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The father & son plotting England's downfall

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Paul Fletcher | 11:00 UK time, Friday, 4 June 2010

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."

Bob Bradley (left) and son Michael 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.

Michael Bradley in action for Borussia Monchengladbach 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."

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  • Comment number 1.

    Well I don't know about anyone else but when the star player of Borussia Monchengladbach says he is gunning for us.... well we might us well get back on the plane back to England now!

  • Comment number 2.

    And that's the kind of attitude that'll see us go down 1-0.
    Ridiculous goal in the 10th minute, thanks to complacency, after which the yanks make the whole team stand on the goal line for 80 minutes. We shouldn't be taking any chances...

  • Comment number 3.

    So gun_for_the_hills by your logic I bet the Americans are scared to death of having the goalkeeper they will be playing against come from either a side that was relegated, a side that was nearly relegated or had to be loaned out because he wasn't deemed good enough to play at his own club. Taking the mickey out of a player because he plays at a mid table team in the fourth best league in Europe is a little bit stupid.

    Good article Paul, I have spotted a typo though. Michael joined Metrostars in 2004 and left for Heerenveen in 2006. - English Footballers Abroad

  • Comment number 4.

    gun_for_the_hills, if ignorance is bliss, you must the happiest man in toytown

  • Comment number 5.

    Good to see your not over confident gun_for_the_hills, remember USA beat Spain 2-0 now that is no easy feat and they were unlucky against Brazil in the final. The boy is only 22 y.o. and is a decent prospect for the future no doubt he'll go to a bigger team in the future and if he performs well against England i wouldn't be suprised if some premiership sides go in for him. Eventhough i think England will win i'm sure USA will give them a good game and it will remain close throughout.

  • Comment number 6.

    Typical arrogance that we associate with many Eng Ger Land fans, I can't until Bradley upends a half crocked barry on the US' way to victory.

  • Comment number 7.

    I agree with Gun_for_the_hills. At the end of the day this is a world cup. We have to go in confident or we're going nowhere. Teams like USA shouldn't be taken lightly but let's be realistic, they're no Spain, Brazil or Argentina who will would be a real test should we progress.

    Nothing wrong with a bit of confidence even if it is tinged with a slight arrogance. Come on England.

  • Comment number 8.

    Standard ignorance from gun_for_the_hills that makes everyone get so annoyed with some English fans. As patienceisavirtue says if you have that attitude you will go on to loose not just that game but not even make it very far in the tournament. USA ain't that bad a team, beat Spain last year. Can't say i have seen England beat a World Class team recently, pretty sure England have lost to teams such as Spain, France and Brazil, so don't think you can be to over confident!

  • Comment number 9.

    Bradley is an average hard-working player, like most of the USA squad. An honest footballer.

    In a game like this, England's biggest problem is complacency. If they can't beat the USA, they can forget about beating any half-decent team at the World Cup. The way that the USA play should suit England. There are no surprises here, the USA's best players- Dempsey, Beasley, Donovan, Altidore- are known in England. If England players play like they do for their clubs, they'll beat the US.

  • Comment number 10.

    I found Gun_for_the hills comment amusing. It was obviously intended to be tongue in cheek, but some people do not appear to have a sense of humour.
    That said, the USA are a greatly improved team over the last few years and should not be taken lightly. I still fancy England's chances to come out the group stage on top and the country should get behind them.

  • Comment number 11.

    typical arrogance. US will be a tough game and England arent that good and the US will definatly fancy their chances.

  • Comment number 12.

    I think that if England go into this game with the same attitude as Gun_for_the hills and lose an early goal they'll get beat. The USA might not be the best team but they're hard working and tend to defend well. They've also got nothing to lose by going for it against England. A couple of quid on a draw wouldn't be a bad bet I don't think.

  • Comment number 13.

    This is football, we're all gents (or at least most of us!).... Gun for the hills is just on a winder! It's pub banter!

    Saying that USA shouldn't be underestimated, gonna be a great match I think..

  • Comment number 14.

    I wouldnt be at all surprised with a draw in the first and potentially toughest group game. It wouldnt be a disaster (although certainly not ideal.)

    And gun-for-the-hills can you please leave your humour at home next time as its not appreciated. Now if everyone else can post the same comment of "we cant take them too lightly, they beat spain" etc then all the moaners will be content...

  • Comment number 15.

    Not sure why Gun_for_the_hills is so confident, when was the last time Enger-land last beat decent opposition? We were completely owned by spain, schooled by Brazil and beaten very easily by an average French side. In order for Enger-land to progress at this tournament is to somehow learn to keep the ball better and press teams who are far superior than ourselves at keeping it. Watching the Mexico game it was pretty evident who the beater technical team were and had that have been spain, Brazil etc we'd have taken a pretty comprehensive beating.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    I reckon this will be a 1-1 draw or narrow England win, 2-1. Hopefully it will be a cracking game, USA are gradually turning into a very capable international team

  • Comment number 18.

