After the U.S. Men's Team's stunning 2-1 comeback win over Germany in today's friendly, I was tempted to write another post about Michael Bradley. But Jason Davis over at espnfc.com already has.
Or maybe I already have - Davis makes many of the same points that I did after the Netherlands match. Not that I think he's plagiarizing or anything. But maybe proof that sometimes I'm on the mark? Check out the highlighted sections below, then my post from earlier this week.
Michael Bradley leads U.S. to stunning win over World Cup champs Germany
Three musings after the United States closed out a strong European sojourn with a thrilling 2-1 win Wednesday against Germany in Cologne on Jurgen Klinsmann's first trip to his native land as U.S. national team coach.
1. Michael Bradley, playmaker
He doesn't wear the No. 10 jersey (that would be Mix Diskerud), but Michael Bradley is undoubtedly the Americans' driving creative force. Just as he did against the Netherlands, Bradley served as the key man in the U.S. attack, starting moves and setting up goals with his vision and accuracy. Apparently Klinsmann was on to something when he moved Bradley into the role last summer at the World Cup.
Back then, the Toronto FC man seemed prone to trying to do too much, effectively running himself out of games by attempting to cover too much ground. In two friendlies on this European trip, all things flowed from Bradley in the American midfield. His final passes grab the most attention, but he was equally important moving the ball, allowing the United States to gain some semblance of possession whenever possible.
|Bradley in today's match against Germany (photo from espnfc.com).|
After halftime changes provided him a solid backstop in Kyle Beckerman, Bradley was free to think entirely forward-first. The number of times he both started attacks and put himself in position to be available to finish them is a testament to his improving understanding of his role on this team.
The only black mark on Bradley's performance was the shot he hit directly at the German keeper, Ron-Robert Zieler that would have turned a strong 1-1 draw against the world champions into a stunning win. Luckily for Bradley, Bobby Wood arrived to lace home a wicked left-footed shot with Germany stretched, surprising the crowd and lifting the United States to a second consecutive win on the road in Europe against a top-10 team.