Michael Bradley: Not just the coach's son
Midfielder continues to prove his worth to the Stars and Stripes
Born: July 31, 1987, in New Jersey, U.S.
Clubs played for: Although his father is the U.S. national team head coach, Bob Bradley, no one can castigate Michael Bradley for being an opportunistic coach's son. Bradley was singled out as a talented midfielder when he began playing for the erstwhile New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 2004, at the age of 17. Two years later, he was transferred to Dutch side Heerenveen and became the team's midfield general. Impressive international appearances for the U.S. earned him a lucrative move to the Borussia Monchengladbach, where he has become indispensable.
International career: Since making his senior debut at the age of 19, Bradley has appeared more than 40 times for the Stars and Stripes. Until 2007, Bradley pulled double duty, playing for both the U.S. senior squad and under-20 team.
Why is he so special? Bradley is a tenacious midfielder who never relents in pursuit of a win, and always wants to control the space between each penalty area. Capable of playing both an offensive and defensive role, Bradley is often praised for his incredible stamina — he rarely stops running over 90 minutes.
His most famous moment: The U.S. needed to score at least three goals against Egypt in the final group game of the 2009 Confederations Cup to progress to the semifinals. Bradley tucked away a Landon Donovan pass to put the U.S. 2-0 and in need of one more goal.
He said it: "At the end of the night you walk into the locker room and to be able to experience the feeling you have with your teammates, your coaches, with the trainers, that's why you play."
What they're saying about him: "He's a player who understood all the tactical aspects of the game very quickly, but he's retained an exceptional capacity to sacrifice himself for the team." — Thomas Rongen, U.S. under-20 head coach
Here is an interesting fact: Before Freddy Adu moved to Europe at the age of 18 years and 48 days, Bradley was the youngest player from Major League Soccer to move across the Atlantic at 19 years and 153 days old.