The United States of America, ranked 14th in FIFA’s World Rankings, were the last team to beat current European champions Spain and will be no pushovers in Group C.
Uniquely, Michael Bradley who plays in central midfield, is the son of the American coach Bob Bradley. Unsurprisingly, there have been calls from the US press that the coach has shown favouritism towards his offspring.
However, Bradley Jnr. has set out to prove the critics wrong with some impressive displays in the US engine room. A box-to-box, hard-working performer, Bradley is a real all rounder and is equally adept in supporting the attack and helping out defensively.
Despite this, Bradley has been criticised for earning bookings to easily and has missed a Gold Cup Final and the Confederations Cup Final through suspension. It was at last year’s Confederation’s Cup that Bradley attacked ‘critics’ from the US who claimed the side weren’t good enough to compete.
“All the f*****g experts in America , everybody who thinks they know about soccer, they can all look at the score tonight, and let’s see what they have to say now. Nobody has any respect for what we do, for what goes on on the inside, so let them all talk now.”
Bradley’s outburst probably did little for his reputation in the media but showed he was undeterred with the pressure on him to perform as the coach’s son.
Perhaps recognition for Bradley’s talents would have been further widespread had English side Birmingham City captured the 22-year-old back in 2008. The deal didn’t go through though and German outfit Borussia Monchengladbach received the benefit of Bradley’s talents where he has excelled.
With youth very much on his side, Bradley prepares to silence the critics once and for all with a standout performance in the World Cup.