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Michael Bradley: Guatemala game is the kind of pressure we welcome

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Michael Bradley: Guatemala game is the kind of pressure we welcome
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Michael Bradley: Guatemala game is the kind of pressure we welcome

Three points: job done.

That's how Michael Bradley sees the United States' labored 2-1 win over Antigua and Barbuda in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

"The most important is we got the three points," Bradley said.

That's how the point totals see it too, with the Americans now needing only a draw against Guatemala on Tuesday to progress to the Hexagonal. A loss might do, depending on Jamaica's result against Antigua.

Guatemala is tied with the United States on 10 points in Group A. Bradley expects a challenge in Kansas City.

"It's not going to be easy, but these games never are," he said. "We're excited to get there, we're excited to get on the plane tomorrow knowing that Tuesday night is going to be a big-time American crowd. It's a great stadium, it's a good field and it's up to us to take care of things on the field. That's the kind of pressure we look forward to."

The manicured field of LIVESTRONG Sporting Park will provide a welcome juxtaposition to the soggy cricket field in Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Against Antigua, the Americans struggled to instigate attacks, with the ball frequently bogged down in the mud.

The midfield in particular became congested.

"It was difficult for them to find space," Jurgen Klinsmann said of his midfield pair, Bradley and Danny Williams. "They found themselves on the same line often. That way you're too predictable."

Klinsmann noted that switching to a diamond with Bradley on the left helped define roles late in the match, leading to Eddie Johnson scoring his second of the night.

So what did Klinsmann do after making his tactical shift and before Johnson's stoppage-time winner?

"There's not much you can do, because you did your three subs already," he said. "You hope a little bit to negotiate with the linesman to give a couple of more minutes [of stoppage time]."

Johnson only needed the one additional minute to give the United States three points.

"After five games in this round it's exciting to go to Kansas City and know that a result puts us through to the next round," Bradley said. "We're moving along right on schedule."

Alex Labidou contributed reporting from St. John's, Antigua

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