Michael Bradley Scores Totti-esque Chipped Golazo Against Mexico
Michael Bradley scored a stunning golazo against Mexico in Sunday in World Cup qualifying when he chipped Mexico’s goalkeeper Memo Ochoa from some 40 yards out while sprinting. Bradley’s goal was worthy of Francesco Totti who lived to score by the cucchiaio, as it’s called in Italian.
Several minutes into the game against Mexico, Bradley stole a pass from Mexico weaved right in between two defenders and more or less immediately hit a soft chip while sprinting over Ochoa who was near the top of his own penalty box.
Shawn Francis had it right when he posted a photo of Michael Bradley on Twitter with the caption, “Remember when you thought my dad got me this job?”
Bradley’s goal was impressive for several reasons. First, he hit his chip without any hesitation when he possibly could have tried to score by hitting his shot low and hard into the corner. Second, Bradley hit the chip from some 40 yards out, and, third, it’s very difficult to get the weight of the shot just right off a chip. Finally, Bradley hit his chip while dribbling at a sprint which makes the chip so much harder not to hit too hard over the crossbar.
In many ways, you can’t help thinking that Bradley should still be playing in Serie A if he’s able to score that caliber of an international goal. MLS offered Bradley a huge salary, but Bradley’s abilities are better maximized in European club soccer. In Serie A, Bradley proved himself to be an excellent dead ball specialist, and his chip against Mexico further showcased this control of the ball.
Before Bruce Arena took over as head coach of the United States, fans and the media had been lamenting Bradley’s play with the national team, but with better players deployed in a more logical tactical setup, it appears the Bradley’s struggles might have been caused by playing with subpar players.
After a goal like he just scored, Bradley might have silenced a small minority of his critics who unjustly blamed him for the U.S.’s poor play before Arena took over.