The Yanks stunning victory 2-0 over Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup will be fresh on everyone’s mind when the two teams meet again in Foxborough, Mass. on Saturday. But do you remember the time before that last time these two teams played?
June 4, 2008: The US dropped at 1-0 decision to La Roja in Santander, Spain. The match was part of a warm-up tour for the 2010 World Cup qualifying cycle, sandwiched between matches against England (0-2 L) and Argentina (0-0 T).
One of the few bright spots in that match was the performance of Freddy Adu.
In a 45 minute shift, Adu showed some of those unique “soccer qualities” that Bob Bradley admires. Asked about why he included Adu in the Gold Cup roster Bradley said this:
“Freddy is a player that in the past has shown us soccer qualities that we think would help our team. It hasn’t always added up enough yet with the full national team. This seems like it’s a good opportunity to get him back in with us where we have a good month together to challenge him and hope he has continued to grow and mature and can play a bigger role with the national team.”
“It’s not that we’ve seen anything specific playing for his new club that shows that now he’s made progress,” Bradley said. “It’s a package. He’s a player that certainly we all know at different times has shown some soccer abilities that are special. He hasn’t always been able to make them count in different situations at different levels. But we respect the fact that he made this move to go to a smaller club because he had to show people that he was willing to do whatever to keep going.”
Adu’s performance against Spain in 2008 is good example of the “special” abilities Bradley is referring to. And with the opening match of the Gold Cup just three days after Saturday’s friendly, we could see Adu get another 45 minute shift to show his specialness.