Jun 26, 2014, 4:18 PM EDT
Michael Bradley has been a bit of a whipping boy the past week, an unexpected development for a midfielder considered to be among, if not the most complete player on the United States roster.
It started with some sloppy touches in the opener, continued with a poor trap and failure to take a card on Portugal’s equalizer and kept going through the final group game against Germany.
Is it fair? Is it simply more backlash from the Toronto FC transfer?
Well, what if I told you that Bradley is topping a positive statistical ranking of every single player at World Cup going into the afternoon games? And that among the Top Five players on that list are German defender Philipp Lahm and Australian bulldog Mile Jedinak?
— Devin Pleuler (@devinpleuler) June 26, 2014
What does it mean? Well, the cynic would say it means that Jurgen Klinsmann didn’t sub Bradley and that he was constantly chasing after the other team and errors (After all, there are two eliminated players on the list as well).
But perhaps it just means that we’ve become accustomed to watching Bradley be far-and-away the States’ best player, and that his subpar performances are vexing us more than usual. What would you rate Michael Bradley after three matches?
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