Bob Bradley & USSF Agree to Extension

(Update: Shaun and I will be along later and tomorrow with more thoughts…)

The tweet from US Soccer was short and simple, “U.S. Soccer has agreed to a contract extension with USMNT head coach Bob Bradley through the end of 2014.”

Four more years for the man behind the sweats.

Oh boy…

Four more for Coach Sweats (courtesy, Matt Mathai)

From the official release:

U.S. Soccer has agreed to a contract extension with U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley. The agreement with Bradley, who guided the U.S. team to numerous achievements including finishing in first place in their group at the 2010 FIFA World Cup for the first time in 80 years, will keep him at the helm through the end of 2014.

Read full release here.

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87 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by crow on 2010/08/30 at 3:46 PM

    NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Reply

  2. Posted by Hercules on 2010/08/30 at 3:48 PM

    Well…all signs have pointed to this for a while. We’ll have to see how this goes. All the best luck…USMNT 2014!

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2010/08/30 at 4:21 PM

      Really? I thought all signs pointed towards “someone else.” Let’s review the timeline: (after World Cup) Gulati says he’s disappointed, then doesn’t lock him up immediately…to me, all the signs were pointing towards a search for someone else. Maybe that “someone else” option didn’t appear too appealing after that check.

      Reply

      • Posted by Hercules on 2010/08/30 at 4:25 PM

        Just the long time between the end of the WC and now pointed towards BB staying. There was the meeting with JK last week, but we have no clue what actually went on. Also, there immediately was the thought that the meeting was a negotiation tactic with BB. Also, there was never another alternative other than JK. Did he not want it? Did they want to give him the control (again)?

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2010/08/30 at 4:31 PM

          I disagree–I think the long time pointed towards Bob leaving. If you’ve got an employee you’re happy with, that you want to stay–do you let that employee sniff around at other jobs, or do you quickly and decisively wrap him up?

          Reply

  3. Posted by Greg on 2010/08/30 at 3:52 PM

    I know a lot of people had hoped that Klinsmann would get the job but I think he is overrated. He was a disappointment at Bayern and a lot of people believe his success with Germany was because he had Low as his assistant.

    I think Klinsmann has some good ideas for how to fix the structure of US Soccer but I don’t think he would be the right guy for coaches position. I guess I’m ok with the USSF keeping Bob Bradley, he did a decent job and hopefully he’ll learn from his mistakes.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2010/08/30 at 4:26 PM

      I think the “Klinsmann disappointment at Bayern” meme is a little too counterintuitive. Klinsmann was fired by Bayern after getting blown out by Barca…who blows out tons of other teams. Klinsmann had his team a point off first place when fired also; in fact, Bayern’s pace this year was the same pace as Klinsi when he was fired. If Bayern thinks that’s a disappointment, that’s certainly their prerogative, but that’s not the record of an awful coach by any means.

      And while Low may or may not have been responsible for the tactics at Germany, it was still Klinsmann who brought Low in in the first place–and Low was something of an unknown at the time. Besides, having a sharp tactical guy as an assistant is a well-established trend outside of soccer (e.g. Phil Jackson and Tex Winter) and inside it (e.g. Sir Alex Ferguson and Carlos Quieroz.)

      The anti-Klinsmann case is a little overthought, I think.

      Reply

    • Posted by crow on 2010/08/30 at 5:36 PM

      That’s the thing. Bradley NEVER learns from his mistakes. The same poor tactics, the same poor player decisions. When the England lineup was announced I know a lot of people who were up in arms (including myself) that Clark was starting. Then we know what happened. His fascination with Robbie Findley and Jonathan Bornstein is just embarrassing. Bradley did okay and like how he got the team to fight for each other, but I wouldn’t want any coach for 8 years based off the stakes of the World Cup.

      The real problem is The Emperor (Sunil) and his cronies at the USSF.

      Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/08/31 at 6:03 AM

      How many managers these days *actually* do the day-to-day coaching? Most teams, national and club, have specialists as part of the set-up.

      I believe that Bradley was not the 1st choice, but the USSF couldn’t get anyone “better”.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Mark T on 2010/08/30 at 4:20 PM

    Hope for the best, prepare for the worst…four more years of inconsistency and mediocrity with the USSF touting hallow victories and expressing “disappointment” for subpar results.

    What’s that definition of insanity again?

    Reply

    • Posted by Hercules on 2010/08/30 at 4:22 PM

      Doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.

      However…the player pool is improving.

      Also, who else is out there that would be an improvement. There is the popular choice of Klinnsman, but who knows went on in that meeting last week. Other than him, who else was thought of?