    4dam, I don't know who you are to be able to speak to the millions of readers on the BBC website, but personally I found his comment amusing.

  • Comment number 19.

    USA are a great footballing nation 8-)
    England keepers aren't as good as the rest of our world class team but to that 'Zackerious', you were claiming Joe Hart isn't good enough so he got loaned out ... but he was the best keeper in the best league in the world last season with the most clean sheets and save percentage than any of the engliish keepers so think about it mate :)

  • Comment number 20.

    Good blog Paul..we really don't know as much about the U.S. team as we should.

    Most forget they beat Spain to reach the Confederations Cup Final in S.A. last year, so will be no pushovers. I hope Fabio Capello has really focused the England players' minds on this game as it will set the tone for all to come afterwards.

    I can easily see a draw if England aren't right up for it from the get-go...the Americans obviously are.

  • Comment number 21.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 22.

    I love that in this country you can make a confident comment and get crucified! USA beat Spain in the confederations cup through Spanish complacency. The top teams in the premiership constantly get beat by poorer opposition through the same means, doesn't mean Fulham are a better team than United just because they beat them.

    If England seriously want to be considered then they have to be confident of beating teams like USA, who despite their Spanish victory last year are a second rate international football side. they play negative football and occassionally get results, that's not a detriment it's just intelligent on their part, if they came out all guns blazing every time they'd get hammered.

    The point is tha you're building USA up as world beaters when that's not the case, they're a solid hard working team who, England should beat with relative comfort if they're to have any form of success at thsi years world cup.

    . . . Of course they'll lose 1-0 and play poorly, but that's another matter.

  • Comment number 23.

    Some of you need to relax a bit.

    The USA are a 3rd rate team. If England can't feel confident playing against them, then God help us!

    And that's NOT being cocky, it's stating a fact. Facts are neutral when it comes to being cocky or whatever.

  • Comment number 24.

    I think we should go for it from the start as looking at the USSF website, there is one defender injured, another returning from an operation he had a month ago and a 3rd one was out for 7 months. Also, if the ref is card-happy, it'll end up at best 10-a-side with Bradley and Gerrard sent off after a clash!

  • Comment number 25.

    "4dam, I don't know who you are to be able to speak to the millions of readers on the BBC website, but personally I found his comment amusing."

    Mr Swadge either you are a comedy genius or you need to re-read my post?!?

  • Comment number 26.

    This game is going to be very difficult for us. Watch out for Torres, who plays centre midfield alongside Bradley. He is the creative source for the US, and is very good at free kicks. I can see USA playing a 4-5-1 formation, with Bradley, Edu and Torres in the centre of midfield, Dempsey and Donovan on the wings and Altidore up front by himself. The one major weak link is their defence. The full backs are slow and have poor positional sense, this is why I think we should play Lennon on the right and Milner on the left, and get at Spector and Bocanegra!

  • Comment number 27.

    Proof if it was ever needed, that the yanks do not understand sarcasm.

  • Comment number 28.

    Unlike everyone else, I think I might mention the blog instead of the banter/gun_for_the_hillsgate...
    Great blog; interesting and original. I was managed by my Dad for over ten years from the age of 9-20. People would obviously say it's nepotism, I wasn't a brilliant player, but we had no other left back other than myself and when I lost the love of playing in my late teens I was quite rightly dropped! Sunday afternoons were a nightmare as I copped the stick for the whole team's failings, went through tactics and training regimes with him, had to ring around to tell the squad if a game was off and all that type of thing...I imagine that that type of thing doesn't happen in a national side, but still! If the manager has players on the pitch who share his philosophy, then it makes it easier for the team to do well. I was never really a voice on the pitch (no-one listened to me!) but in the case of the Bradleys, Michael being a midfield lynchpin, offers him the chance to be one of the ‘controllers’ of the team that only really centre backs and central midfielders can.
    Besides, ideas of Nepotism just don't wash at international level!
    As regards the game, the US are a very good side and although it's hard to gauge the confederations cup, we should be wary of the threat they pose. If England had been playing with fluency and a good team shape then I'd be confident, but we play like school kids in the yard, relying on moments of genius rather than possession and tactical domination so it’ll be touch and go!
    Even if the US finish second in the group, I can realistically see them reaching the quarters and then, who knows, eh?
    I think a lot of the top teams my flatter to deceive. Argentina are managed by a man with genius feet that doesn’t seem to be replicated in the mind, I think Brazil can always be undone if a team plays the right way, Germany aren’t laden with stars, but will probably do well as always although they could just as easily fall at round 2. Portugal are a half and half team – could be amazing if the show ponies dressage well, but team shape? Defensive vulnerability? The Netherlands have their best side for a while. At the last world cup they played like a bunch of spoiled brat individuals who wouldn’t pass to one another. If they can change that, they could make the final. Spain are rightly favourites, but not out and out miles-ahead-of-the-field. France, I think will come second in their group and go out in the second round, Italy I’m unsure about, not fantastic on paper, but, like Germany will probably do well.
    Well, that’s that…sort of…where was I? Tangent…what tangent?
    Come on England, beat them yanks! King (if Ferdinand doesn’t recover!), Lennon and Crouch to star (Defoe cameo too!)

