Michael Bradley will be given the chance to “show his value” to new U.S. national team boss Gregg Berhalter during the January national team camp.
The veteran midfielder and USMNT captain has been called in as part of Berhalter’s first 27-man roster, which exclusively includes MLS based players.
Bradley played just twice for the USA in 2018, starting one match and coming off the bench in another to compile just over 100 minutes of match action.
In his absence the USMNT turned to a number of younger and greener options in the center of the park, leading to some speculation that Bradley’s time with the team was drawing to an end for the 31-year-old as nation moves into a new World Cup cycle.
But the World Cup is still a long way off, and the USMNT will return to competitive action in 2019 with the Gold Cup and the Concacaf Nations League, and Berhalter is ready to give Bradley a chance to keep his place in the side.
“This is an opportunity for Michael to show his value to the group,” he told a news conference. “We’re excited to see him and how he works through this training camp leading the team and also contributing to what we’re trying to do on the field.”
Bradley’s club teammate, Jozy Altidore, will not take part in the camp due to injury, but the new USMNT. boss said he would be brought in to get a look at the new regime.
“Jozy will be in camp to come around and see the environment for one or two days,” he said. “He’s still injured. He won’t be able to participate in training so we’re obviously not going to include him in the full camp.”
Bradley and Altidore both suffered through a rough season at club level, with defending MLS champion Toronto FC missing out on the playoffs and losing in the Concacaf Champions League final.
Bradley was called into service as a center back for much of the season, while injuries limited Altidore’s production throughout the year.
Both players will be hoping to rebound in 2019, and it seems as though they will be given the chance to earn their place under Berhalter with the USMNT.