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Bradley Speaks

During a pre-Gold Cup teleconference with reporters today, USA Coach Bob Bradley addressed a variety of topics ahead of Saturday's opener vs. Grenada in Seattle (7 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel):

On Santino Quaranta's return to the national team.....

"Toward the second half of last year and so far this year, his play has been very good. It's only been a couple days for me here [in Seattle], but people who I have talked to along the way have all mentioned the way he has grown as a person, and the combination of that maturity with the soccer talent lends itself to another good opportunity here at this time. Santino is a talented player -- technically, physically. We certainly see every time we test ourselves against the top teams in the world what those games are all about, and the fact that he has both the technical side of it as well as the physical ability in terms of speed and strength, I think he is a talented player and we are hopeful and this is a good thing to have him back and hopefully he can take advantage of it."

On weighing the importance of player evaluation with results in Gold Cup.....

"Our goal clearly is to defend our championship. We know that at times there are many different factors that get considered when putting a roster together, but once we work together, our focus is the way we go about our business, the way we play."

On the possible use of the seven added players.....

"The players that have been added will be considered as we move through the tournament. So we have not finalized all the decisions yet, but there are factors for different guys in terms of how much they played and rest. We now have more options as we move forward."

Freddy Adu comments below.....

On Freddy Adu's status.....

"It's important that Freddy can now, with his club team, make the next step. Certainly we recognize that there is talent, and yet it's not easy to come into a national team during a period when you are not playing [for your club] and play against the likes of Italy and Spain and Brazil. Having him in the group is a way of letting him know that we still want to keep trying to push him forward, but it's most important that he can push his way through with his club team so that playing time, that experience, the lessons you learn on the field start to help him with the national team."

And why Jozy Altidore, who doesn't play much in Europe either, is ahead of Adu with the national team.....

"At this time, Jozy has shown that he is closer to being able to step onto the field to contribute. It hasn't been as clear with Freddy."

On the possible Gold Cup starting lineups.....

"The games come quickly, obviously this time of the year in the United States, in some cities it's very warm, the need to rotate players, and then what you hope is that as you play through the first round and into the quarterfinals, certain things start to take hold so that you have a very good idea as to your best team going into the latter part of the tournament."

USSF President Sunil Gulati was also on the call and addressed a question about whether the Americans have an advantage with a 30-player pool compared to the other 11 Gold Cup teams with 23.....

"I guess it's a competitive disadvantage to have played five games that ended three days ago 10,000 miles away. The way we look at it is, we've had a long period, and not just in any tournament, but a tournament that we earned the right to participate in by being Gold Cup champions. ... It may well end up being the case that, in fact, depending on how many games we end up playing in the tournament, Bob doesn't play more than 23 players. That's going to be up to him. So we don't view it as a big competitive advantage. We think it's a plus for CONCACAF, for us and for the competition in that some of the players that just participated in the Confederations Cup will have the opportunity, or at least eligibility, to play in the Gold Cup. I don't think it's a very big issue, frankly."

By Steve Goff  |  July 2, 2009; 5:26 PM ET
Categories:  Gold Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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Comments

Good follow-up question on Altidore. Way to challenge him.

Posted by: googlio | July 2, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Steve. Those were my thoughts exactly, googlio. Bradley still can't make up a valid excuse though.

Posted by: sitruc | July 2, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"and yet it's not easy to come into a national team during a period when you are not playing [for your club] and play against the likes of Italy and Spain and Brazil."

Good point, Bob. Now can you explain why you played Beasley against Italy and Brazil?

Posted by: EdTheRed | July 2, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Goff: Did anyone ask Bradley about Torres, and where he stood in the USMNT pecking order?

Posted by: Juan-John | July 2, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

On Jozy, Bob should've said "Our forwards are awful, that's why I threw a 19-year-old in there. Oh yeah, there was that hat trick, too."

Posted by: Reignking | July 2, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Good of Bradley to recognize what Santino has gone through, and to reward him with this opportunity.

The headlines are filled with athletes who have failed under such circumstances. Tino's story is a great one, and I hope he shines at the Gold Cup.

Oh, and good interview, Steve!

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 2, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the US match with Greneda at 9 pm EST?