  • Comment number 29.

    Love it gun_for_the_hills, although if we lose now - I'm gonna hunt you down for jinxing it!

  • Comment number 30.

    England better be extremely cautious against the U.S. Take control of the game and never give an inch or else the Americans will shock them. If James is in goal England already are half way to losing.

  • Comment number 31.

    England fans expect us to win the world cup, that's nothing new. The Americans will work like dogs to take us down but, player for player England should win.
    It's all irrelivant though, I've come to accept the fact that we will lose on penalties in the quarter finals to Germany or some other team that probably won't win it in the end, now I am free to enjoy the tournament and go party with the Brazilian chicks when they eventually win the final =) woo!

  • Comment number 32.

    USA 2 (Donovan and Onyewu) ENGLAND 1 (Lampard)
    Wayne Rooney leaves the pitch with injury

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    I'm sure we'll find that the England team in no way reflect the attitudes on 606. Fans can be over confident, arrogant, over pessimistic, whatever, it makes no difference to the players ultimately. They'll either be ready or they won't and nothing posters on 606 have to say will have any effect.

    What I will say is that, while the US has a good team, on ability England should take this one. Because it is the WC, it will probably be very close - first round games almost always are. As a resident of the US (though born and raised in cosmopolitan Mitcham and Morden in the UK), I have to admit some small measure of pride in the progress the US has made given the obstacles of being the red-headed step child of American sports...

  • Comment number 35.

    I fully expect England to be confident, but it does project as bigoted arrogance most of the time. Referring to them as 'the Yanks' isnt a particularly good start - not exactly an offensive term, but you'd be a bit fuming if the American contingent on here shouted for their team to "whoop the Limeys' asses". There'll be patio furniture smashed through the fronts of South African bars after England drop their first point. Im Welsh, live with 2 english guys in England, and will be proudly wearing every single item of stars and stripes I managed to hunt down on the the safety of my own living room, of course!!

  • Comment number 36.

    Seems everyone is allowed a sense of humour except England fans, then it's called arrogance. Kinda amusing that the same people who call us arrogant have no problem writing 'Ingerland', 'Engerland' or any other variation.

    As for the game, this will be our toughest game of the group. The US are England-Lite (big grin). Same style, physical and can run for days. Their midfield looks pretty decent to me but up front there is nothing unless Dempsey play behind the striker.

    This will be close but think we'll sneak it by one goal.

  • Comment number 37.

    ahhh...... I think I made some friends today...

    I see tongue in cheek works well on these blogs!

  • Comment number 38.

    RE: 23

    How are the USA a "3rd rate team"!? They're on par with (or slightly better than) teams like Mexico, Turkey, Sweden, Czech Republic, etc... We wouldn't dare call teams with a history like these teams "3rd rate", but the fact is USA has caught up with most European/S. American teams on a national level.

    And the original comment (post 1) wasn't "confidence" at all. Whoever said that didn't read it, clearly. It was arrogance. Confidence is saying USA are a tough hard-working team with just enough pace and flair to cause us problems, but I see us edging it 2-1.


  • Comment number 39.

    I find it amusing that Bradley has been classed as not good enough because he plays in a mid table German team when, for Brazil, Gilberto Silva is playing in a Greek side and Argentine Jonas played in the Championship this season. Don't suppose they would get the same treatment.

  • Comment number 40.

    i love that last week before a world cup when everyone get's all hot and bothered and talks nonsense, it's right up there with standing on the London Underground at rush hour, brilliant?

    con·fi·dence (knf-dns)
    1. Trust or faith in a person or thing.
    2. A trusting relationship: I took them into my confidence.
    a. That which is confided; a secret: A friend does not betray confidences.
    b. A feeling of assurance that a confidant will keep a secret: I am telling you this in strict confidence.
    4. A feeling of assurance, especially of self-assurance.
    5. The state or quality of being certain: I have every confidence in your ability to succeed.

  • Comment number 41.

    Well, by the sounds of it he won't be spending too much time on the pitch. FIFA aren't exactly fans of combatative, confrontational players, especially ones who harrass their officials. Odds on a red card in the England match?

  • Comment number 42.

    post no 1 was a joke about a game. why is everyone getting so wound up about it. bet other countries make plenty of 'ingurland' jokes especially when heskey play and their countrymen probably find it funny rather than say its arrogance. it was a joke, i enjoyed it.

    on the blog tho, USA are a decent side, 3rd rate is harsh they are better than that but England are a stronger team and should win albeit not the easiest game. Could be an upset if england dont perform but given the difference in quality its englands game to lose not usa's game to win really, i dont think thats an arrogant comment, just honest.

