Michael Bradley's busy summer 

May, 31, 2011

CARY, N.C. -- Facing top-ranked and reigning world champion Spain on Saturday could be the easiest part of Michael Bradley's summer.

That's not to say that the U.S. midfielder isn't looking forward to the high-profile friendly at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. (ESPN, 4 p.m. ET).

"These kinds of games are obviously only friendlies," Bradley told us in a rare, 25-minute sit-down interview at a ridiculously fancy hotel here, where the U.S. squad has gathered for its Gold Cup training camp. "Still, when you play against these teams you are tested at the highest level."

And once the Spain match is finished, Bradley's summer really gets cooking. In no particular order, he has to:

• Find a new job.

• Help the U.S. win the Gold Cup/qualify for the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil.

• Get married in July before immediately jetting back to a yet unknown European city for preseason training. (The honeymoon is scheduled for next year, when there's a longer break in the FIFA calendar.)

That last part says all you need to know about Bradley and his focus on soccer. After a January loan from Germany's Borussia Monchengladbach to England's Aston Villa, he played sparingly over the next four months, his first extended period on the sideline since establishing himself across the pond with Dutch club Heerenveen in 2007. He wants to make sure that doesn't happen again even though he insists his EPL stint wasn't all bad.

Luke Cyphers is a former senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.