Goff has it listed as 7pm. Maybe he was confusing it with United's 7pm match at Cowlumbus

Posted by: ARickey | July 2, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Reignking. Altidore has less competition for his position -- plus his physicality can overcome rustiness and inexperience. Freddy's game requires him to be really sharp.

Here's the thing about Freddy -- people are upset at his foreign coaches because he's not playing for his club teams, and upset at Bradley because he's not using him much for the USMNT. Isn't it just barely possible that all these coaches are seeing the same thing -- things that bloggers don't see because they don't have access to the practices? It's unfortunate because Freddy's in a Catch-22. He needs the work -- which he's not getting because he needs work.

It's up to him to break this Gordian knot. Either force his team to play him (leave the video games for later, and just work harder than anyone else), or go to a club where he will play. Yeah, he can do magic with the ball, but it would seem he needs to get better at the less flashy stuff that makes for a strong team. I'm sure Bradley is judging him on what he sees, not on something as arbitrary as playing time.

Posted by: fischy | July 2, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

"Isn't it just barely possible that all these coaches are seeing the same thing -- things that bloggers don't see because they don't have access to the practices"

Bloggers are omnipresent, omniscient, and omnivorous.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 2, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

On why Beasley played (Jun '06 - Nurnberg):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV06Q65KvlA&feature=PlayList&p=BFBFAFD89787B62D&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=14

Why it may be a long time before Beasley plays again for the USMNT (Jun '10 - South Africa):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv_gUdLe3TM&feature=related

Posted by: fischy | July 2, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"So we don't view it as a big competitive advantage. We think it's a plus for CONCACAF, for us and for the competition in that some of the players that just participated in the Confederations Cup will have the opportunity, or at least eligibility, to play in the Gold Cup."

What is he talking about??? Obviously it's an advantage! And if you wanted to have the players play in the Gold Cup you should have named them to begin with. It maybe good for CONCACAF if we win it because of soccers popularity bubble at the moment, but that's the only truth of his statement. Gulati=D-Bag.

Posted by: bighungry | July 2, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Goff, nice Beckham reference from the previous thread . . Wahl's book might just sell . . can't believe the Goldenballs didn't fork over the coin for that team dinner.

If I had known that he wasn't paying beforehand, and if I were one one of those guys making $12,700 a year, I'd have been down at the other end of the table eating bread and asking for more water.

Posted by: delantero | July 2, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

nd why Jozy Altidore, who doesn't play much in Europe either, is ahead of Adu with the national team.....

"At this time, Jozy has shown that he is closer to being able to step onto the field to contribute. It hasn't been as clear with Freddy."

This is just pure garbage response. I don't even want to start this thing anymore.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | July 2, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Somebody brought up Beasley's playing against Italy and Brazil as a counter to Bradley's statement about why Adu didn't play -- that he wasn't playing for his club team.

Two points:

First, didn't the way Beasley played sort of show the wisdom of not playing guys who weren't getting regular playing time for their club, unless completely necessary (Altidore)?

Secondly, Beasley has already played in two World Cups, so he's a more known quality at this level, or would have been if he had been playing.

Change of subject -- personally, I agree with those who think that Bradley should think more broadly about who he puts on the field.

For example, if Hedjuk was available, Spector probably wouldn't have played, and Dempsey wouldn't have gotten two goals on Spector's perfectly placed crosses. Frankie has other strengths, but he don't do perfectly placed crosses.

If a polished left back were available, Bocanegra would have been in the middle and we never would have discovered how good DeMerit can be against top flight teams.

Ditto Davies, who right now might be the best available US forward.

But I do not fault Bradley for not playing Adu. During Adu's last season in DC, there were many games when he couldn't really put his imprint on an MLS game. New England shut him down, anticipated his poor traps, and held DCU to a 1-0 loss in his last playoff game that year, if memory holds.

Why do we think he can make an impact against Brazil or Spain or Italy? Doesn't his lack of playing time in Monaco underline his middling performances in MLS?

Posted by: tgrahame1 | July 2, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Freddy Adu is this generation's Jovan Kirovski. Time to move on.

Posted by: griffin1108 | July 2, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Another Sounders player accused of sexual assault? This time it's Nate Jaqua... $10 million civil suit has been filed against the Seattle forward.

http://www.mls-daily.com/2009/07/sexual-assault-case-filed-against.html

Posted by: eubh223 | July 2, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

What's with the Adu hating? He's still young and he is talented. He's having a rough time at his club team so what? If he hadn't turned pro at 7 no one would care. He could still be in college with no pressure. He might not turn into the star we hoped for but he'll end up being a MNT regular. The fact that he is getting called up despite his age and lack of play is encouraging if nothing else.

