Written by Will Parchman

01.05.2007 Liverpool v Chelsea - CL Semi-Final;2nd leg; (1-1 agg, 4-2 pens)

In 1998, Manchester United was near the apex of its power in England. A year later, the Red Devils would win an unprecedented treble with the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League. As a handful of United’s brightest stars soon discovered, success breeds hatred, even within your own countrymen.

Before an international match in 1998 in the run-up to the World Cup at Wembley, Gary and Phil Neville trotted out to the field for a warm-up and were greeted with vociferous boos from the England fans. The chorus rained down: “Stand up if you hate Man U.”

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Written by Will Parchman

boys

The release of the 22-man USMNT roster for the April 2 friendly against Mexico was notable for a few reasons. DeAndre Yedlin’s inclusion leads some to speculate that Jurgen Klinsmann is looking at the young right back as World Cup bench material. Mike Magee’s exclusion would appear to be the end of his attempt to sneak onto the 23-man roster as a backup forward in what is ostensibly his final shot. And of course Julian Green is Julian Green.

Relatively speaking, those were surprises. But there was one more surprise embedded within the roster reveal: Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey might play together. In Jurgen Klinsmann’s 46 games in charge of the team dating back to August of 2011, that’s only happened four times. And it’s only happened once from whistle to whistle.

Few would argue that in the upcoming World Cup, the outfield trio of Bradley, Dempsey and Donovan holds a number of the cards in terms of how successful the USMNT will be in Brazil. But how often has each combination played together since Klinsmann took over? And what do those results look like?

Here’s a look at each combination of those three since Klinsmann’s first game. The numbers bare out a truth we already knew in a broader sense: these three may be familiar with one another, but under Klinsmann they haven’t had much time to gel as a unit.

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Written by Will Parchman

bradleyblood

As they develop and then age, the limbs of human society bend toward comfort. This is a fact of human existence that echoes loudly in most every prominent civilization that’s lasted beyond infancy.

Rome rose from sticks jutting from the banks of the Tiber into marble bathhouses and lavish villas. Sparta’s brief, sporadic rule over its Greek sister city-states was rejected and overthrown by an alliance of less militaristic regions desperate for cultural breathing room. The British established tea rooms in Bombay. The U.S. has literal fountains of chocolate at the unfortunately named Golden Corral. On it goes.

That that the timeline of human history invariably skews toward comfort and away from uncomfortable viscera is not a value judgment, it’s simply a thing to say over dinner in the same way you’d comment about the weather or a car payment. Life continues apace, but the thing hovers. The blood of a butchered chicken is replaced with the faint idea that the consumed item was once a living artifact, walking and breathing on this planet next to us. But it’s an idea in the same way the wind is an idea. There is no dirt under it.

What this means is that as cultures progress toward the synthetic and away from the gravel and stone and viscera, life twists in new directions. Call it the Jaded Age, perhaps, but what ultimately happens is the brick and mortar of life is slowly diminished in favor of a new plane of existence – the more comfortable realm of technology and pleasure and enjoyment and whatever else.

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Written by Will Parchman

bradley

Michael Bradley is now living in Canada. What does that mean for you? Hopefully not much. If he comes into World Cup pressers speaking with those rounded vowels and snapping off ‘eh’s’ and ‘you betcha’s’ like they were step-overs, then we can all appropriately gnash our teeth.

For now, he’s just losing bets. Bad, bad bets.

Bradley apparently made a bet with his TFC teammates that the U.S. hockey team would beat Canada in the Olympic semifinals. It… didn’t happen. The U.S. lost 1-0 and now Bradley is relegated to wearing these rags.

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Written by Will Parchman

After all the talk and rumor and conjecture (and the odd viral campaigns), Jermain Defoe was officially announced as the next MLS big shot on Monday. Oh, and some guy named Bradley was announced alongside him. TFC is making the playoffs in 2014. Just mark it down already.

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Written by Will Parchman

michael-bradley

On Tuesday, TFC reasserted its position to its hardcore fans by reiterating that it had pushed back its deadline for renewals for season tickets. Still on the fence? TFC was giving you until Jan. 31st to re-up. GM Tim Bezbatchenko told the nearly 15,000 season ticket holders in an email on Tuesday that, “A new, winning tradition begins this season for Toronto FC.” Eye-roll territory coming from a TFC official, yes, but the timing was curious.

A day later, the move seemed almost prescient. Michael Bradley on a platter. How about those season tickets now?

MLS is not a T-shirt league. Attendance wars are won and lost over the vitality of your season ticket base, those hardcore fans willing to stick out brittle fall and early spring nights and sweltering summer days. Win those and your backbone is set. By allowing its fan base time, TFC provided a small example as to why the Tim Leiweke era is already doing big things. Dwayne De Rosario and Jermain Defoe and Gilberto are already in the wings. Now Bradley? Stop it.

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Written by Travis Clark

When watching the U.S. Men’s National Team play, it’s always easy to spot one player: the shiny, bald dome of Michael Bradley.

It also helps, of course, that he’s the team’s best player at the moment, but his physical characteristics caught the eye of Italian radio announcer Carlo Zampa over the weekend. Bradley, who plays for Roma, scored the game winning goal on Sunday against Udinese, as the Italian side won its ninth straight game to start the Serie A campaign.

His second half game winner triggered an over-the-top reaction from the announcer, wherein Bradley draws comparison to Superman’s arch-nemesis, thanks to their physical resemblance. You can also check out video of the goal after the jump.

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Written by The 91st

The U.S. Men’s National Team is cruising.

Goals from Jozy Altidore (his third in three games) and Eddie Johnson led the way for the USA in a 2-0 win over Panama in World Cup qualifying. In front of an electric crowd in season, the USMNT dominated its CONCACAF opposition to jump to the top of the standings in qualifying.

See for yourself with the highlights from Tuesday night.

 

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Written by The 91st

Just in case you were wondering how to pronounce “bluetooth” or “touch screen” US Soccer’s Michael Bradley has you covered.

You might want to look elsewhere for help with your Italian, though.

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

The USMNT earned a stirring 2-2 tie in Russia that was set up by Mix Diskerud’s goal in extra time.

This was a most satisfying result for the Americans who battled the No. 9-ranked team in the world in hostile conditions and came away with a 9-2-3 record for the year, tying their best winning percentage (.750) in the modern era.

The US fell behind early, but Michael Bradley leveled it in the 76th minute and it was on from there.

 

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