After sitting out last Saturday's win versus Honduras due to suspension, midfielder Michael Bradley is chomping at the bit to get back on the field to take on Italy at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa.
The experience of playing against some of the world's best has the Borussia Monchengladbach player and his teammates fired up to take on the reigning World Cup champions.
"We're really excited. We have a chance to play games against three really good teams in Italy, Brazil and Egypt, kind of like we did last year with England, Spain and Argentina," Bradley told YA on Thursday following the U.S. practice session.
Most onlookers and oddsmakers have the Azzurri listed as favorites to emerge victorious against head coach Bob Bradley's squad, but don't look for the coach's son to easily concede the three points.
"This is soccer. Anything can happen when you step on the field. We know they have a good team but we feel like we have a good chance to win. We have a lot of confidence and our mentality is that when you step on the field, you always expect to win. We take a back seat to no one."
The younger Bradley was not on the field three summers ago in Germany when the U.S. and Italy played to a hard-fought 1-1 draw which was marred by multiple red cards including Brian McBride being on the brunt end of a Daniele De Rossi elbow. Despite the tense encounter, the American midfielder insists there is no lingering ill will towards the Mediterranean squad.
"Those were different teams with different players," the former MetroStar pointed out. "This is a new chance with new players to prove ourselves. It will be exciting and a great challenge for us going against some of the best players in the world."
Monday's game versus Marcello Lippi's squad kicks off at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane/Pretoria.