Posted by: bighungry | July 2, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Here's my "Due to travel everything at once" recap:

Yes, David Hayes was set to be the Silverbacks women's coach, but changed his mind when the Portland opportunity opened up, and based on last night, he's still got it.

I'm done wondering why Freddy doesn't get club pt, there's just too many possibilities to speculate at this point, if you ask me.

A Soccer Insider Salon at Five Guys? Are Reignking and I supposed to go to one down here, and then like Skype in?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 2, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Also, I'm a little disappointed that I worked all day to get home by 9, then realize there's no Burn Notice tonight.

And Steve Cherundolo needs to cut his hair. In the new Studio 90 he looks like a bad Gene Wilder body-double.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 2, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I hear you about Burn Notice, JfA-ish. Thursday night isn't the same without some C-4 and some Sam wise-cracking.

@I-270: you forgot carnivorous. I've seen bighungry eat - it ain't pretty.

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 2, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

It's time to stop crying about Freddy.

He's simply not that good yet.

Period.

End of discussion.

He looks good when he's playing against others who are under 23, but when he plays against the MEN, he disappears for large stretches (although so does Dempsey, the difference is he reappears and scores big goals).

If Freddy were ready for MNT minutes, he'd have been getting minutes with Monaco. Hopefully he'll go somewhere that will actually play him. Be it Scandinavia, Holland, Greece etc.

The big question that Bob has yet to address: WHY THE HELL AREN'T YOU PLAYING TORRES?!?! He looked like the only interested player against Costa Rica, and you subbed him out at the half. What the f$%# were you thinking?

It's more important that he be with the MNT for the Gold Cup, than doing preseason training with Pachuca.

Posted by: alecw81 | July 2, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe people are giving BB stick for his response on the Adu-Altidore question. If he was brutally honest, here is what he would have said:

"Well, there are a couple of reasons why. Our forward corp is bad and thin so it's easier to get PT there if you're breathing and have a little talent--not so much in central midfield. And Freddy's game is so much more limited. He can't defend, provide high pressure, doesn't run off the ball well, isn't that fast, doesn't win balls in the air. If he's not in shape and in-form, it's really hard to find a way to get him on the field, especially since we rarely get a 3-0 lead."

But that response would be a bad one (though truthful) because it would be seen as bashing a player publicly. The last time a US coach was brutally honest about Adu (Sigi Schmid after the U20s), it was seen as hanging him out to dry and blaming Adu for the team's performance. So some times you just mutter some pithy sayings and soften the words a bit.

And man, I hope that Jaqua thing is rubbish. I still admire his dad (Jon Jaqua) and Seattle is generally, a feel-good story for MLS this year.

Posted by: JoeW1 | July 2, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Burn Notice was on my TV at 9. At least for a few seconds, until I flipped to The Office...

Posted by: fischy | July 2, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Was I listening? Are the Nats training at starfire? Looked like there was some footage there with some Rave Green dudes in the back ground. Particularly when Dolo was being interviewed? Swore I could make out Riley and Montero? Blah, Blah, I was looking for Quaranta...
They have 5 guys down in Georgia?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 2, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

No BN tonight? Good thing I went to the Phillies game.

TONS of 5 Guys in Atlanta and all over Georgia. But I used to live within walking distance of the Old Town one.

And Jacob, glad that Hayes is still playing -- I had a tough time believing that he couldn't find another team. I figured that he just didn't want to.

Posted by: Reignking | July 2, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

People are wanting to look for a new LB, that guy in Portland you once had I'm sure would have a mutual interest.

5 Guys franchises are popping up everywhere. Out here in my northeast neck of the woods, I can think of 6 within a 20 minute drive.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 2, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and the Phillies game, huh?

Go Braves, with the sweep!


And as I listen to the PTI podcast, in their Donovan-Beckham discussion, Wilbon just dropped a Cruyff reference. Well, uhh, cool.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 2, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

fischy:

Superbly put. For target forwards, we have little to choose from: Ching (who is unfairly considered useless by much of the internet nut community), Casey (who is basically a slightly less skilled, lazier version of Ching), and...Eddie Johnson? With Ching out injured, Altidore didn't even have the only person remotely close to competing for that spot on the field.

