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We all feel Michael's frustration
Before I say this, let me say I think Michael Bradley is a phenomenal young midfielder, and I'm a big fan.
That said, the midfield really failed to gel against Paraguay. Michael Bradley was needed to guide the team's attacking movements and create chances.
Instead, he fell back into a bad habit of the US Men's team, he tried to force it. The patented "kick it as hard as you can down the field" move didn't work so well for 'ol MB90 last night. That said, Bradley's shot towards the end of the game was maybe the USA's best chance of the night. Too bad it was saved.
Maurice Edu, the Rangers man, was pretty humdrum against the Paraguayans. Just an all around lousy performance. Keep your chin up, Maurice, and try again next time.
Against Argentina the midfield struggled as well. Coach Bob started the game with Jermaine Jones, Bradley, and Edu up top as an attacking midfielder. Mr. Sweatpants was aiming for a defensive effort, but Lionel Messi stymied the midfield quite well.
Jones only played the first half, and he didn't do too well either. For a man whose move to the US squad was so hyped, Jones has struggled to perform for his adopted country.
The second half was a better performance, with Bradley making some nice defensive moves but also committing a few mental errors, as well. One must remember, when judging Michael Bradley's game, that he has not been receiving too much playing time at Aston Villa, where he is on loan.
Now, perhaps if Stu Holden had been fit for this game, things would be different. Holden's ability at creating attacking movements, on such great display at Bolton, would have helped the USA in a big way. Sadly, Holden will be injured through the Gold Cup, so he will have to wait to serve his country.
There are a few other prospects that Bradley has to play in midfield, such as Mix Diskerud or Brek Shea (both young and talented players).
But he also needs to find a working mix for Jones, Edu, and Bradley. Though stylistically a bit similar, I believe that they are all solid assets. Maybe you don't play them on the field at the same time, maybe you play Bradley and Jones or Bradley and Edu, plus a third, more attacking-minded, midfielder. There are many possibilities, and I'm sure Coach Bradley will be trying out new combinations.