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Farewell, Michael Bradley: Looking Back on a Legendary Career

USMNT Midfielder Michael Bradley With the Ball

There are so many places to start when it comes to the USMNT legend Michael Bradley (as seen wearing the number four jersey for the national team as seen above), but I would be remiss if I didn’t get us started by showcasing one of the most iconic goals scored in US soccer history:

Goodbye Michael Bradley: The Legendary Career of the USMNT Midfielder

A goal so good, even the great John Strong didn’t really know how to react. You can hear it in his voice. It was the third ever non-loss in a competitive match at Azteca for the USMNT. Though, as we all know, they didn’t go on to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, that goal feels like the moment Michael Bradley’s USMNT legacy was immortalized forever.

In this day and age, seeing a USMNT player in Europe at the age of 18 is common place. That may be thanks to Michael, who at the age of 18, headed off to SC Heerenveen in the Netherlands, which jump started an eight year European career across the Netherlands, Italy, and England before heading home to the MLS to become a Toronto FC legend.

May 26, 2006, Bradley secured his first cap in a World Cup send-0ff friendly, and the rest was history. tenth all time in goals, third all time in assists, second all time in caps. The versatility as a central midfielder, known to be more of a defensive minded midfielder, is pretty remarkable. 17 goals, 23 assists, 151 appearances.

The first of the 17 goals came in an away friendly against Switzerland in his 13th cap. His first iconic moment however, came when the US needed him most. Down 2-1 to Slovenia in a massive second group stage game in the 2010 World Cup, Bradley delivered.

The US would go on to beat Algeria, thanks to THAT goal from LD, and top their group. An under the radar moment, but a big one nonetheless, on the biggest possible stage.

READ MORE: Michael Bradley: The Most Important Captain in Toronto FC History

Maybe this is just me, but for some reason, when I think of the bomb pop kits, I think Michael Bradley. An integral part of the generation of the USMNT that got me into the sport, and maybe his play style didn’t necessarily showcase it, but Michael Bradley is a key contributor, a legend with the likes Donovan, Dempsey, and Howard. So farewell to Michael Bradley. May retirement treat you as well as you treated the game, and the USMNT.


Photo credit: Steindy on Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0 DEED


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