The Michael Bradley thread

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by ttrevett, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Philadelphia Union
    United States
    Jul 8, 2017
    Besler got inexplicably doghoused by both Klinsmann and Arena too. Wonder if Bradley was getting in both coaches' ears talking him down.
    UncagedGorilla, Patrick167 and chad repped this.
  2. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Philadelphia Union
    United States
    Jul 8, 2017
    Yep. The Panama game in particular, when we were up 3- and 4-0 with a must-win game at T&T looming and the Panamanians were kicking the shxt out of Pulisic with absolutely zero response from Bradley or any of the other Americans. That's a failure on the entire team (at least the guys who were on the field) but primarily the captain and coach, even if it meant putting a guy like McCarty on the field with explicit instructions to crack a few skulls. No way that shxt flies if JJ was on the field.
  3. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    I don't think there was any rift.

    I think it just speaks to a problem with Bradley. When one of the senior players in the side is struggling to communicate with Bradley (a better player and probably better leader than Bradley), the finger should be pointed at Bradley. If you are a problem within the locker room, you better be making up for it on the field. Bradley didn't.
    UncagedGorilla and Patrick167 repped this.
  4. #1 Feilhaber and Adu

    Aug 1, 2007
    True. But then another article would have just been posted by Matt Doyle on why Jermaine Jones all-around awesomeness is Actually really bad for the team....
    USA-Zebuel and juveeer repped this.
  5. Honore de Ballsac

    Oct 28, 2005
    I could not tell if this was sarcasm. I don't think it is.

    So you guys have taken over this entire discussion? Reasonable people fled? This qualifies as a revelation? Bradley being potentially a "know-it-all" made him more of an attitude problem than, say, Tim Chandler trying to switch back to Germany and telling teammates not to try so hard? More selfishly destructive than Jones egging Jurgen on to cut Donovan?
    So... Bradley picked himself for all those games under 3 successive coaches?

    Logic cannot support that.

    Jesus Christ you guys. Get a grip.
  6. butters59

    butters59 Member+

    Feb 22, 2013
    If Boca was on the field, if Landon was on the field, if the same Jimmy Conrad was on the field, Beckerman, etc. We just got uniquely spineless bunch.
    Patrick167 and Mantis Toboggan M.D. repped this.
  7. #1 Feilhaber and Adu

    Aug 1, 2007
    Someones in denial...…….
  8. #1 Feilhaber and Adu

    Aug 1, 2007
    all the reasonable people left the discussion......apparently all the same people that were at the Bradley's recent summer party and took selfies with the Arena's, Richie, and the Don.
  9. Rahbiefowlah

    Rahbiefowlah Member+

    Oct 22, 2001
    Las Vegas
    I don’t think you’ll see Bradley or Altidore called up by Bob Sarachan.

    “I’m sure there will be a time we call him again...”

    That sounds to me a lot like Bob saying MB90 is done in the nicest way possible.
  10. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    First I’ve heard of this. Any links?
    orcrist, jackiesdad, Ironbound and 2 others repped this.
  11. chad

    chad Member+

    Jun 24, 1999
    Manhattan Beach
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It wasn't sarcasm. But at least it was coherent.
  12. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    United States
    May 4, 2017
    Whether you believe Conrad 100% or not, there was obviously problems in the team.

    Bradley was undeniably the Captain and it was his team. Whether you blame him solely or the coaches that picked him every time; it was undoubtedly his team.

    So, even if you think all this blame is undeserved, how do you bring Bradley back? Is it still his team? If not, how do you bring him back, not make him captain, and not even play him much. Because that is what we would need him to do. At least in the next 3 FIFA windows.

    It could be done if Bradley said he needs to let others take control, become a role player, maybe if he retired from being Captain. But he has never said anything other than he is eager to get back but understands where the program is. He has many friends in the media and they are constantly making the case (I'm sure at his off the record request) that he will be back soon.
    UncagedGorilla repped this.
  13. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    United States
    May 4, 2017
    Wood, Dempsey, Pulisic, Besler, Beasley, Johnson, Brooks, Yedlin, Guzan, Rimando were some of our best players in the last cycle and all are basically team players. Put them on the field, tell them what to do, and they would do it. Zusi, Klesjan, Gonzales, Ream and others were never locked into the team enough to make waves and generally just did what they were told.

    The top players that were big personalities and leaders were Jones, Bradley, Howard and Cameron. By T&T, Jones and Cameron were out. Bedoya has a big personality but was never a locked in starter. Maybe Besler is here and that is why he was never a locked down starter with Bradley around.

    The other guys were Nagbe, Acosta, Arriola, Llejet, Villafana and others who were young and not the kind to ask questions. Where Altidore fits into all this is a mystery to me. I think he basically is in the "team player" mix with a bad temper.

