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Bradley Urges Calm Over U.S. Copa Performance
New York Times, July 25th, 2007 3:46PM

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U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley issued a calm response to criticism over his decision to send a squad of untested internationals to the recent Copa America in Venezuela. In an interview with the New York Times, the U.S. boss reiterated that the Gold Cup was the priority and that fans should not lose sight of the big picture.

"We always know there's work to be done, improvements to be made. It's important to try and see all sides - that when you win, you still look at the little things that we need to improve, and if you lose, you still know there can be some positives." It's becoming increasingly evident that part of Bradley's vision is to prepare a large pool of players to choose from for World Cup qualifying matches and major international tournaments, including the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. Bradley, who has a reputation for being a tinkerer, wants to make sure he doesn't miss anything.

"We knew at the start of the summer that it was going to be a unique challenge to immediately switch gears and go from the Gold Cup to the Copa," Bradley said. "We all understood the challenges, and we still feel like we gained experience." Looking forward, the U.S. has a series of internationals in Europe, beginning with a friendly against Sweden next month, followed by Catalonia and Switzerland in October. "We all know that we have to start playing better in Europe," he said. "I think that in the last two World Cups, we've shown that we're capable of playing with the best teams, but that the margin at that level is small."

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