Germans hail 'Marathon Man' Michael Bradley

[AMERICANS ABROAD] Michael Bradley's two goals last weekend not only helped relegation-threatend Borussia Moenchengladbach to a clutch victory, it had the German press hailing the 21-year-old midfielder as the Bundesliga's new star. Bild, Germany's largest circulation daily, headlined its article on Bradley's rise with an allusion to Landon Donovan's loan stint at Bayern Munich: "Hey Klinsi! Borussia has the Super Ami."

"Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann has a fondness for players from his adopted home USA," said Bild. "He brought Landon Donovan into the Bundesliga without success. He's back home. Gladbach's got it better."

Bild said Bradley's performances for the newly promoted team keep getting better. It dubbed him the "Marathon Man" and said, in his two-goal performance against at archrival FC Cologne in front of 50,000 fans, Bradley's opponents "must have felt a bit like being the in 'The Tortoise and The Hare' fable. Everywhere they ran, Bradley was already there!"

Kicker magazine gave Bradley, who scored the first and last goal of the 4-2 win in Cologne its highest grade, an A, which it doles our sparingly.

Those goals were Bradley's fourth and fifth since joining Gladbach last summer. A feat considered especially impresses because Bradley lines up as a defensive midfielder.

The win moved Gladbach into a tie for 15th place in the Bundesliga with Bochum (inside the relegation zone on goal difference). Gladbach plays Bochum and Friday.

Tor Fabrik wrote that Bradley, along with Czech midfielder Tomas Galasek, is becoming the "heart of the team," and that Bradley "combines an amazing tenacity and work rate with a significant portion of soccer intelligence."

Bradley's goals so far this season have been earned Gladbach crucial points in its fight against relegation. He scored in a 2-2 tie with Bayern Munich and in a 1-1 tie with Werder Bremen. He has played in 18 of Gladbach's 24 games and has gone the full 90 in its last six games.

The Rheinische Post wrote that, "Bradley arrived in Gladbach last summer and one started to wonder whether the $3.4 million transfer fee to Dutch Heerenveen was a bad investment. He looked like an ordinary role player. But now he's a key reason why Gladbach is undergoing a transformation. It has 11 points from six games. The same number of points it earned from its previous 18 games."

 

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