TIME World Cup

Michael Bradley Has ‘No Regrets’ After Blunder in 2-2 Draw With Portugal

Brazil Soccer WCup US Portugal
United States' Michael Bradley reacts after his shot on an open goal was blocked by Portugal's Ricardo Costa during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Portugal in Manaus, Brazil on June 22, 2014. Martin Mejia—AP

Team USA's midfielder says he left everything on the field after drawing with Portugal late on Sunday night

Michael Bradley managed to accurately echo the disappointment of a nation. “Soccer can be a cruel game sometimes,” the 26-year-old admitted following Team USA’s exasperating 2-2 draw with Portugal on Sunday.

The American midfielder found himself uncomfortably in the limelight after his last-minute blunder allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to gain possession and swing in an inch-perfect cross to Silvestre Varela who headed in an equalizing goal.

If the World Cup can turn relative unknowns like John Brooks into a national hero in a matter of seconds, a pivotal error can just as easily turn a lauded player into a scapegoat — no matter how unfair the indictment.

“The ball popped up, and I was able to make a few quick steps and get there. It was tight and unfortunately I wasn’t able to make a good enough play to keep it for us or get a foul,” explained Bradley. “At that point the ball turns over and it’s up to us to deal with the situation.”

Despite the flub, Bradley insisted during a postgame interview that he was satisfied with his performance against the star-studded Portuguese squad.

“I put my heart and soul into every game, every time I step on the field,” said Bradley in response to a question from an ESPN correspondent. “I’m proud of that and proud every time I play, and there are certainly no regrets in my book.”

The American squad will face off against Germany in their final group match Thursday. A win or draw will guarantee them a place in the knockout stage of the World Cup, though they can still get through with a loss if the Portugal-Ghana game breaks their way.

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