Adu, meanwhile, has 2 problems. First, as fischy stated, his game requires more sharpness than Altidore's. A player who uses physicality and speed will have that provided he's fit. All it takes to use those well is the mental side and merely mediocre technical sharpness. For Adu, who is small and doesn't have lightning speed, he's got to have the technical side to play international-level soccer.

Second, and just as significant in my view, Bradley has never found much use for players of Adu's type. In MLS and now internationally, when he uses a 442 he's always preferred to pair a guy that's 100% a destroyer with a two-way player (Feilhaber is probably as offensive as Bradley feels comfortable with in that spot). The attacking players are on the wings, and they still have to put in a lot of work defensively. This means there's no central playmaker spot, which is where Adu has always seen himself playing. As far as pushing him wide, he has looked less comfortable out there and in any case, he's not taking time from Donovan and Dempsey. Now, he could play as a 2nd forward off the target, but Bradley seems to prefer speed there over all other traits. Adu is far from slow, but he's not catching Davies or Donovan in a race. Dempsey also takes that spot over Adu, on just being an overall better player.

When Bradley played the 4231, you'd think Adu could have found a spot as either the playmaker underneath the forward or on the left wing. However, Beasley was being given time for no apparent reason, and other people were as well. During that stretch, I think Bradley would point to lack of experience and time, more than lack of ideal position. It's less defensible than keeping him out of today's squad is, where the lack of a good position for him kind of precedes all other needs.

tgrahame1:

How Adu did in MLS is, at this point, entirely irrelevant. Adu's last game for DC United was nearly 3 years ago, and his last game in MLS was 2 years ago. For a player of his age, that's an eternity.

Adu's struggle at Monaco is that they have better players than him. Bradley would have little choice but to juggle his squad to accommodate players as good as Park Chu-Young, Camel Meriem, and Juan Pablo Pino. By contrast, Bradley has had no need to make room in his XI for Adu, because he's not at that level yet.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 2, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Enough about Adu we'll have more then enough information on his ability or lack thereof at the Gold Cup. If he can't hack it against Grenada than he needs to be shelved until after the 2010 WC. With him getting no playing time at Monaco and no playing time at the Confed Cup there is really no way to know where he is at. The last time he played consistantly was the U23 WC which isn't a great indicator. We can bash him or praise him later, let's bash some other people instead.

Like Spector. I was impressed with his play and all, but he really needs to do something with the mop on top of his head. He looks like someone from an early 90's middle school. OK like I did in middle school in the early 90's. Before I started eating big macs and supreme pizzas.

Posted by: bighungry | July 2, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Five Guy's in Savannah? I don't know jack about Georgia, but I'll learn sooner or later, my wife went to college in a particular town down there, and her mother lived on Tybee for some time. Seems as though she could end up back there some day.

Tell me something guys... Is that Velodrome in Atlanta still in working order? Has anyone forgotten that the Le Tour starts this weekend?

Anyone feeling a little weird, about how weird Greg Lemond is getting these days? Have you guys seen this press conference of his?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgTh61OxoC0&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ebikesnobnyc%2Eblogspot%2Ecom%2F&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: DadRyan | July 2, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

I love Tybee. And I'm not sure about the Velodromme, but I did go to a stage in the Tour de Georgia this year (talk about Europoseur names), and thouroughly enjoyed that.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 2, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for Uhhhmerichanizin' American cycling, or at least North American cycling. How's the Right Much Ride Round Georgia sound?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 2, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Comment was long, so I'm splitting it in two.

Chest - a couple things regarding your post:

(1) Bob Bradley's Confederation's Cup 4-4-2 is a newly generated formation. To my recollection, this is the first time he's ever used both Donovan and Dempsey on the "wings" together. Prior to this tournament, even when he has opted for the 4-4-2, he's used more traditional wide players in the mold of Damarcus Beasley or, as recently as last year, Eddie Lewis. And the reason I put "wings" in quotations earlier is because in his recent formation, neither "winger" plays as an actual wide player on the attacking end. They're both de facto attacking midfielders that pinch in heavily, almost as central midfielders (which is why Feilhaber was succeeding in that role as well, despite being a notoriously poor "wide" player throughout his tenure with the USMNT). They're really only wide players in their defensive assignments.

