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Jesse Bradley | Former Professional Goalkeeper, Soccer Insider

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November 30, 2022 6:13 am

Jesse Bradley | Former Professional Goalkeeper, Soccer Insider

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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November 30, 2022 6:13 am

Former Professional Goalkeeper & soccer insider Jesse Bradley joins the show.

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Throughout the 60s and 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. I'm interested in making money.

I'm not interested in hurting people. Fifteen years into Kirksey's life sentence, the Dixie Mafia was practically folklore, but that would soon change. I'm Jed Lipinski. This is Gone South, a documentary podcast from C-13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio. Season 2, The Dixie Mafia.

Available now on the Odyssey app, or wherever you get your podcasts. Throughout the 60s and 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. I'm interested in making money.

I'm not interested in hurting people. Fifteen years into Kirksey's life sentence, the Dixie Mafia was practically folklore, but that would soon change. I'm Jed Lipinski. This is Gone South, a documentary podcast from C-13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio. Season 2, The Dixie Mafia.

Available now on the Odyssey app, or wherever you get your podcasts. Excited to welcome again to the show Jesse Bradley, former pro goalkeeper on the international stage. He knows what it's like to be in the pipes for games that really carry so much emotion and so much impact. USA reaches the round of 16 for the first time since 2014. And Jesse, I'm going to start with my emotions during the match on Tuesday, and then you can tell me yours, okay? My emotions were... AHHHHHH!

I know. It's like, when it went between the goalie's legs with a minute left, I just had this surreal experience, like, is this really happening? And then they're claiming a penalty kick, and I'm like, in the last minute, I think everyone was stressed, and it's because, you know, this only comes once every four years. And someone said to me, you know, one score was 0-0, and they can never get those two hours back.

But I don't think you really understand sports. It's like baseball. The Mariners went up against the Astros.

0-0, 18 innings. But when it's 0-0, every little play counts, and one mistake, you know, one breakthrough, it's going to determine the course for the team. So all of us, you know, we're just cheering them on and just captivated by the action today. Christian Perlisic finally has his World Cup moment. That goal, it took teamwork.

It wasn't just Christian, but he followed through. He put life and limb on the line. In that moment, what were you thinking?

What were you seeing? Absolutely. He stepped into the moment. He owned it.

He grabbed that by the scruff of the neck. You know, I think of desire and ability in life and that combination, we know he has the ability. But that was unquestioned desire. And also, it shows us, you know, with leadership, there's always a cost. Love includes sacrifice. You know, it's true in parenting. It's true if you're in a business. It's true on the sports field.

And basically, he just said, I don't care about my body. Like, I'm all in, and whatever collision happens, I'm going for goal. And I really think for both goalkeepers and forwards, you've got to be fearless, courageous, or a little bit crazy, because you can think about your body. All you can think about is what the team needs, and he paid the price. He didn't play the second half, but I know it was worth it. I love what I saw from the Americans in the first half because it involved everybody.

How would you evaluate the teamwork that you saw when they first got on the pitch? Right on. And you see McKinney's pass, he's dropping dimes. You know, he passes it out to Dest, who could have played for the Netherlands of the U.S.

Interesting. So, he's going to go up against the other team in the next game. But the midfield play, we just haven't seen that quality, that skillfulness, and the give-and-go. People really are watching this, and it's changing the way they see American soccer. And it's the touches, it's the skills.

You know, Moussa turned 20 today, and look what he's doing out there. We have these guys who are, you know, teenagers in the top clubs in Europe. And the midfield, you know, if you don't follow much soccer, the midfield is the one that really sets the tone.

They do the most running, they have to have skillful touches, they have to work together, and they set the pace and the tone of the game. And I felt like the first half, we put our stamp on that game, and Iran was really on their heels. In terms of math, you would want to say, let's just get the tie and we advance. But in terms of mentality and mindset, I think it's almost better to know that you have to win to advance. And I felt like the U.S. played with that desperation and that intensity, whereas Iran starts thinking, well, can we hold them for this half?

What if we retreat here? Well, we kept them on the net so far, and a lot of teams don't play their best when they only need a tie. And, you know, the U.S. was up to the challenge. What did you see in the second half then? Because, first of all, it was the longest hour of my entire life. And it was not the same feel.