  • Comment number 43.

    I don't think the USA are as good as some of the teams you mention, SpookyRichard. They're just a very well organised side with hardworking players. I would compare them to Norway or Belgium, maybe Scotland if I wanted to compare them to a European side. Both Norway and Belgium would qualify for the World Cup if they played CONCACAF qualifiers.

    The USA lost to Costa Rica in qualifiers. There's nothing there that should scare England if England are prepared properly.

  • Comment number 44.

    #19 - jdsmith_123
    England keepers aren't as good as the rest of our world class team but to that 'Zackerious', you were claiming Joe Hart isn't good enough so he got loaned out ... but he was the best keeper in the best league in the world last season with the most clean sheets and save percentage than any of the engliish keepers so think about it mate :)

    Let's read what I said again before you misquote me

    "(a goalkeeper that) had to be loaned out because he wasn't deemed good enough to play at his own club"

    So are you saying that at the start of last season Man City loaned their best goalkeeper to Birmingham because they were so confident in their number 2 Shay Given? No of course not. Hart was loaned out because he wasn't deemed good enough to be the number 1 at City (or in other words, to play at his own club). Given is number 1 and Joe didn't want to spend the year before a world cup keeping the bench warm. At no point did I claim Joe Hart was a bad keeper, I actually think he is a top keeper but don't want to get too excited for England after the disappointments of promising young keepers like Richard Wright and Scott Carson flattering to deceive in the past.

    The point I was making by highlighting the club background of England's three keepers was that judging a player's ability on the club he plays for isn't a valid argument.

    One extra point you raised about goalkeeper stats, does anyone actually think they are a decent measure of a keeper's ability? Clean sheets are at least 50% dependent on the team in front of them so of course a defensively minded (14th in goals scored last season) 9th place Birmingham City side will have more than 17th West Ham or 20th Portsmouth. You could have put Gianluigi Buffon, Iker Casillas, Julio Cesar, Hugo Lloris or whoever you rate as the best in the world into the Portsmouth side and they wouldn't have had more clean sheets that Hart.

    Save percentages are another misleading stat as they are completely dependent on the shots that the goalkeeper has to save. In one game a keeper (keeper A for reference) could have 10 shots at him. 9 could be tame shots that are easily save and then concede the other giving keeper A a save percentage of 90%. In another match a different goalkeeper (keeper B) could make 3 difficult saves and concede 2 wonder goals meaning he had a save percentage of 60%. Would these results mean keeper A is better than keeper B as his save percentage is 30% greater? As anyone who has done any sort of scientific research would tell you obviously not because the control variable of the quality of shots being faced isn't the same. Only if the two goalkeepers were facing the identical shots could a comparison be made.

    Apologies for going of track with this post but I hate when statistics are used misleadingly. To quote former PM Benjamin Disraeli "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

  • Comment number 45.


    You say USA is no Spain -- we beat Spain 2-0. Who are we then? Oh, that's right, we're USA.

    And England vs. Japan, 2-0 from own goals... That's a cracking result, mate!

    Good luck England. Don't forget 1776.

  • Comment number 46.

    #27. Yanks don't understand sarcasm. Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, most of us are above that. Are you?

    BTW, Irony > Sarcasm.

  • Comment number 47.

  • Comment number 48.

    The USA lost to the Czech Republic the other day and they are rubbish at the moment. That said they are not a bad team - hard working, etc. But Its annoying that people keep banging on about the confederations cup as evidence of what a great side the US are. Enland won the pre world cup tournament before France 1998 and look how much good that did us. We lost to Romania in the group stages.

    I have said it before and i'll say it again we will beat sides like the US, Algeria, Slovenia, Serbia, any African side, etc because of Fabio Capello. Managers like him simply do not lose 'winnable games'. Once we start playing the likes of Brazil, Spain, Germany, etc it becomes more cat and mouse and depends on the players.

    So to throw my bit of arrogance out there US fans Dont kid yourselves that your going to beat us Michael and Bob Bradley can plan all they like but you haven't got the players to cope with Rooney, Lennon and Gerrard. Even if you do sneak a goal off us we'll have the Human Pencil to throw on and bag us a few goals. 2-1 or 3-2 to England with the US inevitably snatching a first half goal or 2 but England waking up as usual in the second half and exploding into the 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP in South Africa!

  • Comment number 49.

    Let's face it, like a few of the other countries taking part, the Yanks shouldn't even be in South Africa. There are many better teams in Europe who should be there and would raise the standard of the finals.

    The Yanks should stick to sports they think they are good at or sports they think they are world champions at because nobody else plays them. Football (sorry, Soccer) is not one of them!

    England will knock four or five past them next week for a very easy win.

  • Comment number 50.

    Re 38

    Blimey Spooky Richard if thats confidence Id hate to see what you deem being nervy and slightly unsure!!