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2010/08/30 at 4:30 PM

        Well, I was kind of hoping Jose Pekerman–who Gulati interviewed last time around–would get a try.

        I’m disappointed by the rehire of Bradley–he made tons of mistakes at the World Cup–but let’s remember one important thing:

        Coaching is pretty tough. I don’t mean this to somehow make you think that Bradley is somehow a great coach, just that it’s a hard thing to do well and an average coach is more valuable than you’d think. Look at Quieroz in Portugal: somehow he turned a team with Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani into a boring, staid, punchless team.

        It’s tough to tell how much of Bob’s style is truly the style he prefers or how much is the player pool. I think the use of Stuart Holden and Jose Torres will be quickly and very edifying in that regard.

        Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/08/30 at 5:30 PM

      I think it’s safe to say that most of the international teams around the world at our level are inconsistent and mediocre a lot of the time.

      Reply

    • Welcome back Mark!

      The definition of insanity is US Soccer; the definition of US Soccer is redundant insanity. The definition of insanity is US Soccer; the definition of US Soccer is redundant insanity. The definition of insanity is US Soccer; the definition of US Soccer is redundant insanity. The definition of insanity is US Soccer; the definition of US Soccer is redundant insanity. The definition of insanity is US Soccer; the definition of US Soccer is redundant insanity. The definition of insanity is US Soccer; the definition of US Soccer is redundant insanity. The definition of insanity is US Soccer; the definition of US Soccer is redundant insanity.

      Damn – I got caught in an endless loop, what was the question again?

      Reply

      • Posted by Mark T on 2010/08/30 at 8:14 PM

        After further reflection I think this signals one of two things from the USSF:

        1) The USSF is happy with the level of coaching and is conceding the US just doesn’t have the talent to contend at the International level

        2) The USSF thinks Bradley is good at developing talent and is conceding that the next cycle is a lost cause. So they’re keeping Bradley around for the next four years and focusing on the 2018 cycle that hopefully will be in the US.

        Reply

  5. Posted by Kick-Ass on 2010/08/30 at 4:27 PM

    FKN! unbeliavable. I expected the USSF had plans to move to the next level, which is a place among the elite soccer world, but with this decision to keep Bob for another four years I see that this is not the case.
    Look yes Bob is a good guy but there is not much that he could bring to the USMNT. What Bob did in South Africa is all he gots, there is no more. It is now clear that the person to go has to be Gulati. The worst characteristic that Bob has besides tactical vision is that he is a loyal man no matter what disaster is happening around him. I expect Findley, Clark, Beasley, Bocanegra, M Bradley, our poor defense to be around for the next four years. No matter what happens these are going to be his people for the next four years. He will not bring any young players to the team. He is against this concept! He will stick with the familiar wishing for a differen outcome everytime.

    Reply

  6. Posted by John on 2010/08/30 at 4:42 PM

    I am overjoyed as this worked very well for Bruce Arena.

    I look forward to our ongoing success and adding the extensive legacy of
    Ruturning World Cup coaches at the World Cup.

    as illustrated in the chart here.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/grant_wahl/08/25/bradley.decision/index.html

    Reply

  7. Posted by Matt on 2010/08/30 at 4:54 PM

    4 more years of f-ing years of Robbie Findley and Jonathan Bornstein. Crap.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2010/08/30 at 5:04 PM

      The negativity is going to get tiresome, but just to get in front of this narrative:

      People are saying Bradley makes mistakes by continually selecting bad players, which I agree with in the case of Findley and Clark, but I don’t agree with Bornstein because:

      Name a better USA-eligible left back. Bornstein is indeed awful, but he’s simply the least awful left back we’ve got. Given that Bradley started trying to play an aging, slow Bocanegra at left back, I’m quite certain Bradley recognizes this fact also. But the fact remains that Bradley doesn’t develop players at 13, 14, 15, 16, and so can’t be blamed for the fact that his two best left back options are Bornstein and Bocanegra.

      Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/08/30 at 10:19 PM

      barring CD9’s return to pre=accident form, I think we’ll only see 2 more years of Robbie Findley :>

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2010/08/30 at 10:25 PM

        As soon as Danny Mwanga becomes eligible, Robbie Findley will be lucky to make the bench. Since Findley was never in Bradley’s plans pre-Davies, it’s hard to imagine Findley has an obsession with him; Findley’s very much a temporary thing.

        Reply

  8. Posted by John on 2010/08/30 at 4:55 PM

    I would like to argue that the percentage of voters that punched We’ll See, into the poll on the page probably have a more negative “we’ll see” than a positive “we’ll see”

    and just because

    RICARDO CLARK!

