USA coach - Rooney will not be targeted
Coach Bob Bradley insists the United States will not try to wind up Wayne Rooney during Saturday's World Cup opener with England.
Bradley is a big fan of Rooney and the positive impact he has on the England side. The other side of his game has been in the spotlight this week with Rooney's temperament again called into question after his yellow card against the Platinum Stars. But Bradley will not try to capitalise on that side of Rooney's nature in Rustenburg.
He said: "I get asked the question about Wayne Rooney all the time. But we won't try and wind him up, no. We don't enter into all of that sort of thing."
Bradley continued: "I have tremendous respect for Rooney and what he brings to England in so many ways.
"His effort, his competitiveness, his movement, his influence on that team is great."
Bradley believes the USA have developed significantly as a team since losing 2-0 to England at Wembley in May 2008.
He said: "Those kind of games provide good experiences although I don't believe we were overawed that night.
"We have grown as a team a lot since then. We have played a lot of top opponents and those kind of games continue to help us improve.
"There is a core of players that have been through all those experiences, including the Confederations Cup last summer and, from that point of view, I think our leadership is strong.
"Our ability to use those experiences, good ones, bad ones, knowing how to stick together, can stand us in good stead. We understand that when we all play as a team, when everyone is committed the right way, we can compete with the top teams."
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