SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina – Even without Clint Dempsey, the US national team is still capable of competing against Bosnia-Herzegovina, according to veteran midfielder Michael Bradley.
The two nations meet on Wednesday for the first time ever at the Asim Ferhatovic Hase Stadium in Sarajevo (2:30 pm ET, ESPN2 and UniMas, live chat on MLSsoccer.com).
"Clint is one of our important players," Bradley told media at the USMNT's practice in Sarajevo on Monday. "We rely on him a lot to score goals and to set up goals. But I think one of the qualities that our team has always had is the ability that even when certain guys aren't playing on some days, to be able to play as a team and to still be able to come away with results."
That task will be a tall one against a Bosnia team ranked 13th in the FIFA rankings and flying at the top of Group G in European World Cup qualifying, with the likes of Greece and Slovakia trailing behind.
Several of the Bosnian players are world-renowned, from forwards Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) and Vedad Ibisevic (VfB Stuttgart) to midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who plays alongside Bradley at Italian side AS Roma and featured in the AT&T MLS All-Star Game two weeks ago.
"Yeah I'm excited to play against him," Bradley said about facing his club teammate (duo pictured above). "[Pjanic] says that it'll be a good match. Obviously we have a good team. Bosnia also. So for us it's something special to play against each other.
"For us it's a great opportunity to play against a very strong team," Bradley added. "We always step on the field to try to win. Bosnia have a good team, and many big players that play for big clubs across Europe. It's a friendly match, but we expect a good game."