  • Comment number 51.

    Nice of someone to bring out the old "Americans don't get sarcasm/irony" line. Every American I've ever met and every American TV show I've watched seems to 'get it. Don't worry.

    USA did lose to Costa Rica, but England lost to Ukraine - therefore anyone better than Ukraine (most teams) shouldn't be worried about us at all. You can throw this logic around all day. But yeah, I get your point. USA's main strength is team spirit, effort, organisation and pace. Players like Donovan, Torres and Dempsey can provide a flash of magic when needed too.

  • Comment number 52.


    The USA vs. Czech Republic result. Look at the team they played. It was the USA B-team. So you can scrap that from your argument!

  • Comment number 53.

    yes boys - ENG GER LANDDDDDD.

    They will beat USA no doubt about it, allk this hype makes people think twice. USA may have beaten sapin, fair play to them, BUT they are no way going to beat England. They will get 1 or 2 goals but Fabs will not let us lose to a team that calls it soccer!!

    ENG 4 - 1 USA
    Rooney Edu
    Lampard x 2

  • Comment number 54.

    Re: 45

    I can't believe an American has said don't forget 1776! That's hilarious. Yeah, you've got us there. Everyone in England is still sore about losing our East Coast colonies over 200 years ago.

    You're funny.

  • Comment number 55.

    It doesn't matter if England beat USA, they aint going to win the world cup.

  • Comment number 56.

    The US are a good side and should be shown the respect they deserve. They beat Spain, who as far as I can remember, gave us a fairly comprehensive lesson in football. A friendly at Wembley is an entirley different prospect to the world cup and whoever thinks it will be easy is being daft. England SHOULD beat the US, but with England what we should accomplish and what we do accomplish are very different things.

  • Comment number 57.


    The Brits invented the term soccer. They meant it to describe the sport as played by BRITISH RULES, it's short for ASSOCIATION. "Socca."

    History lesson over. Funny how I have to teach you your own history?

  • Comment number 58.

    How about we stop bickering like children, and let our teams sort out who is better on the day?

    A British fan.

  • Comment number 59.

    @Do you like dogs

    Didn't you mean "Soca"? Or do abbreviations grow in USA?

  • Comment number 60.

    It's been quite entertaining to read all these comments. My dad is bigger than yours and all that.

    #57 - Do you like dogs

    I know the word Soccer is derived from the word association but what makes you say that the Brits invented the word?

    I think it'll be a tight game but England will sneak it.

    Michael Bradley can't be that good because David Moyes scouted him extensively and didn't take a gamble on him.

  • Comment number 61.

    Gun for the hills...that comment made me laugh...I guess the comments after show that people have had a complete sense of humour OR they're actually nervous about the cup.

    England should be confident of winning all their group games. If not then they'll struggle. Confidence is everything.

    Working for a company that crosses the pond, I'll expect a decent amount of banter, should be great!

    I'd be a little surprised if USA do not progress from the group. Algeria may be tricky but England & USA should get the better of them. I don't think Slovenia will be push overs but I don't believe they've enough to make it out the group.

  • Comment number 62.

    I am from Canada. I watch MLS and follow the US national team and other national teams in CONCACAF (North America, Caribbean and Central America). Personally, I think Bob Bradley should have been fired before the World Cup but he managed to stay on for two reasons. First, the upset win against Spain and admireable performance against Brazil at the Confederations Cup. Secondly, the US national team was unable to attract a more experienced coach like a Jurgen Klinsmann to take over the team before the World Cup. Bradley tactics are one dimensional. That is defend, defend, defend some more and then wait for the counter attack. It beat Spain at last year's confederation cup and it caught Brazil off guard in the Confederation Cup too but it did not work in the Gold Cup final(CONCACAF's equivalent of the European Cup) against Mexico last year when they were massacred 5-0 by Mexico in NYC last year. Micheal, his son is a regular in the US national team because he fits this style of play. He is a solid player but nothing England should be worried about. I wish Bradley would have tried to inject a bit of style and creativeness in his midfield and given Francisco Torres more opportunities to play with Dempsey in the midfield but that did not happen because Bradley usually likes to play two holding or defensive midfielders (one of them usually being his son) in his lineups. I don't think England have too much to worry if Capello gets his tactics right. I would like to see the US do well and pull off a few surprises but Bradley continues to use the same defensive 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 tactics. This is what Bradley brings to the World Cup so do not expect any surprises. Hopefully this World Cup will mean the removal of Bob Bradley from the US national team.

  • Comment number 63.

    At the end of the day, yes the US beat Spain, but Spain played a stinker by their standards.

    Englands ability to make terrible teams look good and good teams look amazing is what we should really be worried about. Tight one, but I'm going for a 3-1 England result if we can hit the ground running.

  • Comment number 64.

    @Mogba1 The term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford "-er" abbreviation of the word "association", often credited to former England captain Charles Wreford-Brown.