    We might find in 10 years that Jones's exit was a big reason the team didn't qualify. I'm not saying he should have stuck around, he was not really good enough any more and old (the same could be said about many of the players who did stick around). But whatever dynamic worked at the Copa and 2014 WC, was certainly gone. That Jones could challenge Bradley internally and that fact let others have voices and solve problems as a group. They played best at Copa when Howard was gone, and the fact there were 3 leaders (JJ, MB, Cameron) meant nobody could completely take charge.

    Howard should have been out; he wasn't even a top 5 GK in MLS. It is possible he was on the team because of Bradley and Arena. So, it might be that he was only there as long as he backed Bradley. Or in other words, he wasn't dropped because he was behind Bradley.

    What is interesting is that maybe Arena didn't go along completely. I don't think Klinsman did at all. JK would not play Bradley as a lone 6, he never dropped Jones or Cameron. Behind the scenes, Bradley is lobbying Sunil to get rid of JK since 2015. Arena started Cameron as late as the CR home game. But one mistake got him benched. Even saving the team in Honduras didn't get him off the bench. Contrast that with guys that didn't challenge Bradley like Nagbe and Omar who could have terrible mistakes and poor performances and keep getting starts. It was like Arena didn't want to go along, but given any little reason he would cave to Bradley.

    And as usual, none of this comes out in the media until months later. And nobody in the paid media at that. Like 1998, we probably won't get the full story for a decade or more. Maybe when Pulisic has played more with functional teams (2017-18 BVB certainly wasn't, nor the USMNT in 2017), he will gain enough experience to know what was wrong with the team and put a chapter in his autobiography.
    Statman and juveeer repped this.
  14. ttrevett

    ttrevett Member+

    Apr 2, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We've not had a lot of testimonials for our players, but would you shell out any money to go to a Michael Bradley testimonial? I would not.

    I laud his effort in the 2010 WC and the qualifiers leading up to the 2014 Cup. I take serious issue with his performance in the actual WC and performance and his leadership of the team during the most recent cycle. Outside of pre-1994 this was as bad a team as we have seen, and this was undeniably his team. There were no other leaders.

    He should have retired from international duty once the team he captained failed to qualify for the Finals.
  15. juveeer

    juveeer Member+

    Aug 3, 2006
    If he won't retire, then USS should "retire" him.
    jjmack repped this.
  16. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    I would go to an MB testimonial. Disappointment is different from acrimony. FFS - he's not an ex-wife
    dwsmith1972, superdave, WrmBrnr and 2 others repped this.
  17. Honore de Ballsac

    Oct 28, 2005
    Bradley, like Howard, got more caps than his form demanded. Mostly because there weren't clearly, consistently superior options over any considerable length of time. So both became part of the "spine" a succession of coaches built around. As much as it might frustrate me, teams need some consistency, and coaches do have their guys.

    They stepped up as leaders - I respect that. They didn't say "You know, what, I'm tired, I kinda suck right now. I'm no Andres Guardado. I am seriously not up for Azteca." They said "Let's do this." We need that. MB is pretty obvious captain material - you don't just hand the band to whomever has the quickest stepovers, or just got their first start for Schalke. Unfortunately, MB could be really bad some games - like every other recent US player I can think of off hand. (Except maybe Besler?)

    Anyway. I don't think there's any reason to consider including Michael Bradley right now, given (A.) our need to rebuild and develop a younger crop and (B.) his reportedly very poor current form. I agree it's time to find more, younger leaders. And they'll need a little head room, initially.

    But exiling him is silly, and pretty insulting. The guy has given a lot to the program. He's been pretty heart and soul, exemplifying team dedication and selflessness, perhaps to a fault. He has tons of experience with some great success and major failure - both are important to experience. And if he starts playing great again when we lack great options, closing the door on him would be like, well...

    (Let alone because some teammate he wasn't tight with told Jimmy Conrad that MB was kind of a "know it all." :ROFLMAO:)

    Then again, smashing ourselves in the nuts is exactly the mode much of US Soccer and its fandom are in right now.
  18. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    #3169 DHC1, Aug 28, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
    I agree with some of this but still waiting on any corroboration of your points vs. Jones and, to a lesser extent, Chandler (who clearly didn't say "don't try as hard" but rather "don't play injured").

    It is a pet peeve of mine when someone has to defend a favorite by dragging down another teammate....
    Honore de Ballsac repped this.
  19. skim172

    skim172 Member+

    Feb 20, 2013
    Fairly baseless speculation here, but my suspicion is that as the MNT got troubled over the past cycle, a core of veterans, including Bradley, emerged as the lead malcontents. When Klinsmann was sacked, this core became very influential - the "in-crowd". I wouldn't say they were making coaching decisions or anything like that, but Bruce was a guy whose coaching philosophy was all about veterans and "team chemistry" - so things worked out to favor the veteran core.

    And when you have an in-crowd, there's gonna be people who aren't in that crowd. Whether it's guys who plain don't get along with them - like Cameron - or just guys who might feel a bit alienated and not sure of their place - like whoever this anonymous defender is.

