The father & son plotting England's downfall
Never heard of Bob and Michael Bradley? They are the father and son team plotting England's downfall when Fabio Capello's side meet the United States in their opening World Cup fixture on 12 June.
Bob is the US coach and 22-year-old son Michael is a key midfielder - and both are determined to spoil England's party.
"When we step on the field in Rustenburg, I'm sure that both teams will go after it," Michael told me. "Right now I feel fresh and excited. The US team will be ready to give everything."
Michael takes advice from dad Bob, who is the US coach
Michael sounds relaxed and laid back during our conversation, often spending a long time considering his answers. On the field, he is a different proposition.
A tenacious midfielder who thrives on breaking up play, he is equally adept at initiating attacking moves with raking defence-splitting passes.
The younger Bradley also has a short fuse, particularly if he feels he has been wronged. He completely lost it after a confrontation with Uruguay's Mathias Cardaccio at the end of an Under-20 World Cup match in 2007 and his team-mates struggled to restrain him.
Then there was last year's Confederations Cup in South Africa. Michael was controversially dismissed late on during the US's 2-0 semi-final win over Euro 2008 champions Spain and confronted referee Jorge Larrionda in the tunnel afterwards, behaviour that earned him a three-match ban.
"The way I play is aggressive and committed," added Michael. "I guess it is a big part of who I am as a person and a player. I don't want to lose that."
In contrast, Bob is not given to displays of emotion. He likes to send out the message that he is calm and in control. The 52-year-old is occasionally described as intense but is generally regarded as a diligent and thoughtful coach.
"He is just an honest, straightforward kind of guy," Soccer America executive editor Mike Woitalla told me. "He might not be all that exciting and seems quite serious but I get the impression that he shows more warmth with his players."
When Bob was Michael's age, he started his managerial career at the University of Ohio. After coaching several university and Major League Soccer sides, the US Under-23 boss was handed the reins to the senior team in 2006.
Many observers expected the role to go to German Jurgen Klinsmann but the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) opted for the lower-profile Bradley, who subsequently navigated his side through World Cup qualifying as well as guiding them to the final of the 2009 Confederations Cup.
Michael has played his part in that success but there have been inevitable - and ill-judged - claims of nepotism.
I tried to get a sense of what it must be like to play in a side coached by your father. Is it awkward or difficult trying to compartmentalise your professional and personal relationships?
"He's my dad - it is what it is," answered the Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder, who seemed unflustered by the whole subject. "The stuff that has been written or said - I don't have any time for that. To me, the most important thing is and has always been to have the respect of my team-mates and the coaching staff."
Michael might be based in Germany but the two are in regular contact, while satellite television helps Bob keep track of his son and other foreign-based players. Not surprisingly, Michael lists his father as one of the trusted few he can rely on for the sort of honest opinion that helps to keep him grounded.
Bradley is a regular in the Bundesliga for Borussia Monchengladbach
Bradley junior's footballing odyssey started at the tender age of 15, when he moved to the IMG Soccer Academy in Florida that serves as the training base for the Under-17 national team.
He joined Major League Soccer side MetroStars in 2006 and two years later, at the age of 18, became the youngest player to be sold by MLS, which holds the central registration for all their players, when he moved to Dutch side Heerenveen.
"If you go to another country at 18, you have to learn how to take care of yourself, make sure that you are ready to train and play," said Michael, who moved to Monchengladbach in 2008 and can now speak both Dutch and German. "Mentally, it has been a very good experience."
Michael, who is often used as a defensive shield when the US come up against top-quality opposition, was sat in the home dressing room at Monchengladbach when the World Cup draw took place on a cold Friday evening in early December.
He was preparing to face Bayern Munich but found it difficult to stay focused after learning the US would play England in their opening fixture.
The midfielder was part of the team that lost a friendly against England 2-0 at Wembley in May 2008. That was an end-of-season match devoid of memorable incidents - and Bradley is determined to make sure this summer's contest has a very different conclusion.
"There is no bigger game for me than England versus the US at the World Cup," said Bradley. "I want to be tested at the highest level."