And speaking of defensive assignments, they're both different. Donovan plays a majority of his time on the left because the left is clearly the weakness defensively. Donovan's defensive responsibilities extended far deeper than Dempsey's, who was allowed much more freedom to float offensively and track back less religiously (this is because Dempsey generally played in front of Spector, while Donovan was playing in front of Bornstein and a rusty Bocanegra).

Because of this newly generated formation, Adu would fit perfectly into the Dempsey role, both as a spark for the counterattack (which is one of his clear strengths), as well as a de facto attacking mid in the "creative playmaker" role.

Posted by: psps23 | July 3, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

(2) While I agree that Adu will not be taking time from Dempsey or Donovan, nobody is asking Adu to be placed in the starting 11. What his supporters are pushing for are minutes when the opportunity presents itself. Bradley has clearly taken to moving Dempsey up top around the 70 minute mark on a regular basis, which opens the spot that had seemed to be tailor-made for Adu. Now personally, I'd still have Feilhaber ahead of Adu for that slot, but it seems obvious that Bradley has him much further down on the list because even when Feilhaber wasn't available for that sub, Adu still wasn't considered (and on another note, it's my opinion that Feilhaber needs to be starting in the center regardless, not used as a second half sub).

The argument about his sharpness makes sense, but only if you expect his sharpness to be truly underwhelming. That shouldn't be the case. His game fitness may be lacking, but Adu has been "playing" (in the literal sense of the word) daily for the last few years. He's not coming off surgery where he's touching the ball for the first time in months. His "sharpness" would be equivalent to that of any player at the commencement of his club season (whose "sharpness" comes from their training in the offseason, and not games that they've been playing because, well, they haven't been playing games). In truth, I don't buy the "sharpness" argument, as many players, particularly young players, step in for their club teams without much game experience and aren't lacking "sharpness" in their games (at least I don't buy the sharpness argument to have that big of an effect).

I can see where people are coming from regarding these arguments, but IMO, for Adu to consistently miss out on minutes for the likes of Sacha Kljestan or Connor Casey points straight to the shortcomings of Bob Bradley. And I've said it before, but Bradley has clearly struggled to find a style of play and chemistry of players that maximize this team's potential, only seeming to "find" these things due to unavoidable circumstances like red cards and injuries. I see the same type of situation arising with Adu.

Posted by: psps23 | July 3, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

I say they pick up a local sponsor, and a lot of irony, and go with the Delta Tour of Georgia.

Oh, and after taking Amtrak to NYC for the Argentina game, I'm all about some high speed rails going in, maybe not cross country, but from like LA to San Fran, Atlanta to Nashville/Miami, up and down the east coast. I'd looooove that.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 3, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

@PSPS I agree with you reading of BB's evolution it only happens when he doesn't have a choice. I've been talking about putting Donovan on the left wing forever, it makes sense. We suck there and Donovan can play it. He still can score goals and he is one of the better crossers on the team. I think the reason he didn't end up there sooner is the lack of attacking depth. But I think our forwards are better than our left wingers so it really doesn't hold up.

Moving Dempsey on the wing is a good move. IMO he shouldn't be playing as a forward. Again I think it's because our forwards are weak, but still. We don't have any standout right wingers, though it isn't a glaring hole in the team like left wing. Center midfield is one of the positions that is crowded, thus Adu's issues. Dempsey should have been an attacking midfielder all along whether that is on the right or the center. He scores more from there if anyones noticed. He was on the 8 month drought when he was playing as a striker, he needs room. I guess he does OK up front on Fulham, but I haven't seen any games where he did.

Considering the strengths and weaknesses of our team those moves were common sense. Beasley should have been forgotten a long time ago and Donovan should be the left winger until someone decides they can actually play that position. Dempsey should be in the midfield, somewhere, and not upfront. Our forwards aren't great, but they are better than Dempsey when he is a forward. Our main problem is scoring and we score more with two forwards, whoever they are, Donovan and Dempsey on the pitch. With Donovan and Dempsey upfront and two subpar wingers we don't score except on set pieces. If BB changes the formation from the 4-4-2 he better have a good reason, it's by far our best formation on both sides of the field.

