Michael Bradley wants to go back to the big time. The 25-year-old midfielder says that the allure of playing for the United States in its seventh consecutive World Cup should be more than enough motivation to make sure the team approaches its match against Honduras on Wednesday appropriately prepared.
“We have a good group of guys who have the experience of doing this over the last few years," explained Bradley in a press conference alongside head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Tuesday. "When you get to this point in qualifying, where so much is on the line, you don’t need a lot of motivation. We see the World Cup on the horizon, and we’re ready to go."
A vital result of that motivation, he claims, is taking the necessary steps to be prepared for the game at Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula. The game falls on a standalone fixture date before the remaining qualifiers are bunched together in groups of two or three, and Bradley says that alone, in addition to a number of other factors, can present a tough task.
"These single fixture dates are always a challenge," Bradley said. "It’s important for every guy to come in with the right mentality and really ready from the time that plane lands, to be mentally and physically ready to prepare themselves for the game.
"The main thing is, you never know exactly what to expect. From the time that you get here to the time that you leave, there will be 50 things that go on that don't go exactly to plan. It could be the field, it could be the referee, it could be the crowd. There's so many points along the way where things can work against you.
"That's where you have to have the team mentality and the team spirit, the commitment and determination that says, 'Listen. We're coming here to get a job done, and no matter what happens, we're going to stick together, we're going to fight for each other, and we're going to all be committed to doing whatever we have to do to make sure that we walk off the field with a good result.'"
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