It’s his first goal for Roma, but it’s also his first goal as a new father. And for fans of the U.S. Men’s National Team, his mere presence in the Giallorossi XI is a relief.
There are so many tangents to explore off Michael Bradley’s goal on Sunday, you can easily overlook it’s value within the match. At the time, Roma were up 1-0 on visiting Atalanta. Bradley’s put-back of a Mattia Destro shot, messily coughed up by Andrea Consigli, gave Roma a valuable insurance goal.
See for yourself:
An injury had limited Bradley to one league start since moving to Roma this summer. Having missed out on the U.S.’s last two qualifiers, there may have been concern the States’ best midfielder was about to miss the last two, crucial qualifiers of CONCACAF’s semifinal round. While he only went 72 minutes before Zdenek Zemen brought him off, Bradley looks good-to-go for Jurgen Kilnsmann’s next squad.
Given how punchless the U.S. midfield was without Bradley, his availability was always going to be important. With Landon Donovan going down last night, getting Bradley in the team could prove vital. While the U.S. would still be better than Guatemala or Antigua and Barbuda without Bradley and Donovan, in soccer, it doesn’t take much for a lesser team to get a result.
Against Jamaica, we saw what the U.S. was like without Bradley, Donovan and a full-strength Dempsey. They were probably the better team, if only slightly. But that was only good for three points over two games.
The U.S. would still likely get out of the third round without Bradley and Donovan, not that it matters. Thanks to Bradley’s return, that scenario will likely remain a hypothetical.
Morgan, USWNT cruise past Costa Rica 5-0 behind early flurry of goals
The U.S. Women got off to a flying start in Olympic qualification Group A play by torching Costa Rica 5-0, including goals from Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, and Crystal Dunn.
Morgan led the way with a double, including one in the opening 12 seconds – only six passes off the opening kick – that set the record for quickest goal in U.S. Soccer history. Lloyd and Dunn both struck in the opening 15 minutes to make it 3-0 before Costa Rica even had time to blink. Lloyd’s came on a penalty after Dunn was felled for the captain’s 83rd international goal, and then the latter bagged one of her own minutes later on a rebound off a shot by Morgan.
The visitors were able to make it Morgan scored her second after the hour mark to cap the goal tally. Jill Ellis completed her trio of substitutions after the fourth goal and the U.S. saw the game out easily.
The fifth came late on a cross from Tobin Heath that fell to Christen Press in the box. With her back to the goal, the 27-year-old produced a simply stunning first touch, back-heeling the ball down before whipping around the opposite direction to lose her defender and firing home the fifth goal.
With the final whistle, the United States improved their record against Costa Rica to a perfect 13-0. The U.S. will play Mexico next on Saturday before finishing out Group A play against Puerto Rico on Monday, February 15.
The United States got off to a historically roaring start in Olympic qualifying. Taking on Costa Rica in Frisco, Texas to begin Group A play, Alex Morgan opened the scoring in just 12 seconds, taking just six passes to complete the masterpiece.
According to the USWNT twitter account, the goal is the fastest in U.S. Soccer history.
Alex Morgan's goal is believed to be the fastest goal scored in U.S. history. #13in13seconds. #USAvCRC, 1-0, 7'
Two Major League Soccer clubs have put their kits out there for the 2016 season. They’ve received a mediocre welcome at best.
Columbus was the first, and their kit makes a bold statement moving away from the traditional yellow and black that so often adorns their regular shirts. Instead, the kit incorporates the Columbus flag onto it. The release has seen quite a negative reaction on social media.
The kit was unveiled at the Columbus City Hall on Wednesday, featuring the traditional adidas stripes, although instead of the usual placement on the shoulders, the stripes come down the side of the torso. Recently, adidas has the tendency to copy general jersey patterns across its multiple properties, so look for this design with other clubs in the near future.
The negative reaction to the Columbus release isn’t terribly surprising considering fans often enjoy sticking to tradition, and backlash is common when clubs deviate from the norm. As an additional hurdle, the color contrast between red and yellow is somewhat stark, lending to the difficult reception. Add in the bright pastel blue shorts and…yikes.
While the club didn’t describe how they will utilize this kit during the season, it’s likely to be the primary (at least for now) as the club release says the kit portfolio also includes last year’s black kit, which is traditionally the away kit.
NYCFC’s release of their secondary kit was more positive, receiving a mixed response on social media.
As you can see, adidas again copied their general outline with the stripes down the side of the torso. However, the German clothing manufacturer did much better with the general design of these kits than the Columbus ones. I will give a bit of personal opinion here: I absolutely love these kits. The ripple effect accentuates the crest with a near-3D effect, and the colors mesh perfectly which serves to assuage the eye from being overwhelmed by a busy design. If there’s any criticism, it’s that without an outline, the Etihad logo tends to get in the way a bit, but that’s nitpicking. Well done NYCFC. Columbus…I’ll leave that one to you all.