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.
Here he comes.
When Henrikh Mkhitaryan signed for Manchester United in the summer big things were expected.
It’s taken him a while to settle but now the Armenian playmaker has scored his first goal for United with a stunning superb solo effort against Zorya Luhansk on Thursday in the UEFA Europa League.
Watch the video below to see Mkhitaryan put United 1-0 up.
What a goal.
You truly have to see this a few times to believe it is possible.
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Stunning footage from a game between National Vatera and Makedonikos Kozanis in Greece’s four-tier last weekend has emerged as Kozanis striker Thanasis Takidis goes clean through on goal, gets one yard out but then somehow delays his shot and is blocked on the line by a defender, then the ball gets away from him.
Watch the clip above to see probably the worst miss you will ever see.
I mean, come on man…
YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) Japanese champion Kashima Antlers beat Auckland City of New Zealand 2-1 in the opening game of the Club World Cup on Thursday.
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Kim Dae-wook headed Auckland ahead five minutes after half time, but substitute Shuhei Akasaki equalized for the J-League champions in the 67th minute.
Fellow sub Mu Kanazaki then completed the comeback in the 88th, heading home from close range after Shoma Doi nodded a deep Shuto Yamamoto cross from the left back.
Kashima advanced to a quarterfinal against African champion Mamelodi Sundowns in Osaka on Sunday.
The winner of that game will face Copa Libertadores winner Atletico Nacional in the semifinal Wednesday. European powerhouse Real Madrid also enters the tournament from the semifinal stage.
The use of video replays was available during the match but there were no official reviews. The technology is there to be used only for correcting clear errors in game-changing decisions.
Week 15 of the Premier League season has arrived with Manchester United hosting Tottenham, Liverpool welcoming West Ham and Leicester City and Manchester City clashing at the King Power Stadium.
[ STREAM: Every PL game live, here ]
With some intense relegation battles between Swansea City and Sunderland and Hull City and Crystal Palace, there is plenty on the line as the festive season really starts to heat up.
Below are previews, score predictions and everything else you need to know about all 10 games this weekend.
Chelsea vs. West Brom
Leicester City vs. Manchester City
Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool vs. West Ham
Arsenal vs. Stoke City
Southampton vs. Middlesbrough
Swansea City vs. Sunderland
Watford vs. Everton
Hull vs. Crystal Palace
Burnley vs. Bournemouth