Now a fixture in the M'gladbach line-up, Michael Bradley shifts his focus to his national team, with two important fixtures ahead.
Games against Mexico are always a bit special for us,” said Bradley to FIFA.com “We’re the top two in CONCACAF, and the rivalry is very strong. They’re special games for the players, and there’s always a terrific atmosphere at the stadium. We played well as a team that evening and made it very tough for Mexico. Even when you win as a team, someone has to score the goals. I was delighted my two goals ended up helping the team.”
Heading into their two World Cup Qualifiers against El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago, Bradley has leaned on his father and coach’s influence. Given their interesting situation, one might think that Bob would favor his son, but Michael vehemently disagrees.
“When it comes to playing, it’s no different to any other coach, and I’m no different to any other player,” said the Borussia Monchengladbach man of how his father treats him. “He wants the best for the team, and he puts everything into that. My dad treats every player the same, and makes the same demands of us all – both on and off the field. That goes for me too. Everyone on the team knows that, which is why the atmosphere’s so good.”
Since he won his first senior team cap in 2006, Bradley has accumulated a total of 27 appearances, many of which were productive, and has added five goals during that time. As a team, the U.S. has also experienced a strong run of form, which leads Bradley to believe their ranking of 17th overall in the world is warranted.
“I think we’ve worked very hard as a team over the last two years,” said Bradley of his team’s performance. “We’ve held our own against the best teams in the world, in games against Brazil, Argentina and Mexico for example. We have to keep working together towards our targets.”
Bradley and the Nats take on El Salvador on March 28th from San Salvador and will travel home to take on Trinidad & Tobago from Nashville on April 1st.
Shane Evans, Goal.com