Maybe it was just because I was so tense, but what did you see after the break? Right. You know, a huge play at the end of the first half was the goal we scored that was just barely offsides. And we have VAR, we have technology now. If we didn't, that might have counted. If we get two goals, it's a whole different second half. But we're a team that hasn't scored much. I mean, we've only scored, you know, the two goals.

The first two games, we only had one shot on goal each game, I think. So we're a team that wins by defending, and defending wins championships, and it takes all 11 guys to commit to that. But we are solid in the back. The goalkeeping's good.

We're working together as a unit. We're getting our outside backs, those are the outside defenders, up the line, making runs, attacking. So I really feel like, you know, there hasn't been a lot of changes in substitutes. There's a few guys that are really talented. You know, Claudio Arenas may be the most talented and skillful on the team. And he hasn't seen much playing time.

He might come out next game. But I really feel like there was a work rate. People understood on the team what it's going to take to win. Guys that have role, you know, roles like sergeant up front. He's a target man. He just controls the ball. Nothing flashy, but he's steady.

He gains possession. And I just felt like across the board, they stuck together. And you can't start criticizing each other. You can't panic. It really takes a system and a team committed to that. And I think you really saw, you know, exception maybe the last 5 minutes.

It was Helter Skelter. But at that point, there's so much adrenaline. And at that point, you know, you're just trying to cross that finish line. When you get to the marathon, you know, it's a 26 mile. Your form isn't the prettiest in that last mile.

But you're just like, I got to get there. We're so close. And they crossed the finish line today.

Oh, there's a lot of sprinting, but it's definitely a marathon when you think about the number of minutes that these guys are out there on the field, spilling blood, sweat and tears. It's such a privilege to have Jesse Bradley back with us again. He's agreed to help us as an analyst during this World Cup where the U.S. advances to the round of 16. He's a former pro goalie himself joining us from Seattle after hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio.

Defense and keeping your specialty. So let's talk about my man, Walker Zimmerman. He doesn't start in this game. But as you point out in those last few minutes, it's Helter Skelter. It's crazy. He must have had a half dozen headers out of the box to get that ball back to midfield or at least out of play in that moment. And even oh, my gosh, I think I nearly passed out when he gets behind Matt Turner as that kind of safety net and kicks the ball away when it squirted from Matt and is literally rolling towards the goal, Jesse. This was an incredible performance from Walker in a substitution role.

I know. It felt like that ball was rolling for like 10 minutes towards the goal. Everything's in slow motion.

Like, is this really happening? Is Walker going to get there? And, you know, you can focus on individual players and you grab life lessons. And the first game, Walker Zimmerman, he made the biggest blunder of the tournament defensively. I mean, he unnecessarily took down, you know, Christian Bale in the penalty box. We lost the goal. We tied the game. I mean, he could have been hanging his head, but what did he do in the second game?

He came out and Cain, who is lethal. I mean, he's one of the best forwards in the world. He's going to put it away for an early goal. And, you know, that could have been the end of the game, but instead Zimmerman comes sliding through there, manages to deflect the ball at the last second, saves the goal. And I really think that's why we got the point that game. And I think in life, when you mess up once and you get an opportunity to come back, it's like, all right, step up, learn from the past mistake. Don't carry the shame and the guilt and then make the play. Going into this game, it might've been a surprise that he didn't start because he started the first two, but again, he's ready. And in life, you don't always get it to play out how you want.

You don't always get all the playing time or you don't get, you know, the game doesn't flow how you think it's going to flow. But the coach called his number. It shows he has confidence in him. And when Walker came in, he knows what his strength is.

And in any arena in life, knowing what your strength is, is so important. And Walker Zimmerman is a monster in the air, and he cleared out so many balls when they needed it. And it's no mistake that he was cutting behind Turner.

I mean, it went through Turner's legs, and as Walker's back there, that's what the great defenders do. They have a knack and sense for where they're needed, and they step into those places. You know what's fun about this? Like, I was sending him a message on Instagram just encouraging him, you know? And I get a response back, and it's just fun, you know?

