It should come as a surprise to no one but Michael Bradley is very good at what he does. He was back in action with the United States Men's National Team over the weekend as they continued their World Cup warmups with a friendly against Turkey and managed to produce a moment of magic.
Bradley was once again at the top of the diamond midfield for the Americans and was relied on to be the creative force when they pushed forward in to attack. He did wind up having to do more defending and was dropping deeper in the second half as Turkey seemed to be having an easy time finding holes in the American midfield. Some of that was due to Jermaine Jones often being sucked out of his position but the problem was still there in the second half with Kyle Beckerman on which was when Jurgen Klinnsman switched to more of a flat 4-4-2 when defending which meant Bradley dropping back to help defend more.
When he was not busy defending Bradley was pulling the strings for the American attack. The Americans wound up being out possessed, outshot, and for the most part outplayed but the difference was that they had that little bit more of a cutting edge when they got a chance. A big part of that was thanks to the play of Bradley who produced a moment of magic to create the opening goal of the game.
His ball of the top for Fabian Johnson was a thing of beauty. Even after several viewings it is still impossible to figure out how he got the weight on that pass so perfect. It was just a simple little scoop pass with his right foot but it was hit inch perfect to allow Johnson to continue through with his run and hit it first time without having to make any sort of adjustment. It is that kind of ability that sets Bradley apart from most other players in the world.
Bradley's assist came just minutes after he almost opened the scoring himself. After having a shot cleared off the line in the last game he came close again as he wound up with the ball at his feet at the end of a 3-on-2 break for the Americans. He shot seemed to be headed for the corner of the goal but it could not get past the Turkish defender who managed to scramble it away.
Bradley was also involved in the Americans second goal as he brought the ball forward taking advantage of the space that Turkey was giving him before playing it out to the wing. The goal by Dempsey was one that the Turkish defender should have dealt with easily since it was a weak cross but the play was another example of the impact that Bradley can have on a game when he is given the chance to push forward and play creator for this team.
The Americans wound up coming away with a 2-1 win and now have one more tune-up left before they board the plane for Brazil. With Bradley having gone the full 180 minutes so far it will be interesting to see what role he plays against Nigeria on the 7th. He will likely start again though as the diamond remains a work in progress and with just two weeks until the Americans open their World Cup against Ghana there is little time left to get it right.