FRISCO, Texas (AP) Michael Bradley will get his 100th cap for the U.S. in Tuesday’s CONCACAF Gold Cup opener against Honduras, becoming the 16th American to reach the century mark.
The 27-year-old midfielder was appointed captain of the U.S. squad by coach Jurgen Klinsmann last week after Clint Dempsey was suspended by Major League Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Federation for a confrontation with a referee last month.
Bradley was among five players on the field for every minute of the Americans’ 2010 World Cup campaign, scoring a late equalizer that salvaged a 2-2 draw against Slovenia. He also started all four games at last year’s tournament in Brazil, though his form was at times lacking.
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His effectiveness returned following left foot surgery last October, and he was outstanding in friendlies at the Netherlands and Germany last month, helping the U.S. to victories in both.
Scoring has always been secondary for the son of former U.S. coach Bob Bradley and nephew of retired Major League Baseball catcher Scott Bradley. Bradley’s 13 international goals rank well behind the totals of Landon Donovan, Dempsey and Eric Wynalda, but he has become a key leader directing play from the midfield.
”It’s something different, something special, playing for this team and being able to represent something bigger,” Bradley said. ”For me, I’ll continue to do that and continue to give everything I have until the day somebody tells me they don’t want me around anymore.”
The defending champion U.S. will be aiming for its sixth championship at the biennial tournament for North American, Central American and Caribbean teams, being co-hosted by the U.S. and Canada.
Panama also plays Haiti on Tuesday in Frisco, Texas.
On Wednesday, Costa Rica faces Jamaica and El Salvador plays Canada in Carson, California; and on Thursday, Trinidad and Tobago meets Guatemala and six-time champion Mexico takes on Cuba in Chicago.