USA coach Bob Bradley insists he is sorry to see England captain Rio Ferdinand ruled out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ ahead of next week's meeting between the sides in Rustenberg.
The Americans warmed up for the meeting with Fabio Capello's side by beating Australia 3-1 today. Two goals from Edson Buddle - the first for his country - sealed the victory, which suggested the US could ask questions of the Three Lions' defence. But Bradley has taken no satisfaction from the absence of Ferdinand, who will miss the tournament with a knee ligament injury suffered in training yesterday.
"Whenever you get close to a World Cup and see players pick up late injuries and miss out, then I think all players, all coaches, everyone in the game, feels bad when that happens. When a player like Rio Ferdinand goes down injured, when there is a question mark against Didier Drogba e.t.c, these are things you don't want to see."
Bradley was happy with his side's final warm-up match, but admits there are still areas to work on. "In all ways it was an absolute final tune-up," he said. "We are pleased with the lead-up to the England game.
"These matches are always tricky with a week to go, but the competitiveness of the match was exactly what we needed. Overall our understanding on the field is good, our fitness is good and we are getting sharper and sharper.
"In terms of improving still, I think the co-ordination of the defence at times can improve and also the ability, when we get advantages, to connect quickly and make something out of them."
Bradley was pleased with Buddle's contribution but would not confirm whether the Los Angeles Galaxy player would start against England.
"No decisions will be made yet on starting line-ups, but Edson continues to get more comfortable within the group," he said. "You saw the things that have highlighted his MLS season so far, taking chances well, good finishing."