United States coach Bob Bradley said Monday that South African winter conditions could help deliver a thrilling World Cup.
He spoke briefly after the ‘Stars and Stripes’ swapped hot, humid conditions at home for a chilly, overcast Johannesburg evening when they became the fifth national team to arrive for the June 11-July 11 tournament.
“We have been here before and know the conditions,” he said, referring to the silver medals USA collected at the dress-rehearsal Confederations Cup in South Africa last June.
The Americans stunned European champions Spain in the semi-finals and led 2-0 in the Johannesburg final before Brazil stormed back with three unanswered second-half goals.
“This World Cup is in winter and that is good for football because teams are going to play at a high pace. I think it is going to be a great World Cup,” said the coach who included son and midfielder Michael in the 23-man squad.
USA face England in the central platinum city of Rustenberg on June 12 in a repeat of a fixture that caused a World Cup sensation 60 years ago with the Americans triumphing 1-0 in Brazil.
Their other Group C fixtures are against Slovenia on June 18 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg – a match likely to decide who joins England in the second round – and Algeria on June 23 in Pretoria.