SANTA CLARA, California -- Michael Bradley has accomplished much in his star-studded soccer career.
He has earned 135 caps for the United States, competed in two World Cups and played in Europe with Heerenveen (Netherlands), Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany), Aston Villa (England) and Chievo and Roma (both Italy).
Opportunities to win trophies, however, have been quite rare.
On Wednesday night, the team captain will play for a trophy when the Americans meet Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final at Levi's Stadium.
Bradley has come close. He was part of the 2007 Gold Cup champion squad, but did not play in the final due to suspension and wasn't on the roster of the 2013 side that captured the title. The 29-year-old scored in the 2011 decider, but the Americans fell 4-2 to Mexico. Last year, his Toronto FC team lost in the MLS Cup final.
“The chance to play with a trophy on the line, the chance to play in a final — you don’t get a million of these opportunities in your career,” said Bradley. “You don’t want to let opportunities slip you by. We have a group of guys that is excited and motivated by the chance to step out onto the field for a big final.
“I want to win because that’s why you play. At the end, they pass out medals and pass out a trophy. We want to be the team holding the trophy up.”
U.S. coach Bruce Arena could not think of anyone more deserving.
“If you know Michael Bradley, you know everything’s important to Michael Bradley,” he finished. “He’s a very serious professional. He makes my job easier because we have a very focused individual. A focused captain.”
One, who is focused on lifting a trophy.