Posts Tagged ‘Michael Bradley’

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Saturday: The Ups And Downs

December 6, 2008

Michael Bradley is sadly back to the bench today for BMG as they face Bayer Leverkusen.  After 45 minutes, BMG are down 2 – nil.  God Moenchengladbach is a mess.  They currently sit second to last in the league table.  If they get relegated, the team is only gonna get worse, as you have to figure Marin (at least) will be sold.  Hopefully Bradley is just getting a rest this weekend, as earlier in the week the BMG manager expressed some disappointment in the young American’s fitness.

UPDATE: Match finished 3-1 and Bradley came on in the 63rd minute.

Clint Dempsey went the full 90 today in Fulham’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City at Craven Cottage.  A good result from Fulham, who is starting to remind me of their Coleman-era squad.  They are getting gritty draws and in a good mid table position.  Dempsey looked good today, staying active and positive in attack, although he did have a few chances at goal that he could have executed better (a few stray headers and at least one stray shot).

If anyone cares, Eddie Johnson isn’t part of the squad today for CFC’s match against Preston North End.  Sad stuff.  Who smells a move back to MLS for EJ?  I brought him back to FC Dallas in my Fifa 09 Manager Mode, and he’s done quite well for me. Har har.

Over in dreary Scotland, Damarcus Beasley is back in the first XI for Rangers as they battle Hamilton.  Maurice Edu (where the hell has he been?) is on the bench for the ‘Gers. The Beas has looked strong so far, playing some dangerous balls into the box from the wing. Hopefully he can grab an assist or goal, that’d be nice.

UPDATE: Wow. Rangers went on to win 7-1 behind a Boyd Hat Trick.  No assists or goals for Beas, and Edu STILL didn’t see the pitch. yikes.

Sheffield Wednesday returned Frank Simek to the starting lineup today in their 1-1 draw with Southampton.  Simek might’ve been a bit accountable for Southampton’s goal, but by all accounts played very well in his first full 90 minutes with the first team since injury.  He came forward and delivered dangerous crosses on multiple occassions. Great news for Simek and USMNT fans, hopefully he can stay in the squad and get back on Bob’s radar.

PREGAME: as we await the start of the Villarreal game, rumor is floating around that Jozy Altidore will start again this match with Rossi.  Apparently Pelligrini was very happy with Jozy’s play last week. Check out the deets here

More to come as the day wears on, Villarreal take on Getafe, blah blah. Go team.

What games are you watching?

–psc

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Weekend Stuff: The Important Junk

November 30, 2008

Wow.  Jozy Altidore started today for Villarreal against Recreativo Huelva and that is the nail in the potential-loan coffin.  Josmer is now unable to go on loan to another club this year and that means he will stick around with the Yellow Submarines for the rest of the season. Hopefully their striker injury woes can continue so Jozy can keep sniping minutes.

Freddy Adu. Once again, Adu did not get off the bench for Monaco.  At this point, you have to wonder, will anything happen in January?  It truly seems that Gomes does not plan to give Adu a chance in the lineup and it seems like poor Freddy can’t catch a break.  Will he ever be able to sign with a team who ACTUALLY intends on playing him (as opposed to just using him for marketing purposes?)  Sure, Adu isn’t the savior of soccer, but he is more than capable of playing football in Europe.  When is someone going to take him seriously?

And then there’s Michael Bradley. Just as it seemed he was settling in at BMG, he scores an own goal.  Yes that’s right, Bradley scored the first goal of the match in the 17th minute. Unfortunately it went into his own net.  It was more of a bad deflection than anything so I don’t think it will haunt him too much, but nonetheless, Bradley didn’t play his best.  By all accounts, the BMG defense was horrid as usual and so they once again drop points.

Over in London, Clint Dempsey went 90 minutes for Fulham in a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa on Saturday.  Dempsey battled the whole game and had some strong efforts in the attacking third.  Friedel made some excellent saves off a few Dempsey shots and hopefully Hodgson is liking what he sees from the Texan.