This team, you feel like they're approachable. And Walker Zimmerman, some of his faith is so important to him, and you see it on the field, off the field, how he lives. You know, that's an important part of my life. And so it was cool just to connect on that level too.

Sent him a Bible verse encouraging him today. But, you know, you really, you have to deep, go deep, and it's that deep character. And it really tests you in situations like this. How are you going to respond when you make a mistake? How are you going to respond in the biggest setting that you've ever played soccer? You know, how are you going to keep your head in the last 5 minutes?

And how are you not going to panic? And for these guys, they just haven't been on this stage, and you can't simulate this. It's like you can practice football and pretend the other quarterback is Mahomes, but that's not going to be like actually facing Mahomes in a game. And it's one thing to look at game film. You know, in England, it's another thing to step in there and make the key play so we get the tie and the point and we can advance. And you can't hide it on the field.

It's like when Messi says don't panic after they lose the first game, and then he takes that stage and slots away a clutch goal against Mexico. You can just see the weight of the nation. It's like they're carrying on their shoulders. Now there's joy.

Now there's freedom. And it's like someone had to lead and step up and make a play. You saw Christian do it today.

Seen Walker Zimmerman do it. And it's those moments that you just don't forget far beyond the sport. It's an example and something inspiring that people that are younger watch it, and then they step up. You know, to not be intimidated, we're going up against the Netherlands. They're a giant. But I like the story where David takes down, you know, Goliath, and we're a little bit like Dave and Goliath going up against the Netherlands.

But what some people forget about that story is David was a shepherd, and he took care of lions and bears, and that built up to Goliath. And so, you know, we've made it through England toe to toe. We've made it through Wales.

Clutch game, we got a result against Iran and won the game. I think we're ready for the Netherlands, and all of this is part of the preparation. And really, it's not just practice. It's not just things going smooth. It's how you bounce back and how you step up.

You can't be passive. So all the six halves so far, we were only on our heels for one half. It was the second half against Wales, and I think we learned from that. I'd love to see us have another forward that can score. I think that's, right now, that's the void on the team, someone who's just a clutch clinical forward to produce more goals.

But I feel good. I think we could break through. We've only made it to the final eight twice, and I think this could be a year when we step through and make some history. Jesse Bradley is with us from Seattle, helping us review and look ahead and celebrate Team USA into the round of 16 in Qatar.

It's after hours, CBS Sports Radio. You referenced leadership. I've been really impressed with what we've seen from Matt Turner, both on the pitch as well as off. He is your counterpart there in goal.

What have you seen from him in these three games, his first time on this stage? He's a reliable shot stopper. And when Mason Mount hits that shot from England, it's going in the corner, Matt almost makes that one look routine.

And for most goalies, it's probably in the back of the net. He has an incredible ability to anticipate and then get to the difficult spots. His reach, he's long, and he's a cool customer in nets. Sometimes he dribbles a little more than, you know, he doesn't always look the smoothest dribbling, but he's managed perfectly. He hasn't made mistakes, so his distribution has gotten better.

He knows when to roll it out. He knows when to kick it down the field on a counterattack. It just feels like they've got the right guy in the net. But where you're really going to see his value is moving forward, because a goalie in soccer can steal games. Like in baseball, a starting pitcher can steal games.

And, you know, Clayton Kershaw can win for a team if he's hot. And if Matt Turner plays what he's capable in terms of the next few games, he's a goalkeeper that can carry us through a couple more rounds. I love having him in nets.

Now we're down to just 16 teams. So there's going to be overtime, and then there'll be a shootout if necessary. And you couldn't ask for anyone better than Matt Turner. He brings a lot of confidence. The goalie sets the tone. And when you have confidence in your goalkeeper, everyone plays with confidence. The defense, you see them taking some more risks.

If someone's going to take a shot, they're not flinching like, oh, no, where's it going this time? They just know Matt's got it. And it's a defensive unit that's done really well together.

I feel like they're on the same page. He's the main communicator. The goalie has a unique vantage point, sees the whole field, and then positions his players all the time.

