U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley continues to rehab in efforts to get back on the field for Serie A club AS Roma.
Should we all kick up some fret, worry and concern about Bradley’s current, inactive status significantly reducing his playing time going forward at Roma? It seems like a legitimate talking point as it relates to the United States national team; Bradley has long been the glue-man in Jurgen Klinsmann’s lineup. No one is more irreplaceable, as we’ve seen over and over during the affable German’s time in charge. The team’s passing through midfield and defensive organization in the middle third suffers greatly in Bradley’s absence.
But ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman had it right Monday when he talked about why any concern over Bradley stagnation or rust or whatever is wildly premature. If we’re talking about developing young players ahead of Brazil 2014 then, yes, we are up against the shot clock; in that case, the World Cup is just around the corner.
But if we are talking about proven talent recovering from a relatively minor ankle injury (“minor” in the bigger picture, that is), then there is ample time. We are seven-plus months out of the May training camp that will serve as the final World Cup cram session for Klinsmann’s three-year build-up to Brazil.
Here’s what Twellman said Monday:
If it’s January, and Michael Bradley is not playing, guess what? He’s moving. He’s shown that in the past. … Michael Bradley will know, in his mind – he’s is a coach’s son – he will make sure he is playing at the best opportunity he has, before that World Cup comes. And if it’s not Roma, he has no problem moving on. I have no concern about Michael Bradley at all.
Twellman also referenced talk of a summer move. That was the reported bid from Sunderland – but given the high instability of that situation, aren’t we all glad the U.S. midfielder didn’t get stuck in that circus?
Here is the moment, Taylor speaking on Bradley, from ESPN FC: