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A Few Minutes With Michael Bradley

The purpose of my interview session with USA midfielder Michael Bradley this morning at the team hotel was to gather information for an article that will probably appear in Thursday's print editions (and on washingtonpost.com, of course). Lots of great stuff tracing his development and experience as a wee lad hanging around D.C. United and Chicago Fire training camps while his father was coaching.

We also discussed his situation at struggling Borussia Moenchengladbach, a topic that seemed perfect for today's blog. As you might have read, the Bundesliga club (three points from seven matches) has dismissed coach Jos Luhukay and named sporting director Christian Ziege, the former German international, as interim manager. Perhaps the move will lead to additional playing time for Bradley.

When his flight landed in the U.S. the other day, he switched on his phone and saw a text message from Ziege informing him of the coaching change.

Were you surprised by the club's decision?

"Not surprised. It's such a big club and there is so much pressure from the fans and the club itself, you have to do well. We lost a lot of games pretty badly and then 2-1 to Cologne. That was sort of the last straw. Cologne is our big derby. It means everything to the fans, and when you have that bad run and it's capped off by losing to Cologne, you knew it was going to happen. You hear the rumblings. Everybody knew if we lost that game to Cologne, there was probably going to be a change."

Will your relationship with Ziege help your situation at the club?

"Ziege is the sporting director and everyone has a relationship with him. He is around every day, he sits on the bench at the games, he is out at training quite a bit. I think it will be a good thing for me because, at the end of the day, he was the one who really, really pushed hard to bring me to the club. I think he has confidence in me and he likes the qualities that I can bring to a team. So I am hopeful that, when I get back, there are good opportunities. We need to go on a big run and I hope to help turn things around."

How are your German language skills coming along?

"It's really similiar to Dutch so I can understand a lot of it and put some sentences together. I think I will pick it up quickly. I am fluent in Dutch. I spoke a lot of English in Holland my first year with some guys from English-speaking countries, but after a lot of them left I was on my own, so I had to speak it to communicate well. I don't think I will have too much trouble with German."

I will be back with more from USA training camp later today.....

By Steve Goff  |  October 7, 2008; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Fred Out for Regular Season

Comments


great - looking forward to the article!

Posted by: maw | October 7, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

up next on the Insider:
"A Few Minutes with Momma Bradley?"

Posted by: fam | October 7, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to speak English good.

Posted by: Joe Doc | October 7, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Any word on expected attendance numbers?

Posted by: jgildea | October 7, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I do ok with English, but with American, specifically Virginian, well, that's different...

Posted by: 22206 | October 7, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Boy do I hope it's true that the now-interim manager is a big MB fan and really pushed to bring him to Germany.

Posted by: eric | October 7, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

must be nice to have a FO that takes serious its expectation of being the best, and when the ship is going down, they take action to right the situation.

Posted by: downtown | October 7, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

My English is OK, but I have a hard time pronouncing words like licence, practise, and harbour.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 7, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Goff. Great tidbit.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info. Always good, as usual.

Goff, If you get the chance, could you ask Bradley senior why he hasn't called Cooper in yet, and if (and when) he plans to call him in in the future?

This would be much appreciated. Thanks...

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Keep up the fantastic work Steve. Sweet stuff drawing parallels with Michael's Club and our very own Local catastrophe.
Could we see Soehn lose his job before the season is over? I doubt it, but it does make you kind of daydream doesn't it?

Posted by: dadryan | October 7, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

What hotel is the team staying at?

Thanks

Posted by: Ameobi | October 7, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Great teaser Steven...

Posted by: Shannon DCU Fan Lost in LA | October 7, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Where are they training? In RFK? At the DCU practice fields?

Posted by: Bootsy | October 7, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Goff what hotel are they staying at? I need to order 5 dozen pizzas, send them some local exotic dancers and need time to introduce them to Howards marching band as they serenate them for the next couple of nights.

-Viva la revolucion

Posted by: Fidel | October 7, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Z text to Bradley zing zing.

Posted by: td | October 7, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

What tease?

Posted by: RK | October 7, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Future interview posted by Goff:

Were you surprised by the club's decision?

"Not surprised. It's such a storied club and there is so much pressure from the fans and the ownership, you have to do well. We lost a lot of games pretty badly and then 3-0 to Chivas. That was sort of the last straw. Chivas is our big derby. It means everything to the fans, and when you have that bad run and it's capped off by losing at home, you knew it was going to happen. You hear the rumblings. Everybody knew if we lost that game to them, there was probably going to be a coaching change."

Posted by: ML | October 7, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Sure hope he does get more playing time and develop more.

Posted by: Krista | October 7, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

He has trouble getting playing time for a team I'm sure most Germans can't pronounce, yet he goes the full 90 in every match the US National Team plays.

How could this be? :)

Posted by: Glaucon | October 7, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why Bradley switched from a team where he got tons of playing time to one where he warms the bench. I guess he thought he was too good for the dutch league. Another american ridin' pine. Maybe he'll get more playing time in the 2. Bundesliga next year.

Posted by: mizage | October 8, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Give the guy a break, he is a 21 year old central midfielder, adjusting to a new club in a better league. He'll get his minutes soon ... Lukas Podolski can't make starting XI for Bayern and yet plays for the German Natl' team, how can this be?

Posted by: JpJ | October 8, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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