And finally, poor Eddie Johnson. He didn’t even make the bench today against Swansea in a match that saw Ross McCormack return from injury and score.  Things look bleak in Cardiff for the Grown Ass Man.

What did you think this weekend? TELL US!

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S-S-Saturday Stuff

November 15, 2008

Oh Hey Michael Bradley

BMG took on Bayern Munich today in the Bundesliga and Michael Bradley scored the tying goal for Moenchengladbach in the 80th minute.  The game finished 2-2 and Little Mikey went the full 90 and looked alright.  He seemed to be playing more offensively throughout the game and had a handful of attempts on goal, as well as a crucial tackle on Ribery in the 84th minute.. Americans will be happy to see Bradley get on the scoresheet as it helps his case in becoming a crucial member of Meyer’s First XI. Meyer seems to believe in Bradley and hopefully BMG can get some results over the next few games.  A tie at Bayern isn’t a bad start.

Dempsey Gets The Start

Dempsey started on the wing for Fulham today and played a strong 87 minutes before being brought off for Zoltan Gera.  Kudos to Dempsey for putting his head down and working his way back into the starting lineup.  He had some terrific chances on goal in this game and played a part in Fulham’s second goal.  In all, very bright stuff from the American who is making a strong case for his continued inclusion in the starting XI.

What’d you think of the matches?

–psc

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Bradley Goes 90, Gladbach See Victory

November 9, 2008

Michael B saw a full match from the central midfield yesterday and BMG walked away with a 2-0 victory over Arminia Bielefeld.  If you watch the highlights over at http://watchsocceronline.blogspot.com you’ll be surprised that BMG won at all.  Bielefeld had the host of chances throughout the game and had a handful of astonishing misses from point blank range.  BMG manager Meyer will be happy to walk away with 3 points, but I think he’ll still be concerned with the pretty atrocious defense played by his side.

Michael really didn’t seem to be too involved in any specific moments, but he did put in some tireless effort (something that’s been a hallmark of his play with the National Team: doing the little things).  I’m not sure that Bradley Jr is entirely settled in to life and football in the Bundesliga, but if he can stay in the manager’s favor and keep starting, his assimilation into Germany will be smooth.

No doubt, Mikey will be looking to build on this 90 minutes next weekend when Gladbach take on Bayern Munich.  Big game.

What do you think of Bradley’s performance?  Think he’ll help the team out?

–psc

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Saturday: Bye Bye Luhukay, Helloooo Mikey B

October 18, 2008

Bundesliga

BOCHUM 2 BMG 2

Michael Bradley went 90 minutes in today’s 2-2 draw between BMG and Bochum and he looked alright!  He was guilty of some suspect marking in the 50th minute on Bochum’s first goal, as you can see below:

Cmon little Mike!

C'mon little Mike!

In any case, thank god he’s getting some minutes, and hopefully this is a sign of his new role at BMG.  Interestingly enough, he played pretty high up the pitch in today’s game, almost immediately behind the striker Rob Friend.  For a player who calls himself “most comfortable with a defensive midfield role” I wonder what Bradley thinks about his position today.

Serie B

BRESCIA 3 TRIESTINA 2

Danny Szetela came on in the second half and scored the gamewinner for Brescia in the 88th minute.  I’m foraging for highlights and as soon as I can find them I’ll post.  But great news for Danny as he continues to make his place in the squad at Brescia.

Premier League

FULHAM 0 SUNDERLAND 0

Dempsey came on in the 73rd minute as Fulham were held to a scoreless draw against Sunderland.  Clint was involved in some nice passing sequences after coming on, but Fulham never truly threatened the goal.  Sunderland will be most dissapointed with the draw after having a goal disallowed in the second half.

check back later on today and see if Jozy makes the bench for Villarreal and if Adu can get in the game against Nice for Monaco.

