Jurgen Klinsmann to keep Michael Bradley as an attacking midfielder

United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann has stood by his decision to play Michael Bradley as an attacking midfielder during the World Cup, calling it Bradley's "ideal" role.

Bradley, who has spent the majority of his career as a central or even defending midfielder, struggled to look comfortable in Brazil in an attacking role, with LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena telling SI.com last week that Bradley "was playing out of position."

But Klinsmann said he still wants Bradley in and around the opponent's box as often as possible.

"The role that he ideally plays for me as a coach is an advanced role on the field, where he gets close the opponents' 18-yard-box, gets into the 18 yards -- maybe scores the goals, maybe plays the decisive ball -- and has these building moments and connects the dots higher up the field," Klinsmann said on Wednesday in an interview with Fox Sports.

The U.S. went out in the round of 16 winning just one game against Ghana, but Klinsmann said he was satisfied with the results after escaping from an incredibly difficult group that featured eventual champions Germany as well as Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal.

"I think we had a extremely good World Cup," Klinsmann said. "In a group of death that everybody said 'You had no chance' we made it out of that group, leaving Portugal with the best player in the world behind, and Ghana.

"We gave Germany a very, very close game, and then we gave it a go at Belgium in the round of 16, which we hit the wall then, quality-wise.

"I think we were noticed around the world that we are trying to build a culture for the sport that wants to compete."

Now it's the U.S. women's team to face a 'group of death,' as Jill Ellis' squad was drawn against Australia, Sweden and Nigeria in next summer's Women's World Cup in Canada.

Klinsmann, however, said a difficult group stage could help better prepare his counterpart for the knockout stage.

"If there's one team really strong enough to deal with that very difficult group, I think it's our team. They're just top-class," Klinsmann said.

"Sometimes when you go into an easier group, you think 'OK, we work our way through and then we pick it up,' and now Jill [Ellis] and the team, they know they have to pick it up right away from the beginning.

"I think it will only help them, and I keep all my fingers crossed that they'll win the title."