When you're watching the game, you don't get to hear that. And if you could stand behind Matt, you would see his positioning, his communication, lining up the defense. It's a lot of strategy. It's like chess. He's like the general. And he's going to save so many opportunities before he actually has to make the save because he's putting the guys in the right spot and he's directing them so well. A lot of the buildup to this game was about the politics in Iran, as well as that conversation, the exchange between the reporter and Tyler Adams.

I thought he handled himself really well. There are undertones, of course. Iran has never moved on to the knockout stage. And there were reports, I don't know if they're accurate, but there were reports that the players themselves were threatened with death if they did not win this game. I'm so thankful that we live in a nation where soccer is still just a game. It's not life or death. It may sound like I'm making light of it. I'm not. I'm all in.

I'm over the moon hyped. But it's still only a game. It's not life or death. You've played in other parts of the world. What's it like for them when they're facing a game like this where they have to win?

That's right. The passion is increasing in the U.S., but it's not on the same level in terms of pressure that you have in other countries. And the reason for that is in most countries, soccer is the number one sport.

There's no close second. Soccer is the number one sport in the world. Maybe you're listening today and you're not a huge soccer fan, but we can't change the facts. Around the world, it's the number one sport, and there's a lot there to learn, to enjoy. I love to talk about the joy. When you see the joy in the passing, the joy in the dribbling, the joy in the scoring, the joy in the team, the joy in the stands, the people singing and dancing.

Amazing. And this sport is about the joy. It's the beautiful game. And when players are representing their country, there's no higher honor. So they play for the top clubs, but when you represent your country in the tournaments once every four years, your entire nation is watching, those death threats are real, sadly, and some people take sport too far. I mean, we see that in, you know, kids' soccer, even in America, and it's like parents losing their cool. If there was a parents' camp, you know, yelling at the ref, and it was on social media, it would be embarrassing. It's hard sometimes to have some self-control, but in many nations, the pressure is immense, and there's a lot of criticism. If someone doesn't have a good World Cup or they make a blunder and their team doesn't advance, that can continue in their country for decades.

They're going to carry that shame. So they know what they're stepping into, and in sports, it's so key not to put too much pressure on yourself. I always felt like if I can stay in that zone where I'm not too casual and too relaxed, but I'm not over the top. And that's what these athletes are doing, and it's the battle between the ears, but how can I stay focused but relax enough to play my best?

And at some point, you have to become great at blocking out the noise and blocking out the distractions. And honestly, for a lot of these players, when they're finally out in the field, that's their refuge, that's their joy. And the teams that advance the furthest, they don't play stiff, they don't play afraid, they play with joy. And you've seen it, the Brazilians right now are playing with joy. France, Mbappe, he just looks free. He's fast, he's got strength, skill, he's just playing his game.

And when you see that, those are the players that are winning the battle of the mind. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. We know that Christian has a pelvic contusion and that he was out of the hospital, Jesse, on Tuesday afternoon. We don't know whether or not he will be able to play.

I hope that's the case. But what changes for the Americans if he is unable to go against the Netherlands? They're going to lose their number one offensive weapon, and I think he will be out there because of the determination. And I don't think the severity of the injury will nullify his play, but the question is, even if he's out there, how effective is he going to be? How dangerous is he going to be? Does he have all the speed? Because his strength is his speed, and he blows past players. Now he's getting more experienced, so he's savvy as well, but the U.S. needs him. He's the one that's created both goals, either scored or an assist, and without him, they don't look nearly as potent. And so the training team is going to be doing everything they possibly can, you know?

To be working with him, to get him ready. I could say, oh, we'll do fine without him, but that wouldn't be true. We need him in there. And I think some other players are going to realize, because, again, on the best teams, when your top player is not at 100%, you just know in the locker room someone else has got to step up. There's going to be moments in this next game that are going to be things that are remembered for decades because of the importance of this game and where American soccer is right now. We have the World Cup coming in three and a half years. We've never had such a great group of teenage players. I mean, there's a lot of momentum, and I think the U.S. will play well this next game because when you play a game that you're expected to win, sometimes you put too much pressure on yourself again. But right now, the U.S., they accomplished their goal. They made it to the final 16, and now I think they're going to play with some freedom because they know they can knock off the Netherlands, and that's a great spot to be in. So I think some of the creativity, you know, Weah showing that, I think you're going to see some more creativity in the attack and taking some risks. You know, there's going to be some players that have their best game and not necessarily going to be Christian, but we need him to get a win, I think. Before I let you go, Jesse, 20 million people in the United States of America tuned in to watch the USA against England.