    Google is your friend.

  • Comment number 65.

    I think Mogba1 was just proving that none of you knew the history for sure, and had to in fact research this.

  • Comment number 66.

    "Or do abbreviations grow in USA?" Yes, we are called the USoA. It's not an abbreviation, it's "socca." I didn't type SOCCA.

    Anyways, the horrible result against Japan has left England found out and the team lacks creativity and determination. The USA might not look as good as the English team, on paper, but we play better together and we only have one prima donna in our team (as opposed to England's 15 or 16 prima donnas) and that prima donna did very well when playing for Everton.

    Dempsey and Howard will be key to our success and honestly, after losing to the Czech Republic and after England's miserable performance against Japan, I can see the USA playing anti-football and England trying everything with nothing working (as usual). A 1-1 draw is the most likely result but to be honest, USA have got a great chance. The team works so much harder than almost any other team in the competition (with exception to maybe a really tough team like Slovakia).

    England needs to be careful and honestly, I can't see them coming out and dazzling us. Good luck though, watching it with my best friend, who is from Burton-upon-Trent, and expect some good banter (He's also not as ignorant or pompous as some of the English comments here).

  • Comment number 67.

    @Jafooli - glad I could be of assistance.

    Ferdinand injured and out of world cup, Steven Gerrard now captain. Discuss!

  • Comment number 68.

    I'm from the Uk and have been fotunate to coach Football in the states on several occassions. They seem to over-complicate the game too much and associate it with their version of football. It's a simple game after all. There players will be physically fit and some of them will be technically good but I think we will go at them right from the start and over power them in the last 20 minutes and this is where we will win the game in my opinion. By the way just asking are there any American based MLS players we should be concerned about? Or do most of the players play on foreign soil?

  • Comment number 69.

    Thanks for the insight. What's this google you speak of?

    To be fair to JungleJon @ 53 he did say to a team that calls it soccer. He didn't mention the origin of the word.

    Anyway I'll be hoping that the USA go through in addition to England.

  • Comment number 70.

    gun_for_the_hills - you have sure stirred the pot. Just what we need pre-World Cup.

    What I love about the week or so before the World Cup is the completely meaningless pub-style bluffers banter than you hear. I had my barber telling me all about Uruguay yesterday. I would wager he could not name a single player but nonetheless managed to tell me that they have goals in the team and really know how to go for it.

    As for the US team. Can they beat England? Of course, though that does not mean that I think they will. I certainly think they have some very decent players who could make it a very tricky evening for England next Saturday, especially if Capello's men don't start well.

    I definitely expect it to be England's most difficult game in the group. (Thought what that is saying, I'm not exactly sure).

    As for Michael Bradley, lets see how he goes on. I certainly think he is a very decent young player.

  • Comment number 71.

    Maybe one. Edson Buddle of the Los Angeles Galaxy but it is difficult to say if he can carry his current form in MLS to the next level against international competition. He and Landon Donavon have had a good start at LA and Buddle is one of the leading goal scorers in MLS this year. Buddle's current form could not be ignored by Bob Bradley and it has earned him a spot on the US squad. But scoring and being in good form in MLS is different to scoring and being in good form in the World Cup. With J. Altitdore suffering a sprained ankle this might open up the door for Buddle to see if he can contribute to the US team at the World Cup and show that his current form in MLS is no fluke.

  • Comment number 72.

    @47 ...and the highest form of intelligence.

  • Comment number 73.

    I live in Salt Lake and see Findley regularly, and I do not rate him (especially not in terms of playing against a squad like England). He was chosen for his pace.

    Donovan is our best MLS-based player and will be a creative threat. My biggest concern is dealing with the threat of Rooney and his physicality, as well as some of the technically gifted players in midfield. I am not breaking a sweat though.

    1-1 Most likely result. Hopefully Dempsey can rough up Terry again (not hoping for an injury, maybe a wake-up call).

  • Comment number 74.

    LOL!! Paul I am sorry mate! that was purely tongue in cheek I did think people would pick up on that..... I guess not!

    Let me just say for the record people, THAT WAS A JOKE! CHILL OUT!!!!

    And if you think I'm cocky or arrogent let me let you in on this piece of infomation.... I'm a Arsenal fan, I learnt to stop being cocky about 4 seasons ago....

  • Comment number 75.

    From the inside of the England camp, the beans are splilled. It's a cover up I reckon.

  • Comment number 76.

    Well, with Stevie G now as your captain, your team looks more intimidating.

  • Comment number 77.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 78.

    Matthew-in addition to brian's comments above re: Buddle, I'd have to say the other strikers England needs to be wary of are Hercules Gomez, who currently leads all scorers in the Mexican league, and Robbie Findely from Real Salt Lake, who had a solid 2nd-half performance vs. Turkey last weekend. Both are really unproven at the international level, same as Buddle. I think it's safe to presume Capello's undoubtedly fixed his attention on Altidore, Donovan, and Dempsey as the US's main threats of attack, which plays right into the US's favour if he's neglected to scout these additional 3 strikers.

