Could Bradley be Dumping the Bucket?


My American Soccer Show co-host Dave Denholm, CSRN’s Peter Brown and myself have been scathing on air in our denunciation of Bob Bradley’s tactics: the bucket formation and the overall defensive posture. However with Bradley’s wooing of Jose Francisco Torres and latest squad selection I believe Coach Bradley “gets it.” He realizes despite the results our play in recent qualifiers has been subpar and will not translate to results in the Hexagonal. I believe Bradley has come to the conclusion that he needs to set the team up the way Bruce Arena did. Focus first on defense but attempt to score some goals on quick counter attacks going the other way and not simply rely on dead ball/set piece situations.

Here is how the United State could set up in the Hexagonal:







Obviously Beasley could play on in his natural position on the left side, but Torres has almost become a counter attacking specialist at Pachuca, and his decision to play for the US may be predicated on Bradley adopting this style and formation. Also Clint Dempsey played well enough this weekend for Fulham to make me believe he still has something left. I wouldn’t start him but I wouldn’t drop him from the squad either. Let’s hope Michael Bradley can take advantage of the coaching change at his club and find the pitch and not end up in Benny Feilhaber purgatory after moving to a bigger league. If Bradley does not crack the starting XI soon at a club that is likely to be relegated I’d strongly consider Mo Edu, or down the road Bakary Soumare in the holding midfield position.

Also I’d continue to call in Frankie Hedjuk, Eddie Lewis and Pablo Mastroeni for leadership purposes even if they are not going to play. This US team still sorely misses the leadership of Eddie Pope, Claudio Reyna and Brian McBride.

16 thoughts on “Could Bradley be Dumping the Bucket?”

  1. C’mon Kartik.

    Bradley isn’t agressive enough or even smart enough to make these changes.

    Even if he places Donovan in the middle he will keep a second holding midfielder and dump a striker, leaving Adu or Torres on the bench. Or maybe both will be on the bench.

  2. It’s tool bad Ochoa wasn’t called in. I think he’d be a good backup option at center/right back. Then start Wynn and ditch Cherundolo. Cherundolo is not good enough any more to be the automatic starting, or even backup, right back.

    With the play the USMNT has exhibited so far in qualifying I am not getting my hopes up. However Bradleys roster has me interested.

  3. Bandetto, I know Nowak likes Ochoa and got him to commit to the US, but like Parkhurst this could be the case of Nowak liking a player that isn’t on Bradley’s radar. Besides he’s getting inconsistent minutes with Tecos. But I do like him long term.

  4. Denholm has strong opinions and I agree with him more than I disagree with him. He is very intelligent. Just because someone has a different opinion does not make them an idiot.

  5. No, Denholm is an idiot.

    Half of the time I listen to “The American Soccer Show” podcast I can barely get through it, because of Dave’s incessant, idiotic, and unnecessary rants about the dumbest topics.

    I do appreciate Kartik though.

  6. even if he did his team isn’t playing with the attacking nuance to break down good world cup teams nor does what i’ve seen from his sides display a focus on constant movement into and out of space, the creation of space, dangerous attacking backs, close control, taking players on, especially in the wide positions, playing the ball on the ground, clinical first touch by all players, and clinical finishing from it’s strikers.

    And i’m specifically talking about against good teams not named Mexico, not the minnows we’ve been playing recently which show us very little.

  7. the point he can change his formation and that’s a positive but the bigger issue is the philosophy of football that’s being employed.

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