Jeff Carlisle

With the corpse that is the U.S. U-23 national team still warm, one question that crosses the mind is: Whatís the difference between Bob Bradley in 2010 and Caleb Porter in 2012? Practically nothing. And everything.

At the 2010 World Cup, with time winding down in the final group-stage game against Algeria, the U.S. menís national team pulled a miracle out of its pocket. Landon Donovan cleaned up a rebound from Clint Dempseyís shot and the Americans went from having their World Cup obituary written to living on to fight in the second round.

That moment cemented the teamís reputation as one that would fight to the bitter end, and it enhanced the standing of Bradley. Forgotten, at least for the moment, were the teamís tepid starts and suspect defending. Instead the focus turned to Bradleyís inspired substitutions and ability to lead his team under adverse conditions.

Now fast-forward to Mondayís enthralling Olympic qualifying encounter in Nashville.

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