Battle for the Center of the Pitch
I often find myself looking deep into the future to the year of 2010. It is so far yet so close. With qualifying already starting in various regions of the world, the focus of the football world and soccer country will be on the year 2010 in South Africa.
One of the most intriguing questions come 2010, besides if we will have a striker who can finish consistently, is who will be manning the center of the park?
Today at training in Switzerland, Bob Bradley stared out at his vast group of young players with a few sprinkled vets, and four hungry men stared back. Out of these four, plus possibly a few at home, the center of the midfield will be shaped from.
One of the guys Bob Bradley sees is very familiar to him, his son Michael Bradley. Michael has slowly but steadily been increasing his stranglehold on one of the center midfield slots that could come into play in Bob Bradley’s 2010 lineup card. His club and country form have been nothing short of outstanding as he continues to prove that he has the versatility to be a destroyer all by his lonesome while a shorter darker u-20 pal of his could possibly play a pure number 10 in front of him.
If Bob decides to go with a more conservative route, which he has been taking for most of his tenure as head coach, he will pair two defensive or two-way midfielders in the center of the park.
Another guy who seems to be in commanding position to partner with the coach’s son is Benny Feilhaber. Yes, you remember, the hero of the Gold Cup. The kid sorta came from nowhere this summer to being one of the most talented players on the field every time the USA suited up. These days he is struggling for time in England, but is still riding on his performance of the summer. He has a few under him who were just like he was a short year ago, nipping at his heels.
Danny Szetela and Maurice Edu are new to this whole national team thing. Szetela was always on the radar, but only truly showed up for the first time this summer at the U-20 World Cup. Maurice Edu has been doing his thing all year in MLS, making a strong case for Rookie of the Year. You could call these two the hungry young guns, but then again, Bradley and Feilhaber are just as young.
Pablo Mastroeni and Ricardo Clark send you their well wishes as well.
The talent and depth Bob Bradley has at his disposal in the center of the pitch is quite impressive, those who emerge from the battle for those coveted positions will prove to be as well.
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