BRADLEY REFLECTS ON DISAPPOINTING EXIT
RECAPS
EXTRA TIME
TRAFTON KENNEY - Tuesday, June 29, 2010
U.S. men's national team coach Bob Bradley was typically stoic in defeat as he reflected on his team's exit from the World Cup after their 2-1 overtime loss to Ghana in the Round of 16.

After winning their group for the first time in the team's history after several harrowing comebacks, the Americans faced arguably their most favorable draw in recent memory, with just Ghana and Uruguay separating them from a place in the semifinals.

Bradley spoke about the team's disappointment in the result after a promising start to the tournament.

"I think the first thoughts for all of us are simple," said Bradley after the game. "We felt that in the first round we showed a lot of good qualities. You get through the first round and give yourself a chance to go far. We felt we had that ability, and we're disappointed that we didn't get past this game and continue to test ourselves."

With the team's gritty early performances catching the attention of the American public, some pundits see the loss to Ghana as a missed opportunity to capitalize on the peak of interest.

"We always understand the responsibility we have as a national team to show how far the game has come in the United States, to fight for respect," said Bradley. "We certainly felt we moved things along with our performance in the Confederations Cup. As we went through the first round, we felt that we were continuing to go in that direction.

"But again it comes down to every match now, it gets tested over again. So for tonight all we can do is look hard at ourselves and try to move the game forward."

In what has become an all too familiar sight for U.S. fans, the Americans conceded an early goal after Kevin Prince-Boateng capitalized on a Ricardo Clark turnover in midfield to put the Black Stars ahead after five minutes.

"I think we hurt ourselves with giving up the early goal," added Bradley. "It's certainly something that we're aware of, you try to manage games early. Once again I think in the early part of this game we felt like we were doing a solid job, but we paid the price for a turnover, so we recognize it but just talking about it doesn't always change it."

Bradley also defended his decision to start Clark ahead of Maurice Edu in the center of midfield and explained his early substitution.

"We felt that Ricardo [Clark] had against England been disciplined in the way he had plugged certain holes and thought that would be important against Ghana," Bradley explained. "We took him off in the first half which is something we almost never do but I was concerned about the card."

With Bradley's contract set to expire in December of 2010, the New Jersey native was quick to deflect questions regarding his future immediately after the game.

"I don't think its the time to talk about my situation," he concluded. "This has been a four year cycle where we worked hard and culminated in being here in South Africa and at the moment, a dissapointing feeling of not having won [the game]."

Bradley will meet with U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati after the World Cup to discuss his contract with the team.
muchadu
Friday July 2, 2010 1:17 pm
Sunil Gulati,

Quick, Quick, Quick.... We need to offer the USMNT job to Dunga after Brazil lets him go. Surely he would not coach another south american team. Snap him up before another team gets him. Also Roberto Martinez I think is his name that coaches Man City. Forget Klinsmann he already declined.
Rob
Thursday July 1, 2010 4:05 pm
@Hooligans - Bob Bradley was not the USA coach in the 2006 World Cup, that was Bruce Arena.

However I think you're correct about some bad lineup choices.

Why didn't Buddle get a start? He is clearly better and more 'in form' than Findley, not to mention that he's Donovan's teammate and the two of them SCORE GOALS.

Why didn't Clarence Goodson see any time? He was much better in the run up games than either Altidore or DeMerit.

And Beasley only sees 10 minutes in the tournament? He may have had a bad spell last year, but he's been to the big show before and performed well, setting up the USA's goal against, wait, who was it in '06? Oh yeah, GHANA.

Finally, Ricardo Clark? Really? I mean, how can Bradley possibly justify playing him in the round of 16 after he cost us a soft goal against England after 4 minutes into our first game? There's really a couple of things that a defensive midfielder NEEDS to do for a team: don't give away the ball in your own half, and don't lose your mark. Check and mate, Mr. Bradley.

On the positives, thanks for raising Michael to be the rock-solid stud that keeps the team going.
Hooligans
Thursday July 1, 2010 12:39 pm
For Bradley, he knew it was over when England scored scored early. He had flashbacks of what Koler did to him in '06. He expedited the situation when he told Findley"your my man - when you come bck from suspension you take the pitch." Next, Bocanegra secured his title of "soft as cotton" when he pulled up when he should of followed through on that OT goal. Does anybody see the pattern? He gave away the game winner in '06 against Ghana. Thanks for the memories Bradley but soccer has moved past you...
Scout92
Thursday July 1, 2010 2:34 am
Well in the end Bradley's first mistake was his choice of fowards, excluding Altidore of course. Cooper, EJ, & Marcus Tracy would of taken our foward play on the field to the level needed to be at the world cup. Experience!! Trade these three in for gomez, buddle, & findley. Success!!
matt
Thursday July 1, 2010 1:35 am
USA ties England....who were to be the winners of the Cup..
USA dramatic 0-2 comeback...stolen goal...Slovenia
USA 91st minute winner!!Algeria
USA lose in over-time....
Nothing to be ashamed of...everyone would wish for more..but....
what an amazing run!!
Thanks Bob Bradley...you may not be the future but you made me proud!
Bobeto
Wednesday June 30, 2010 9:44 pm
Excuse me Mr. Bradley, you said, "In the first rounds we showed a lot of good qualities." The truth be told...only 1 half of each first round match we showed quality play and that is the half Findley, Clark and Bornstein set on the bench....To keep starting the above players and getting behind early and having to claw back in the second half was bound to wear the guys out. You are to blame and need to step aside for a coach that plays the players that prove they belong there and not because they are your buddies...
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