Bob Bradley was at the helm of the USA team that led, 2-0, versus Brazil in the first half of the 2009 Confederations Cup final, but this time, he was facing the opposite scoreline in a friendly that may mark his final game in charge.
'It’s a good reminder of the work that goes to get into that level in both Confederations Cup and the World Cup," said It serves as important purpose for everyone. Whether it’s a player who has been part of it to refocus on what it takes to stay there, or a young guy who is hoping to move up the ladder."
There were a few positives that Bradley picked out of the game.
"Early on, the ball was moving quickly and we had good energy," the coach observed. "The fact that we were not able to sustain that certainly is more of an indication of where the players are at this point in the year in terms of pre-seasons and things like that. The things we need to work on are always the same. When you play at a high level, the ability with the ball to see things faster, move it quickly, create advantages, take advantage of certain situations. When you play in better games, the window is smaller and it closes faster. "
Bradley was especially impressed with Brazil's young star, Neymar, who scored the opening goal.
"He’s obviously very good with the ball at his feet. The header that he scored was a good goal. Before the header, I thought we had done a good job with things. However, his ability to go at people and create the dribble is something that I think is special."
Though it was a tough night for the Americans, Bradley was hopeful for the USA's future.
"Some of these younger players, games like this like are faster than they are used to," Bradley said. "You’ll see some good plays but, there are other moments when there isn't the ability to make a play in tight spaces, see the next play faster and react quickly enough."
Since he may continue was USA coach, Bradley was assessing at all thimes.
"Those are the things that are put under the microscope," Bradley said of his young players. "Hopefully, when they get a taste of that it gives them a better picture of what they need to be doing day in and day out with their clubs. It certainly helps when they are playing regularly and it helps when they play in good leagues."
If, however, Bradley is done as the head of America's soccer squad, he exits on a grand stage.
"Anytime you play in front of a crowd of 77,000 people, that’s special. U.S. fans, Brazilian fans, soccer fans, all of us appreciate the opportunity to be here on a night like this."
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