CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Tuesday, August 10, 2010
When the US kicks off Tuesday night against Brazil in Meadowlands Stadium, Robbie Findley will be looking to build upon his experience in preparation for the 2014 World Cup, not to mention continue his scoring stride.
After entering coach Bob Bradley's radar relatively late in the squad selection process, the Real Salt Lake man became an integral part of the US' formation up front during their campaign in South Africa. Appearances in friendlies against Honduras and El Salvador at the start of this year solidified his presence in the national team, well after a brief debut against Switzerland back in 2007. Findley intends on maintaining that trend.
"I think I've done some stuff that the coaches have seen in me," Findley said in an interview with YA. "They know what I'm capable of doing."
Bradley selected Findley on his birthday on Aug. 4 along with fellow forwards Jozy Altidore, Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez. The 25-year old is favored to get the starting nod to pair up top with Altidore, as was the case in Findley's three appearances in the World Cup.
It was a respectable, albeit blemished debut for the Phoenix, AZ native on the soccer mainstage. After recording 77 minutes of action in the Americans' opener against England, Findley featured in the first-half lineup in the 2-2 stalemate against Slovenia, as well as the final 2-1 loss against Ghana. Midfielder Benny Feilhaber entered for Findley at halftime in both of those games, pushing Clint Dempsey into the vacant right forward position.
Also collecting a pair of yellow cards and a spot on the suspension bench for the dramatic 1-0 defeat of Algeria, Findley takes away valuable lessons from the Cup that can help his chances of making the 2014 squad.
"The whole experience was something that I'll never forget," Findley pointed out to YA. "It was definitely a good thing to be a part of."
After missing out on the Americans' 2009 run through the Confederations Cup to the final, Findley was one of the few players on the roster who had to get acclimated to playing in South Africa at altitude.
"There was a lot there that I had to take in in a short period of time."
He is also looking to bring in what he sees as the most valuable lesson from the Cup.
"International experience," Findley continued. "Playing against top countries and in certain situations feeling more poised in the games."
With his growing cap count at eleven, Findley continues to be a mainstay in Bob Bradley's scope, a fact that could change after Tuesday's game. Much discussion since the World Cup has surrounded the future of Bradley at the helm, but Findley maintains his support of the coach.
"I think he has done well with the progression of the national team," Findley said of his coach. "I hope the best for him. I think he does well."
Regardless of who is at the helm, Findley is making sure his MLS play makes his inclusion on the national team a foregone conclusion. Since returning from the World Cup, the Phoenix native has improved his form in the Real Salt Lake fold, notching three goals in twice as many games.
Findley will be bringing that good form, poise and international experience facing the Seleção, in addition to the excitement and anticipation of playing in New Meadowlands Stadium.
"We know there's supposed to be a full house," Findley concluded. "We'll get a good crowd. It should be a good match."