Michael Bradley: 'You have to have clear ideas'

The USA-Mexico game was decided on Rafa Marquez's goal in the 89th minute, but the tone of the game, won by El Tri, 2-1, was set early when Mexico came out and befuddled the USA with its interplay. U.S. captain Michael Bradley admired how they pulled the U.S. defense in an early blitz.

"Tactically, they do some interesting things," Bradley said, "and they space themselves out in a really good way. So you have to have clear ideas about how you’re going to deal with that and how you’re going to close them down, because if you don’t, then it’s easy to get pulled around, and it’s easy to have guys who step out of one space trying to close something down, and that’s exactly the space they’re going to end up playing through."

That's what happened repeatedly in midfield -- where U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann lamented the inability of Jermaine Jones and Bradley to win one-on-one duels -- and on the outside, particularly on the side of the field with Timmy Chandler, the wide player in the USA's 3-5-2.

After one goal and two shots off the woodwork in the first 25 minutes, the USA adjusted, going back to its traditional 4-4-2.

“I think ultimately it was [decided] amongst us all,” Bradley said. “It was clear that it made sense to change. Look, specifically, they overloaded our right side, which meant that Timmy Chandler could never step out, because [Jesus] Corona was staying very high and very wide. So it wasn't easy for Timmy Chandler to ever step out to [Miguel] Layun. And then the other one that was floating over there was [Giovani] dos Santos a lot, and Chicharito [Javier Hernandez] coming over. So they had a clear idea in terms of how they wanted to overload that side. It meant that Timmy Chandler got pinned back and ideally we wanted him to be able to step out and press Layun."
8 comments about "Michael Bradley: 'You have to have clear ideas'".
  1. :: SilverRey ::, November 12, 2016 at 12:21 p.m.

    It is sad when the players literally have to have an on-field revolt to get their tactics right.

  2. aka Football, November 12, 2016 at 1:23 p.m.

    Congratulations to Mexico. If this doesn't seal Klinsmann's fate, only a failure--or the looming failure--to qualify for Russia will. Such an abject tactical failure would get a national team coach fired anywhere else in the world. Except maybe San Marino. (No offense to San Marino!)

  3. Goal Goal, November 12, 2016 at 9:45 p.m.

    There is no doubt Juergan has good intentions but his decision making ability is questionable. Why in a game of this importance would he decide to change the formation with little or no time to work with it prior to game time?

  4. Wooden Ships replied, November 13, 2016 at 10:37 a.m.

    It's a flaw many managers-coaches have, trying to be too clever.

  5. Ric Fonseca replied, November 13, 2016 at 3:56 p.m.

    Fanfor, I share your concern as I too was bewildered as to JK's changes for this ever so important match, however, WS, I disagree with you that "many managers-coaches have", that is a "flaw" in "trying to be too clever..." Methinks that, even though I've been supporting JK since his appointment, I too am growing dissatisfied with his penchant for bringing over players from the Bundesliga, and yeah, OK, they're playing a more demanding style of futbol, yet, why did he bench those players that showed some cojones in previous prep games?

  6. Wooden Ships replied, November 13, 2016 at 5:39 p.m.

    Ric, I'm referring to the formation and during his tenure insisting upon a few players playing where he thinks their most effective. And, you're right he left out some guys that have been playing well. Again, trying to be clever.

  7. Bret Newman, November 14, 2016 at 7:31 a.m.

    Did anybody notice how poor Bradley play was? He looked slow, and made a lot of poor passes. His days should be numbered in my book, and I've been a supporter for him, all his tenure.

  8. :: SilverRey :: replied, November 14, 2016 at 5:25 p.m.

    Who are you going to replace him with? Bedoya? Danny Williams?

    No, I think he is still more solid than any of our players currently.

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