The LA Galaxy star is still on his self-imposed sabbatical away from the game as he assesses his future but his absence was notable as the US were beaten 2-1 by Honduras in their final round World Cup qualifying opener on Wednesday.
Although Bradley plays a different role to Donovan, Klinsmann feels he is the man to fulfil the leadership duties the Galaxy ace takes in his stride.
"It begins with the person sitting next to me," Klinsmann said.
And from Bradley's comments at the post-match press conference, it seems as though he is prepared to take on the added responsibilities.
"All of these moments are moments where different players are able to grow into the team, to gain experience," he said.
"On that end we have to continue to keep a strong mentality, and to really address that determination and that belief that those on the team need to have."