Bradley: US are 'battle hardened'

  • By: John Curtis, Press Association Sport, Pretoria
  • Last Updated: June 10 2010, 11:19 BST

Michael Bradley has told England they will be facing a "battle-hardened" United States side in Saturday's opening World Cup clash in Rustenburg.

Bradley - Americans are ready to take on the best.

Bradley believes the success and experience gained by the USA in recent years will stand them in good stead for the meeting with Fabio Capello's side.

Twelve months ago, the States reached the final of the Confederations Cup in South Africa, defeating Euro 2008 winners Spain in the semi-final and losing 3-2 to Brazil in the final.

But Bradley concedes his side will have to play to their maximum potential to have a chance of springing a shock against Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Co.

The midfielder said: "We know it is going to be a big challenge. England have good players all over the field and we have respect for their team and their players.

"But, as a player, you want to challenge yourself against the best teams and players and collectively we are looking forward to that challenge.

"I think the experience we have gained in the last three or four years can only help. We have played Brazil, Spain, Italy, England, Holland, Argentina.

"As a team, we have battle hardened ourselves in a way. Now we step onto the field against big teams and there is a sense of we have been there before.

"We know what to expect. The quality will be even higher in a World Cup but we are ready for it."

But Bradley admitted: "In any game against a big team, you have got to have a bunch of guys who play well, who have good days.

"You need eight guys to have really good days and the others have to have solid enough days. There is a lot that goes into beating big teams.

"We have done that before and we are just concentrating on doing those things in training leading up to the games so that we are ready to go.

"What we have built inside the team the last three or four years, the coaches, the players, is good.

"I want to be a part of a team that does something big and special and we have been at work to do that for three or four years."