Lalas called out several US national team players by name, including Bradley, over the weekend during a halftime rant that has both spread like wildfire on social media and grabbed headlines across several media outlets. While Bradley has heard Lalas’ remarks, the US captain is simply taking them in stride.
“Part of being an athlete, a competitor is understanding that everybody has an opinion, especially in the world today,” Bradley told SportsNet on Wednesday. “Everybody has a platform to fire off a hot take whenever they want. It’s life. You’re in the wrong business if that throws you off.
“You use it in the right ways, you use it as motivation. You make sure you don’t forget who the [people] along the way are who had a lot to say. One of the recent [sayings] that I’ve seen that I like is, ‘The lion doesn’t care about the opinion of the sheep.’ I’ll leave it at that. … It’s pretty fitting.”
Lalas name-dropped mostly US veterans during his rant, criticizing them for their and the team’s poor performances during the final round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. With regards to Bradley, Lalas asked for improved showings.
“Michael Bradley, the US does not need you to be ‘zen,'” said Lalas. “The US needs you to play better.”
Bradley and the US will be back in action in October for two final World Cup Qualifiers against Panama and Trinidad & Tobago, but the veteran midfielder should be on the field on Saturday when league-leading Toronto FC visit the LA Galaxy (10:30 pm ET | TSN1; MLS LIVE in the US)