Soccer Is My Life, Says US International Bradley

Borussia Mönchengladbach newby Michael Bradley survived his Bundesliga baptism by fire and is now ready to forge ahead with his career.
Michael Bradley made an unexpected debut start for his new club, Borussia Mönchengladbach, over the weekend. He was forced into the squad after Dutchman Patrick Paauwes injured himself during the pre-game warm-up.

As far as debuts go, it wasn’t bad, as Bradley went 65 minutes. The side lost, 1-0, to Hertha Berlin, but head coach Jos Luhukay was pleased with how the US international, who arrived from Eredivisie side Heerenveen at the end of the summer transfer window for about $4 million, adapted quickly to the situation.

"Michael endeavored to put himself about,” Luhukay told the Rheinische Post. “For his first action, he did okay."

The 21-year-old Bradley has had a busy year so far, traveling back to North American for World Cup qualifiers with the US national team and participating in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. But the move to ‘Gladbach and the more competitive Bundesliga was the most important event. He sees it as the key to his hope to be a member of the US team at the 2010 World Cup.

"To me, it is clear that the way to success leads only to Europe,” he said. “I want to succeed and get ahead. Soccer is my life. If I do not have a game, I am preparing for the next training. It is fun for me. I always have soccer on my brain."

Bradley did not feature in Mönchengladbach's 3-0 loss to Energie Cottbus in the German Cup on Tuesday.