Michael Bradley is at the top of his game. For club and country he is dominating games from his midfield position. Whether he's playing a holding or an attacking role he's been able to heavily influence each game he's played in for the last month. Against Germany and the Netherlands he was the best player on the field. For Toronto FC he's finally starting to develop chemistry with the high priced talent around him. He's been a class above everyone else.
As we learned at the World Cup, if Bradley is struggling, the United States struggles. Many expected him to carry the U.S. in Brazil, but he wasn't able to fulfill those lofty expectations. We were all left wondering why he wasn't able to carry the sensational form he showed earlier in the year onto the world's biggest stage. A lingering foot issue could have been a big reason for his dip in form, but we may never know for sure.
After a slow start to the 2015 Major League Soccer season Bradley is back to the type of form that had some experts dubbing him the best American soccer player. Whether he is the best or not is irrelevant. What is certain, however, is that he's the most important cog in the current USMNT setup. Klinsmann's whole gameplan is centered around where Bradley plays can make the biggest impact.
His ability to control a game from the midfield is second to none in the region. If he's put in the right positions to dictate the play there isn't a thing opposing CONCACAF defenses will be able to do to stop the American's attack. Bradley can pick out one deadly pass or he can frustrate you with several short ones that pick apart your formation. And then there's his willingness to penetrate the opposition midfield and create opportunities on the break. Good luck trying to decide how you wish to contain him.
Heading into the 2015 Gold Cup, Bradley will once again be relied upon to carry the national team in a major tournament. This time he's healthy and in top form. This is his tournament to shine and to cement his name as one of, if not the best, players in CONCACAF. As always, the USA goes into the Gold Cup as one of the favorites alongside Mexico and Costa Rica. If Michael Bradley performs like we know he's capable of, the Americans will lift the Gold Cup once again and punch their ticket to the 2017 Confederations Cup.