Now, there are some unique circumstances. Obviously, it's England, but also the fact that it was the day after Thanksgiving, and a lot of people are on vacation or at least not working. I don't know what the numbers are yet for this game against Iran, but with everything on the line, you would think there are a lot of people who are tuned in. I know that when I was live tweeting during the game, my social media was blowing up. So I loved the active conversation, how many people were engaged. What's your reaction to the chatter around this World Cup so far? You know, in Seattle, when the Seahawks were doing well, Legion of Boom, you could just feel it.

It was electric around the city, it was growing, and that's what I see. Just on my phone, the number of calls, emails, texts, like you said, is blowing up. And people who never talk about soccer, they're wanting to talk about soccer. And it's the buzz right now, and that's not going to diminish. That's only increasing. And even if the U.S. lost the next game, there is so much momentum right now in U.S. soccer that we're on a trajectory to go to places we haven't been before.

Rare air. And it might happen in this tournament. And then I love seeing the nations come together. I love just that picture of hope, joy, relationships, a good-spirited competition.

And then Liz is a friend who has COVID. She texted me and she said, COVID has just crushed me the last few days, but I'm so grateful for the World Cup, like watching Brazil and Portugal. Like, it's the little things, but like, man, this is good timing, you know, to have the World Cup. It's just cool how sports can unite people when it's at its best. Sports can, again, inspire, display the character.

And then also encourage people who are going through hard times. And for different countries right now, I love it that Senegal, you know, I played professional soccer in Zimbabwe. African teams typically don't make it quite as far in the tournament. Senegal is in the top 16 now. And I love the way they play.

They're going up against England. So check out the different games. Check out the different styles, the countries. You can see the culture and the way they play sometimes. And it's just a lot of fun. It's a celebration of the nations. Find some things to enjoy, because this game is about joy.

Oh, man. And it's always more fun when you win. As Americans, we love to win. It's funny how in the locker room, everyone's much better friends when you win. If you, you know, travel back and it's a long trip, when you win, the trip seems short.

I mean, everyone, winning changes a lot, no question. And right now, this team is, they're flying high. He's a former pro goalie internationally and has been kind enough to lend his analysis, his insight to our coverage of this World Cup in Qatar, the United States, on to the round of 16, the knockout round, they call it. You can find him on Twitter at Jesse J. Bradley from Seattle. Great to catch up with you, Jesse.

So excited. I appreciate your time and your insight into this game. Amy, thanks for you and James, everything you do with after hours, CBS Sports, and then your passion for the game. And I can tell you're not just covering a sport like you're into it. And it shows in life, you know, you got people, their eyes glaze over and then some have fire in their eyes. And I can just feel your passion for sports, for soccer, for U.S. soccer, the World Cup.

And that's what makes it fun. Football season is here. The new Odyssey app lets you stay connected to your NFL team. Your station, your shows. Follow your favorite stations and come back again and again. Get real time updates on everything you care about.

Miss your show? Jump back to their awesome rewind feature. The Odyssey app is NFL football. Live and on demand, wherever you are, whenever you want. And did we mention it's all free?

Download the Odyssey app today. Throughout the 60s and 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. I'm interested in making money.

I'm not interested in hurting people. Fifteen years into Kirksey's life sentence, the Dixie Mafia was practically folklore, but that would soon change. I'm Jed Lipinski. This is Gone South, a documentary podcast from C-13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio. Season 2, The Dixie Mafia, available now on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts.

Football season is here. The new Odyssey app lets you stay connected to your NFL team. Your station, your shows. Follow your favorite stations and come back again and again. Get real time updates on everything you care about.

Miss your show? Jump back to their awesome rewind feature. The Odyssey app is NFL football. Live and on demand, wherever you are, whenever you want. And did we mention it's all free? Download the Odyssey app today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-30 09:03:20 / 2022-11-30 09:14:57 / 12

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