. Seriously, MB90 is the most important US MNT player right now. Once upon a time it was Claudio Reyna. Hopefully, he can provide necessary leadership from the bench against Mexico for whomever JK puts out in central midfield. I know he’s slow, but Beckerman might be able to work well as a a destroyer. He was pretty good against B level competition in the Gold Cup, but this is ain’t no Gold Cup. OR Jones could play destroyer with a more offensive option higher up the pitch. Would Klinsi dare attempt a diamond 4-4-2? Regardless of who plays for us, this match will either be won or lost by our midfield/defense combo.

  31. Smacking says:

    Good for Bradley for wanting to be around the team, but he doesn’t belong there. It’s harsh but he is not a coach and he isn’t in a position to contribute on the field. His presence only serves as a distraction to the players that will actually take the field. If he wants to watch from the stands, great.

  32. beachbum says:

    we’ll miss Michael for sure but expect JJ to play a tremendous game tonight in response to Friday’s outing. the issue of course is who links in central midfield without Michael, and it’s really not JJ’s deal though he is asked to do it, like Friday. After MB90, Holden would be the guy or a player like that, but after him it drops off. Could see Torres getting the call since Beckerman/Cameron are too much like JJ in role though JJ may be asked to do it if paired with Beckerman or Cameron; seems difficult to believe Klinnsman would pair JJ/Cameron again though. we’ll see

    also, with Mexico expected to press forward with numbers that might find LD open to light the counter as he has so often vs. them in the past, maybe with EJ

  33. bryan says:

    Bradley is the sh!t.