After celebrating the USA's historic win over Spain, U.S. coach Bob Bradley
described the approach his team took into the game: "We really felt strongly that when we got the ball we
needed to be aggressive. We needed to play some of the kind of balls behind their defense that could cause them trouble. We needed to have the confidence that we could keep the ball and move it."
Particularly important was keeping the great midfielder Xavi in check. "When you play Spain, you have to work very hard as a group to defend," Bradley said. "We made a special point of
trying to close down Xavi as best we could, knowing that he gets the ball all the time, trying to make him play the ball square or backward as much possible."
Of course, scoring early
enhanced the U.S. effort, but also created challenges. "An early goal is a great thing, but it also means there are some periods, because Spain is pushing so hard, it means you are just defending,"
Bradley. "We did do a very good job of sealing down the middle of the field. Most of what they could get was coming through the flanks. I thought our backline did very well. In the center, both
and Oguchi Onyewu
had very strong efforts. Overall, it's a team effort to make sure the defending is good and to look for moments to get a goal."
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