On Monday, U.S. Soccer announced the five nominees for 2015 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year. This year's nominees include midfielder Michael Bradley, forward Clint Dempsey, goalkeeper Brad Guzan, and defenders Fabian Johnson and DeAndre Yedlin. For the next five days, ussoccer.com will make a case to the voting committee for each of the candidates. Today is U.S. captain Michael Bradley.
U.S. MNT and Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley began the year with an unforgettable goal off a corner kick to the top corner of the far post against Panama on Feb. 8 and went on to tally twice in the Gold Cup. The Princeton, N.J., native led the MNT in assists (6) – which was also a career high - starts (18), and minutes (1,668).
Putting his international-caliber talent on full display, Bradley was named Man of the Match in back-to-back victories in June against then No. 6-ranked Netherlands and reigning World Cup champion Germany where he set up the tying goal with this trademark beauty over distance to Mix Diskerud.
Weeks later, the midfielder became the fourth youngest MNT player to register his 100th career cap. On July 18 against Cuba, Bradley assisted an Aron Johannsson goal from behind the half-way line and then recorded a quick takeaway and assist to help Clint Dempsey complete a hat trick.
The midfielder led his club to the MLS playoffs for the first time in franchise history with five goals and three assists in 28 appearances. Bradley's most impressive performance came on May 16 against New England when he collected the ball at midfield, beat multiple defenders and sent a low shot toward the far post and past the 'keeper. ;