Michael Bradley (left) in action for the USA during a 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal against El Salvador. (Photo: AFP Services)
NEW YORK -- With four games remaining in CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, United States captain and midfielder Michael Bradley sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
After stumbling to a 0W-0D-2L and last-place start in the Hexagonal last year, the Americans have rebounded quite nicely, moving into third place entering Friday's match against visiting Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
"We've gotten this far, we've turned it around in the right way and we've got to make sure we finish the job," Bradley said Tuesday. "All the work that we've put in this year is for the next four games, to make sure we can find the right ways in the biggest moments when the lights come on brightest to make sure we get the job done."
The U.S. (2W-2D-2L, 8 points) enters the confrontation against the second-place Ticos (3W-2D-1L, 11) undefeated since Bruce Arena took over the coaching reins from Jurgen Klinsmann.
On the heels of a capturing a sixth Gold Cup title in July, the team is striving to book its eighth consecutive World Cup berth, the best active mark of any CONCACAF side.
"We all understand that getting to a World Cup is a pass or fail," finished Bradley, recipient of the Gold Cup’s Golden Ball. "In the end, it doesn't matter who the coach is. Nothing else matters. It's our responsibility as players, to step onto the field and make sure we find the right ways to do whatever it takes to qualify. The group responded to that in a real good way."
After Costa Rica, the U.S. will face host Honduras in another qualifier on September 5 in San Pedro Sula.