What We're Reading

International Break 'Mixed Bag' for the Americans

  • FIFA.com, Friday, March 30, 2007 1:55 PM
FIFA.com profiles the U.S. national team, giving a somewhat stern review of interim head coach Bob Bradley, who's steered the men's national team to a 3-0-1 record in his first four games in charge. Despite USA's poor World Cup, it was never going to be easy for Bradley to repeat the feats achieved by former national team head coach Bruce Arena. As Claudio Reyna told FIFA.com, "There's always a transition period after a World Cup year, but coach Bradley's got a more pronounced transition with the retirement of some important players. He'll need to figure it all out before next year." The results would indicate Bradley's doing a fine job so far, mixing in a wide variety of new players with several established regulars, although FIFA.com says this international break has proved to be "a mixed bag" for the Americans.

As coach Arena (now a commentator) seemed to imply through his comment, "Landon makes a coach look good on days like this," apart from Landon Donovan's stunning hat trick, the U.S. didn't play that well in beating Ecuador, 3-1, in Tampa. That point was perhaps underlined by the Americans' drab 0-0 draw against Guatemala three days later. Both times Bradley fielded experimental lineups, although the team against Guatemala contained no less than nine players with five or fewer caps. On an anonymous day for Donovan, the U.S. midfield looked flat, particularly Benny Feilhaber and Michael Bradley in the center. Both sparkled against Ecuador. It was a frustrating night, to be sure. The U.S. now hopes to enter its next match against China on June 2 with lessons learned.

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