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Despite public flak, Jurgen Klinsmann “satisfied” with Bradley’s World Cup so far

Jun 28, 2014, 12:10 AM EST

Bradley AP

Michael Bradley has taken plenty of heat for performances that are below his known level of play.

The former Roma midfielder has struggled somewhat, proving solid for most matches before making key mistakes.

Usually a fitness machine, Bradley also showed signs of becoming fatigued in the Brazil heat and humidity, leading to late-game breakdowns.  Many have pointed to his loss of possession seconds before Portugal equalized as the headlining moment of Bradley’s struggles.

Even Bradley himself called his first match against Ghana “not my sharpest night.”

However, US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has brushed off this criticism, declaring he’s been happy with the performance of his engine in midfield.

“I am very, very satisfied with Michael in this tournament so far. I know that he has another gear in him. If he already plays on this level right now, we came through this group because of his influence on the field then if he steps it up another notch, it gives us with other players as well, this gives us a big hope now getting ready for the knockout stage, because we know that players have not reached their highest spot yet. He is one of them, but overall I am very, very happy with him. “

Bradley, while certainly not playing up to the standard of play we’ve become accustomed to, certainly hasn’t been a disappointment by any means.

For more on Klinsmann’s thoughts of Bradley’s play so far, visit Soccerly.com’s coverage of the story.

  1. kellybeck15 - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:07 AM

    The reason why his poor performances are getting him criticized to such a degree comes from how badly Jermaine Jones is outplaying him. All of those excuses about heat and strong opposition in the midfield are invalided as the world watches Jones run tirelessly, scoring goals and creating havoc.

    If Jones was slogging around making his usual mistakes, Bradley’s failings be far less apparent. Here’s to hoping Bradley can elevate his game on the big stage like his midfield mates Jones and Beckerman. It may be the only way the USA get through to the quarters.

  2. skipvanmeter - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Also Bradley has run 38 km in the three matches combined, a full 1 km more than the next player on any team. He’s all over the place.

  3. ravenswhat - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Like he’s going to bash his guy right before a knockout game. Nothing to see here.

  4. stevequinn - Jun 28, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    Bradley has been pitiful. Terrible passes, giving up the ball without being challenged, the list goes on. He should be benched.

  5. mcg1848 - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    Hopefully Altidore comes back and they can go back to the diamond formation used though qualifying. Bradley may be more comfortable then and we can see that other gear.

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