    I'm hesitant to go along with the interpretation that MB is a super-pushy alpha male. I think it may be more accurate to say that the MNT locker room became a bit of a divided environment - not necessarily divided in conflict, but divided kind of like a cliquish high school lunchroom. And I think it may that MB wasn't a dominant alpha dog, but rather his personality and leadership style was a bit standoffish and reserved and not really the kind of open, enthusiastic, welcoming, social butterfly-type who would make an effort to reach out and connect deeply with all his players.

    Which, unfortunately, meant he wasn't the best captain under the circumstances, because I doubt Bruce Arena was really that kind of manager either.
    Patrick167 repped this.
  20. laxcoach

    laxcoach Member+

    United States
    Jul 29, 2017
    intermountain west
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So if Bradley was divisive, why again did Arena keep him as captain?

    And if he was a locker room cancer, there were plenty of safer options for a swiss cheese defensive middie. Maybe even one that doesn't jog all game long.

    Blame the talent pool all you want, they lost to T&T and if the US talent pool was/is that far down the totem pole then this crap is only going to continue for years. Reality is there's more than enough talent in the pool to qualify in Concacaf but our coaching was either blind or ignorant to that fact. Coaching lost the hex and it looks to be a continual issue for the USMNT until further notice.
  21. Honore de Ballsac

    Oct 28, 2005
    Points taken, except:

    1. I feel like I'm jumping much smaller gaps and twisting words more gently than what seems to be standard here. I mean, look at "Ex-defender says teammate called him a 'know-it-all,' so it has therefore now been revealed Michael Bradley was the main problem of our 2018 cycle."

    (I know that itself is a paraphrase, but pretty close to what was going unchallenged a page ago.)

    2. Michael Bradley is not one of my favorites. I always said he should have to constantly earn his time. I never wanted him to be one of those "automatic picks."
    I would still be hard pressed, though, to defend that bias - because national teams do need a consistent identity, a spine, a core group of go-to players, and we didn't have a lot of better options over any extended period of time.
    WrmBrnr repped this.
  22. yurch10

    yurch10 Member+

    Feb 13, 2004
    1. I've said it before, but I think that exaggeration is just a natural (if slightly misguided) response to having to constantly battle against everyone who was convinced he was a great leader and the first name on the team sheet. That's all we constantly heard, so now you finally hear some truth (he might not have been a great leader, which is obvious since, ya know, we missed the WC), and some people will obviously go overboard.

    2. Also said before, we have a group of probably 100 players that are better than what Honduras and Panama can throw out there. You don't need a spine or core group of players if those players aren't very good. Most were simply blind to the fact this wasn't 2014. Howard simply wasn't good, and wasn't the same player he was against Belgium. Same for MB, same for pretty much the entire squad. But memories, lack of "superstar" options outside CP, and inflated salaries/guaranteed club spots made everyone continue to think they were still our "spine, core group of go-to players", and that we didn't have better options (we did).

    Anyhow, it's ridiculous to see some pods/blogs saying MB should/will be included in these next two friendlies. Utterly ridiculous.
    UncagedGorilla and Patrick167 repped this.
  23. skim172

    skim172 Member+

    Feb 20, 2013
    My opinion is that Bradley himself wasn't divisive, but he wasn't a uniter, either. So when the locker room became divided, Bradley's personality and style wasn't really the type to bridge those divides. I don't think he made things worse, but I don't think he made things better.

    And I agree everything you said re: coaching. In fact, if our coaches had been better player managers (and I'm talking both Klinsmann and Arena), then Bradley's lack of dynamism as a leader wouldn't have mattered.
    Jazzy Altidore and WrmBrnr repped this.
  24. Honore de Ballsac

    Oct 28, 2005
    We killed Panama.

    Then Bruce made the big mistake of fielding the same 11.

    There was no protecting the players from some awareness of the fact that we had a 93% chance of qualifying going into the game.

    We played like shit.

    Very fluky goals went in against us.

    We hit the post, etc.

    Insanely fluky events lined up against us in other games.

    A goal was called for a ball that was outside the goal post. That's right, a goal kick was mistakenly declared a goal. And it stood. So we stayed home.

    Which is the kind of thing that happens with enough frequency to uberdogs that everybody loves this sport.

    And so, South Korea beat World Champion Germany TWO - NIL to knock them out of the first round. Russia sent Spain home, despite being utterly dominated. (Fluky results tend to favor home teams.) Croatia making it to the Final was a huge surprise to some, but actually somewhat predictable. (I know, I predicted both finalists.)

    Funny old game. But anyway, I don't agree the problem was we didn't pick the best players. The squad we had in Trinidad were more than good enough to get the job done. There was a coaching mistake, they played bad, and then some enormous luck went against us.
    onefineesq repped this.

Share This Page