And the national team, which meets Costa Rica Friday evening in a pivotal qualifier at Red Bull Arena, is on a 14-game unbeaten streak that includes a CONCACAF Gold Cup title.
Arena has pushed the right buttons, simultaneously creating a sense of competition and community within a team that’s weathered injury, lineup changes and on-field adversity to reach the threshold of a World Cup.
Bradley and goalkeeper Tim Howard, each of whom is hoping to play in a third World Cup, offered ample credit to Arena and his staff for putting the framework in place.
The makeshift team Arena deployed during the Gold Cup’s group stage labored at times, and it took a while for the Americans to get off the ground in June’s home win over last-place Trinidad & Tobago.
Injuries to John Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin will test the back line at RBA and in San Pedro Sula, and competition for positions up front and alongside Bradley could make for some difficult decisions.
- US Soccer anticipating strong home crowd Friday in World Cup qualifierNew York Daily News
- US men's soccer team ready for huge World Cup qualifying gamesPhilly.com
- Tim Howard, Bruce Arena confident in USMNT defense despite absencesMLSsoccer.com
- US game vs. Costa Rica was always most important in HexagonalESPN FC (blog)
- Five Things to Know About Costa RicaU.S. Soccer (press release) (registration) (blog)
- US hosts World Cup qualifier in New York area for 1st timeLaredo Morning Times
- Bruce Arena: USMNT injuries won't be obstacleSoccer America
- Bradley, Howard cite change in US mentality as reason for banner 2017MLSsoccer.com
- United States versus Costa Rica: CONCACAF 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier previewSoundersFC.com