    I'm not delusional like many US supporters who are blindly allegiant participants in Uncle Sam's Army. In fact, I'm often criticised by other US supporters because I view the USMNT with a proper dose of reality rather than blind allegiance. The US is predominantly a very, very scrappy side. They play physical, they have pace, but they lack proper technical and positional ability on the pitch. At times, it's like watching a Chinese firedrill on the tele when a group of US midfielders are huddled together chasing after a single player from the opposing side. Lately, they've played with a bit more positional sense, but they're still sorely lacking in that area. Defensively, the US is shambles. You can run a lorry thru the midst of the holes on defense, particularly if they're playing Jonathan Bornstein in the back.

    While I respect Bob Bradley for taking the helm, I've got to be honest in that the coaching is severely sub-par. Players like Dempsey, Bradley, Cherundolo, Donovan, Howard, and Hahnemann, who play overseas under notables like Hodgson, Moyes and McCarthy, are faced with a dilemma of coming back to the states to play under a coach who clearly lacks international pedigree and has essentially been learning "on the job." It's like leasing a Jaguar for a 3 year term, and then you decide you're going to take it back and lease a Yugo. The decisions the USSF have made concerning US coaching and development have essentially thrust the program into regression, not progression. The players playing abroad have progressed; it has nothing to do with the coaching, let me assure you.

    That being said, the US has a "never say die" attitude. The problem is, they've got to keep to it for 90+ minutes. They are notorious for either starting or ending a match strong for 45 minutes, yet don't maintain that intensity for the entire match. As long as I've watched them play, this has been a major downfall for them. On paper & on the pitch, yes, England boast a far superior squad to the US. But, on their day, I think the US can impose a problem for any top side. The Confed Cup alone isn't a true measuring stick for the USMNT; you have to look at the totality of the 4 years Bradley's been in charge. It hasn't been as nearly a successful run as it should've been, especially during WC qualifiers. The problem is, we don't know which US side will show up to play in S.A. If the US fails to progress past the group stages, that will be the ultimate failure for them, but if they do progress, we'll have to see if they have what it takes to move thru the quarters.

  • Comment number 79.

    GUN_FOR_THE_HILLS....I do beleive it was that type of arrogance that was the main factor in you loosing to the USA in your first World Cup 1950. Before then you thought you were too good to even enter the tournement. Typical really that you still show the same characteristics even today. I dont think you will win all 3 group games and I hope its the USA that takes even a point off you.

  • Comment number 80.

    I think USA vs. England is going to be a very tough match. I wish both side will play nicely and responsible. As for the both funs, I wish both may not take this as a battle between them but just a fun. At the end, I believe both team are good and good luck to our US team.

  • Comment number 81.

    Living in the US I too must admit that I am routing for the US to do well. obviously not as well as the 3 lions but a second placed finish in the group at least. Let's be honest we England fans would take Brad Freidel right now (at least I would) and he isn't in the squad. Fond memories of when two top keepers (Clemence and Shilton) used to alternate to give em both match practice. Keeping spot is our achilees heel and a right back who can't defend. Apart from that we are OK but you need a great keeper to win the thing as in the Italian keeper last time. without him Italy would have been mediocre, which they were really.

  • Comment number 82.

    it's short for ASSOCIATION. "Socca."

    ^ That's called an abbreviation son.

  • Comment number 83.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    The one thing that riles me is when other fans on these boards dive in at one or two comments that might be described as "arrogant or cocky" and miss the other 97% that aren't. They then come to the conclusion that "all" English fans are arrogant. You sound like the Scots do usually. I was cocky after 66 but that memory has faded somewhat.

  • Comment number 85.

    millers_eagle when you said, "they're no Spain, Brazil or Argentina who will would be a real test should we progress."

    Have you forgotten the country that put an end to Spain's unbeaten run in the confed cup? it was the USA then in the final Brazil were really lucky to beat the USA, USA have a great work rate there are no big egos in the squad they don't have players who think they are the bee's knee's which means they work as a big unit they work together well.

    Most people think cause America isn't big on football then they arnt good at it but its growing over there every year and getting more competitive which is a great thing.

    All in all I hope they win USA USA USA

  • Comment number 86.

    for the yanks to call gun_for_the_hills' comments arrogant, is a little rich, don't you think? case of pot calling the kettle black.

    in my realistic opinion, this is one of the poorest us teams in a while and it doesn't have the element of surprise that prior teams did. i highly doubt if they even do any damage against algeria / slovakia that are far more underrated. my money is on england and algeria going through as #1 and #2 with Slovakia just missing out

  • Comment number 87.

    RockingtheJoint, least liked country..... right behind the British Empire. You're a laugh! Someone grab him a box of Pampers.