For all your International Yank highlights, head to watchsocceronline.blogspot.com

–psc

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USA 6, Cuba 1: All Systems Go

October 15, 2008
"I'm not anorexic, I promise"

"I'm not anorexic, I promise"

Well well well.  As a USMNT fan, is it possible to be up set with the 6-1 victory of Cuba on Saturday?  Is there really any way you can walk away from watching that game and have a sour taste in your mouth? HOW COULD THAT BE?!

Alright, enough with the melodrama. All in all, Saturday’s game was a bright spot for the USMNT that saw alot of very positive attacking play and solid defending.  Damarcus Beasley grabbed his first international goals in almost a year and half of play, and that has to make Walter Smith happy.  On the flip side, we have to remind ourselves that most CONCACAF opponents are horrible.  We SHOULD be beating Cuba 6-1.  Okay, Let’s check it out by position.

DEFENDERS

No big surprises here.  Cuba couldn’t really test our back four, and the one goal they DID grab, was a fluke-ish and lucky strike.  Gooch and Boca played well in the middle, and did a relatively good job building up play from the back.  There were even some instances where Onyewu played some slicing passes into the feet of Donovan and Ching.  I love seeing that from defenders, because that kind of accurate passing to link with our offensive players can be really priceless.  Dolo played well, if relatively quietly, and didn’t see too much action on the right side.  I think the brightest spot in our back four tonight was Heath; he did an excellent job of pushing forward and getting involved in the attack, delivering a slew of great crosses (one resulting in Landon’s goal).  He also had some clutch tackles up and down the left side.  However,  I think that Pearce does lack one vital wingback trait, and that’s PACE.  When the USMNT faces tougher opposition I don’t think Pearce really has the skill or speed to really beat other world class wing players.  But time will tell I suppose.

Oh yes, and let’s not forget Gooch’s 90 minute goal, a great header.  Although the star of that goal might’ve been Freddy Adu (no offense Gooch).

MIDFIELD

There you are Beasley!!  So Damarcus finally is getting some finishing done.  We can’t fault him for two strong goals, and this is the execution that we certainly NEED from him.  Because besides his goals, I don’t think Beasley looked that special out there.  He certainly has the pace to beat defenders, but he doesn’t have the trickery to really put his marker off balance.  The majority of his 1v1 ability seems to be “push it past and hope,” but this isn’t going to work when you weigh 90 pounds.  Beasley’s strength is using his speed to get the behind the defense and latch onto through balls, which is exactly what led to his goals today.

Next up, I think Kljestan featured very well today, and he’s making a strong case for himself as a partner to Michael Bradley.  They seem to play well together, as Sacha focuses on going forward and creating offense with Mikey sitting back and tackling, crashing the box when necessary.  I thought Kljestan orchestrated well, grabbing two assists, and he was unlucky to not have a goal on his excellent header (which Ching ended up scoring).  If Kljestan can keep improving his protection of the ball and lower his turnovers, I think he could be our starting center midfielder through the hexagonal.

Bradley Jr and Dempsey had pretty quiet games.  I was happy to see Michael getting forward on occassion and he had one or two good chances from the top of the 18 yard box.  If he can find some finishing prowess, it would be great to have someone who can strike some nice long shots from outside the box (but it might be a little wishful to expect this from Mikey B).  Dempsey didn’t let anyone down, and should’ve had a goal in the opening minutes.  He attacked strongly and by my estimation is still playing well for the US, hopefully Hodgson gets him in this weekend.

FORWARDS

Landon is the hero of the day.  Yes, the opposition has been inferior, but I finally see Donovan imposing himself on the match, and I think he did an excellent job of staying on the ball tonight.  The biggest problem we’ve seen from Donovan in the past, is his tendency to disappear for long stretches.  Against Cuba he came back deep for the ball and seemed to always be involved in the offensive buildup.  This is crucial if we are going to build a cohesive attack.  He grabbed a well deserved assist and goal, and his pace provided real problems for the Cuban defense.

