United States midfielder Michael Bradley says the players take the blame for the firing of Jurgen Klinsmann as boss of the national team.
Many speculated that Bradley and Klinsmann’s relationship was poor, due to changes in positioning and what Bradley seemed to intimate at times was a lack of organization from the coach.
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But Bradley maintains he was not pleased by the coaching change, taking responsibility for Klinsmann losing his job. The 29-year-old says, “as captain, nobody takes that harder than me.”
Bradley now gets another run under Bruce Arena, who gave the midfielder his first caps. Arena is also a good friend of Bradley’s father Bob, and most would assume the captain is excited for the opportunity.
“Once a change is made, you have to turn the page quickly,” Bradley continued. “I’m very excited to work with Bruce again. He gave me my first opportunities with the national team. [We’ve] maintained a relationship from afar. I have a lot of respect for the career he’s had and the way he has gone about making every team he’s coached better. His record speaks for itself. I’m excited to work with him again.”
The expectation is that Arena will adopt a two-man defensive midfield, and it seems likely that Bradley will pair with someone other than Jermaine Jones (certainly for the first World Cup qualifier, as the German-born menace is suspended for yellow card accumulation).
One of the big hopes for USMNT supporters will be a return to national greatness for Bradley, whose play has slipped in a midfield with Jones. Arena will bring positional and tactical stability.