  • Comment number 88.

    The problem that you English have, you are not a team.
    The team spirit is like the 12 men on the pitch. That's why Germany is so strong. The USA is also much more a team as you. It would be not bad for the English football, when you as fans and your very rubish newspapers, (sun, sports, etc.) have a minimum respect for other teams.

  • Comment number 89.

    As I mentioned before, I was born and raised in England, and lived there until I was 17. I lived in Canada for 20 years, where I married an American girl, and then moved to the US, where I have lived for almost 10 years. I have come to understand that this is a good country, with good people, but run, just like almost every other country in the world, by self-serving egomaniacs. Also, like every other country, it has its good and its bad. The US has around 300 million people, so the chances of "bad" are increased. I am somewhat insulted by a couple of remarks about Americans, because these broad strokes would also include my wife, to whom I have been married for 23 1/2 years, and for whom I have the greatest love and respect.

    I read all this hate of Americans from people whom I would expect to be just a little more educated and worldly. If people based all of their opinions of a country purely on the most visible representatives, there would be very few likeable countries in the world. Americans do not have "no respect" for football, they just don't embrace it because they have 3 high profile sports of their own, each with its own merits and flaws. I have played what Americans call football, and I had a blast. I have also played Association Football and Rugby Football for years, and I have always enjoyed them. That English fans make a religion of the game of football and cannot understand why others don't is just plain illogical.

  • Comment number 90.

    Oh, and the most played sport in the USA by a wife margin is football (the Association kind)...just sayin'

  • Comment number 91.

    That should be "wide" margin, of course.

  • Comment number 92.

    Ah yes, the old "typical English arrogance" schtick. What's funny is, every fan, regardless of nationality or club allegiance, is guilty of this vice.

    For example, if the USA was taking on El Salvador, a lot of American fans would exhibit "typical English arrogance." If Brazil, Argentina, France, Germany, Spain, or Italy were drawn against the USA, their fans would also exhibit "typical English arrogance."

    I find it amusing that every fan out there is allowed to exhibit "typical English arrogance," except for English fans themselves.

  • Comment number 93.

    The pub banter here has been fantastic. But come on, we(USA) do sarcasm and condescension better than anyone. How else do you explain Americans running three out of the top four clubs in England (Does Liverpool count now?). If that isn't the essence of condescension give me a better example. Just kidding lads, no need for follow up comments taking everything personally. Truth be told, the American owners up north have disgraced the lot of us over here stateside who have great admiration for the real football and how it's played in England.

    June 12th. It may be a bigger game to us rather than you, but only because we're honest about it. Come on England friends, you can play the "we're more concerned about getting out of the group", or, "when the USA get out of the 2nd or 3d tier of world football call us" cards, but the fact is that you all do view this game with as much importance as we. You've just got a horrifically schizophrenic historical complex about the tournament. During qualifying campaign, we'll win the cup this year, 6 months out, cautiously optimistic, a month out, concerns abound, tournament time, oh no! not again, and finally you get knocked out and it all starts over again.

    For us? No such expectations. For the hardcores like myself, beat England, get out of the group, make the semis, that's good for me. No high expectations here, right? (see we do sarcasm).

    Game will end 3 nil to the USA. Within minutes, three quarters of England are on the ledge ready to jump, and all hundred of us who follow soccer in the USA jump to the heavens with joy.

    Calm down, just being sarcastic and condescending. We'll win one nil

  • Comment number 94.

    cpeskett, that's a great post, and I get a little offended when everyone lumps Americans into the ultra-capitalist, arrogant stereotype that certain media sources tend to paint us. What it is, it's a case of people being people. Yes, some of us are idiots, but you'd be an idiot to buy into the assumption that all of us are idiots (kind of like the Manc who comes into my coffee shop and demands that he make his own tea because "Yanks don't know anything about tea" and tries to preach that it's us, not him, who has an accent because he's "English").

    My mother is from England and we'll be proudly supporting the USA this World Cup and I cannot wait for the game. The banter that comes along with it is great, also. I can't think of any team I wanted to draw more badly than England (maybe France, who I hope we get after group stages and I hope we give them a right stuffing).

  • Comment number 95.

    @CaL4nia: We view every World Cup as important, and I mean *EVERY* game.

  • Comment number 96.

    I don't get the title "Like Father, Like Son". Seems like they're opposite personalities, actually.

  • Comment number 97.

    Do you like dogs: Sorry to say, but you won't be playing anyone after the group stages; you're going home after three games with zero points!

  • Comment number 98.

    LOL MoppTheHootle, sounds like sour grapes to me. We're going to take all three off you and England will struggle to make second.

  • Comment number 99.

    Go US. Just think of BP's oil spill and pretend England's players are BP execs.

  • Comment number 100.

    Re: 91. At 7:10pm on 04 Jun 2010, cpeskett wrote:
    That should be "wide" margin, of course

    No, it was funnier first round....


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