Our Reputation Has Been Enhanced - USA Coach Bob Bradley

Brazil may have won the Confederations Cup, but the USA coach was still happy his side had restored some pride...
United States coach Bob Bradley was proud of his players after they produced a spirited display in the final of Confederations Cup against Brazil and hopes the country's reputation has improved.

Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan put the Americans ahead before the break, but Luis Fabiano scored twice in the second period before Lucio nodded home the winner.

Only weeks after he had seen calls for him to be fired, Bradley was upbeat as he believed that his team's performance in the final and at the tournament in general had seen them earn worldwide acclaim.

The coach was unhappy though with the fact that his team blew a two-goal advantage and he was evidently still trying to take in how Brazil had bounced back.

"It's a tough one. We gave up the goal so early in the second half," he told a South African television station.

"I am extremely proud of my players and we have done well, but it is pretty lousy to let this one get away.

"The feeling is a mix of great disappointment but also pride. It’s a difficult loss. To have a two-goal lead, I think the moment that really hurt was giving up the goal so early in the second half and then they are right back in the game.

"But we know we are making progress and we learn from these kinds of games but it doesn’t make it any easier on the night.

We did a good job of putting pressure on their centre-backs with the e and speed of Jozy and Charlie. We had a good feel of what they do well. The movement of Kaka and Robinho is something you have to focus on.

They wear you down in their ability…they are very good at getting their outside backs in the game and when they switch the play and the ball goes to Robinho and Kaka then they are very dangerous and that is how the second goal came.

"In a game like that, Kaka is able to do so many things, his mobility around the field, his ability to drift to the left or right or run at people.

"Progress involves understanding how to play against the best teams and includes every part of soccer…everything gets put under the magnifying glass a little more when they play against the best teams. It is easy to talk about those things but it is best for the players to see it themselves.

"We get confidence that we are able to go up against good teams and create chances and make it hard for them when they have the ball and we can be aggressive and attack them and put their defenders under pressure. Games like this show that we are able to make it a real game against the top teams…that is a sign of progress.

"So early in the second half, they came down the right. It was just an individual play to take a ball and a quick turn and the shot went through DeMerit’s legs. You try and have an idea of how to do things in positions and organizations but they are also times when someone makes a good play.

"The Confed Cup has been a great experience for our teams to play the teams we played and move on to the final.  The experience in South Africa has been special and we have been treated very well. After the fans supported Bafana Bafana, we felt we were their team. It has given motivation for us to be back next year."

Lucas Brown, Goal.com