Okay, Brian Ching played well tonight.  His holdup play and subsequent distribution to Heath Pearce which led to Landon’s goal was EXCELLENT.  I am a little resentful to see Ching get on the scoresheet, because it was a true poachers goal and pretty much stolen off the goal line from Kljestan.  But hey, that’s how Ching scores, and a goal IS a goal.  This was a good game from Brian but let’s be honest, we all saw Jozy come on, and we all KNOW that the future is Jozy and Landon (with maybe some Kenny Cooper sprinkled in, right).

SUBS

Jozy Altidore came on the 68th minute and USMNT fans everywhere tried to contain their elation.  He made an impact right away, and nearly scored within three minutes of being on the pitch.  His ability to use his body is amazing and shows such maturity for someone only 19 years old.  He can just shrug off defenders and create space for himself with great ease, and this is so important for a striker when trying to get a shot off.  His goal in the 87th was well earned and finished, and if he plays a good number of minutes against TnT (which I expect), I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more goals from the man I will now dub as “The Future.”

Torres also came on in the 68th for his first cap. Hurrah Jose.  While he didn’t really do anything noteworthy, he definitely seemed to fit in right away, maintaining our offensive flow and finding the right pass.  I’m excited to see him against TnT and hopefully he’ll be given some more freedom to dictate the pace of our attack. I think this kid has alot of potential.

Last but not least, Freddy Adu came on the 74th and was relatively quiet for the final minutes.  Of course, he did very well to beat his defender and deliver and excellent cross in the dying moments for Gooch to head home, so that is certainly a positive.  Not too much to critique though, hopefully he gets some more time against Trinidad, and I think he will.

DISCLAIMER: for as happy as we all are with this victory, lets remember that Cuba played the majority of the game with 10 men and had a depleted squad because of defectors.  Not that I want to rain on anybody’s parade, but let’s just remember that and hope that the US squad does too.

In all, a great result and I can’t wait for Wednesday’s match.  Bring it on Soca Warriors.  Hopefully the ESPN feed isn’t shitty.

–psc

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Some Questions and Updates Before Cuba

October 9, 2008

The USMNT has been hitting the training field hard this week in preparation for Saturdays match against Cuba.  After the first day of training, new man Torres had this to say:

“The first day was good. I was really nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. Everyone has treated me really well. I started to feel very comfortable, and after the first day of training I’m feeling better and better.”

Also, Michael Bradley took the time to chime in about the coaching change at BMG:

“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 that sounds like good news for the young Bradley and hopefully he’ll start to feature more strongly for the German side.

Back to US training camp, you can see a few video highlights of training here:

So what do we thinkg about Cuba? Well first off, sadly I think Brian Ching is a lock to start up top.  That will probably bring a frown to the faces of some Yanked Around readers, but in any case Ching is a veteran and seems to be in good graces with the coaching staff.  We all know how the USMNT loves “experience.”  I think there is a small chance Jozy could start, but the more realistic notion is that Donovan would start up top and then Jozy would come on in the second half to spell one of the forwards.  Another interesting question remains regarding Torres: Even though this is his first camp, does Bradley throw him in the game to cap-tie him to us?  I think Torres is pretty committed to the US program, so I don’t think it’ll be disastrous if we DON’T cap him, but it is still something to consider.  I think we will see the same starting lineup we’ve seen in the past:

Howard

Dolo, Gooch, Boca, Pearce

Dempsey, Bradley, Kljestan, Beas

Donovan, Ching

The least certain starter is Sacha, but I do think he’ll get the nod over Edu, who hasn’t seen enough playing time with Rangers yet.  I think the back four is immovable, and given Dempsey’s strong play for Fulham last week as a forward, we COULD see him up top, but I think he belongs in the midfield for the Nats.

The more interesting hopes arise when we consider what subs might see the pitch.  With a bench of Jozy, Adu, Davies, and Torres, you have to hope we grab a few goals early in the first half so we can see some fresh blood as soon as possible.

What do you think about our lineup for Saturday? Any different ideas about our starting lineup?  Think we’ll crush Cuba?

–psc