Posted by: bighungry | July 3, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Yes, yet again, Bradley slams Adu in public. Honestly, has any USA player in history been subject to this much public criticism by the coaches? Not that I can recall. It seems clear that Bradley's holding Adu to a different standard, for better or for worse.

Also, the folks on here dismissing his talent are, well, off base. He's stood out at every level with the program, INCLUDING AT THE SENIOR LEVEL! Yes, it's true. Adu doesn't stand out only against youth teams. (5 goals in 450 minutes with Benfica was pretty nice, too.) But, yes, he's looked good in his appearances with the national team. Last time out he was one of the few bright spots against Costa Rica. Before that? He scored against Guatemala. And remember his stand out performances against Argentina and Spain last summer?

Adu will be fine. His game isn't all about physical ability. He's not going to overpower folks with speed and strength. And it's not necessarily a bad thing. His sort of game takes a little longer to mature, plus it has a longer shelf life. He'll play a very, very important role with the national team, including on the World Cup squad next year.

The Adu hating is getting way, way out of hand. Shut up, already.

Posted by: DEFPOTEC1 | July 3, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

As far as I can tell no one is hating on Adu. Just agreeing with Bradley who's asking if he's ready to play the World Cup, considering he has played only a few games over the last two years at any level.

Posted by: fischy | July 3, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

BB has no idea what team chemisty is, thats the problem. I dont know what he is watching at practices. Kliesjtan in my mind should not be on the team. every time he comes on he does nothing to influence the game. He simply jogs around acting like he is doing something important. I would much rather have a spot for rookie Ponitus then sash. At least Pontious goes out and puts in 100 percent. I think the gold cup will serve as a good place to test out Adu. If he cant show us something in the cup then i have serious doubts about him even making the 23 that go to SA. I would like to see DCU's coach make a run at the MNT head coach or even assistant coach position. I think he knows how to manage players well. And the whole idea of having your Son start over Torres is getting old. Torres can do what bradly can do without all the pointless running. Bradly is good, but i dont think he starts. If bradly is going to start, he needs to be a "richie williams." He doesnt move the ball fast enough. I think Torres has a much better understanding of where the ball needs to go, and does it quicker. Lets face it, bradly is not going to impress any clubs outside the Americas. Id be surprised if any South American team would take him, although i do think going down south could make him MUCH better in the middle. This is how i would play them

davies-jozy
donavan-torres-fielhaber-dempsy
bocanegra-demerit-onyewu-spectre
Howard
subs: Bradly,Adu,hejduk,santino,kenny cooper,Clark,califf,beasley,cherundulo,
bornstien,guzan,hannaman

Posted by: g3impreza | July 3, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@Impreza Torres instead of Bradley? Really? Michael Bradley is the one consistantly good call that BB has made. I'd say that has more to do with the fact he is his dad, but MB is our best central midfielder other than Donovan or Dempsey. Since The other two our better served on the wings, as far as the NT goes, Bradley is and should be a starter. Torres might have a place behind Donovan as a left winger, but that's it.

Posted by: bighungry | July 3, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

amen bighungry. i was going to write the same thing. this love for torres reminds me of the love for a backup QB. we've seen glimpses of talent, but we don't really know. while with bradley i have seen enough to know he may be the best all around player the US has. also, torres defensive abilities are in question which isn't something you can say about bradley.

Posted by: birdynumnum | July 3, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Let's not get carried away with Bradley. He's good, as of now should definitely be starting, but he's nowhere near the best all around player the US has (and in truth, should be a fringe starter on a fully healthy squad). My opinion is, and has been for a while, that Feilhaber (when fit) should be the unquestioned starter at CM (nobody compares to his two-way talents), with Bradley and Edu fighting for the more DCM role (with Bradley a step and a half ahead for now). And with the introduction of Jones, he would have even more competition at that spot.

We all know that would never happen with BB at the helm, no matter how well Feilhaber, Edu, or Jones performs, but that's my opinion. But yes, Torres doesn't factor into that discussion as of yet.

Posted by: psps23 | July 3, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

But, I should add that it's definitely a good sign for the US that there actually is a discussion regarding a player with the talent level of Bradley and whether or not he should be a sure-fire starter. This US squad does have depth, but now it needs to get to the point where were our bench can cleanly handle injuries as well.

Posted by: psps23 | July 3, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

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