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With many people around the U.S. calling for his head, Bob Bradley says he understand the situation.

RUSTENBURG, South Africa -- Only two American journalists—and three overall—attended the United States team’s press conference here on Saturday afternoon, which might say as much about the US’s prospects in Sunday’s final Confederations Cup group match against Egypt as anything coach Bob Bradley and striker Landon Donovan expressed.


The US, which was thrashed by Brazil on Thursday night, are without a point in Group B, and they have come under increasing pressure from the media and fans back home. The blogs ripple with blunt criticisms and calls for Bradley’s head.


“It goes with the job,” Bradley said. “That I understand.”


Since being named permanent head coach in 2007, Bradley has handed many players there debuts, but he has consistently relied on a core squad for competitive matches. However, in the wake of three losses in four matches, including a slack 3-1 defeat in Costa Rica two weeks ago and a heartless 3-nil loss to Brazil this past Thursday, many observers have been demanding fresh faces be brought into the fold.


But Bradley said he can ignore the chatter on the web or in the ether.


“I believe strongly in the way we go about things on the inside,” he said. “Within our group, we always know that when we’re in something together there’s a trust, there’s a sense that even when things are swirling around on the outside, none of that has anything to do with what we’re doing on the inside.”


This is not the first time Bradley, 51, has come under fire as a coach. In 2005, he was fired as head coach of the MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls) with three games left in the season and the team was struggling to make the playoffs.


“I have been in this long enough, have had experiences along the way where I’ve been tested in that regard,” he said. “I’ve always come out very strong in terms of sticking to what I believe in, knowing what it’s all about and making sure that the players understand what it means to compete and be fearless.”


The US have a sliver chance of advancing to the semifinals of the Cup. To do so, they must beat Egypt on Sunday night, hope for a Brazil victory over Italy, and overcome a 6-goal differential with Italy.


Greg Lalas,


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