    Reply

  9. Posted by Matt B on 2010/08/30 at 5:00 PM

    I had an idea this was in the works when I saw that sweatpants stocks were trading at an all-time high today. Apparently someone on Wall Street had some inside info from US Soccer

    Reply

  10. Posted by scweeb on 2010/08/30 at 5:14 PM

    So if he is staying for 4 more years please get someone to fix the Youth system. cause 4 more years of nothing being done is going to be hard.

    Reply

    • Posted by Swa on 2010/08/30 at 5:49 PM

      Amen to that. We can get on Bradley for his inability to think outside the box (to box), but our potential ascendancy is all about the development of world class talent from the bottom-up. From youth levels to the quality and international reputation of MLS, eventually to the national side.

      Lest we forget, as much street cred as a guy like JK would give us for the duration of his service as manager, a nation has never won the World Cup with a foreign coach. Ever. As in, 0-19. Sticking with a coach for longer than a 4 year cycle is never a great idea, but in this case it might be a decent one.

      Claudio Reyna takes over for the 2015-2018 cycle.

      Reply

      • Posted by Freegle on 2010/08/30 at 6:04 PM

        That is a flawed stat. It’s blatant hyperbole. If you want to use that as “evidence,” then there hundreds of teams have NOT won a world cup WITH a domestic coach. So it’s not a given that you will win if you have one.

        There have only been 8 countries to win World Cups and they are, naturally, the international elite. They have long-standing footballing traditions that have produced world class managers. We are a fledgling nation in comparison to them and to imagine that we have produced a coach that can compete on that level (and that Bob Bradley might be him) smacks of arrogance and naivety.

        Reply

        • Posted by Swa on 2010/08/30 at 9:36 PM

          It’s not a flawed stat by any means. It’s not a given that a homegrown coach will win you a World Cup, but it is close to a given that an outsider will not. Nobody is saying that Bob Bradley is the man to lead us to glory, but there is not a man on this Earth who can lead the United States of America to the World Cup title in 2014. We need to build a program in a much smarter way than Project 2010, and at this stage in our development the best way to build for the future beyond 2014 is to sustain our level of success from 2007-2010, not to gamble on 2014 by wiping the slate clean now only to wipe it clean again when it doesn’t work out. Another Gold Cup win and getting out of the group stages in both the Confed Cup and Brazil 2014 are what we need, and Bob Bradley is more likely to deliver that than someone who has never worked with American players before. Signing Jurgen Klinsmann and hailing him as the savior would have smacked of naivete and desperation, which is why Guus Hiddink has coached so many minnows who remain minnows to this day. Sticking with Bradley is almost certainly an admission that we will not win in 2014, but it improves our odds for 2018 and (our host year) 2022 by leaps and bounds over whatever mercenary du jour would have made the biggest splash this week.

          Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/08/31 at 6:21 AM

          You both have a point, but I tend to agree with Freegle. With such a small sample size, to make such a statement is red-top sensationalism at its best.

          Reply

        • Posted by scweeb on 2010/08/31 at 7:18 AM

          At least in my view the biggest draw for JK isn’t that i think he will win us the 2014. Its cause i know he wants to take full control of the system and make it better. I think every coach knows that the usa really don’t have a chance at winning but he is the only guy that i am hearing about that wants to do something to change are future.

          Reply

  11. Posted by Ryan R. on 2010/08/30 at 5:35 PM

    I wanted to see Bradley go because I don’t like two cycle managers, but the guy won the 2007 Gold Cup, finished second in the Confederations Cup, finished first in World Cup Qualifying and won his group at the World Cup. Those are the four competitions in which Bradley had the “A” team and the results are damn good.

    He made many questionable decisions, but in the end the results are what matter and Bradley got the job done. I still would have liked to bring in a different managers because I don’t love the two cycle manager, but I do wonder who else was available that was better. I’m not a Klinsmann fan, but I have to think if he really wanted the job, Gulati would have him coaching us.

    There are other good coaches who are free, but I don’t know if we could have gotten them. If the USSF didn’t inquire about Dunga, Peckerman, etc. then I’ll be pissed, but I can easily see a situation where Bradley was the best option available. I would love for Bondy to do another edition of Chasing the Game with some insight into the process of this and whether or not Soccer House looked into other quality options and what type of interest other coaches had in the job.

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    • I don’t think anyone is questioning his accomplishments, more the method that got him there. I won’t take anything away from the 2007 Gold Cup or the Confederations Cup (though the first Brazil game we looked like we’d lose to a New Zealand youth squad).

      However finishing first in CONCACAF is not something you should get to brag about when:
      – It entailed Mexico crapping the bed on the final matchday, thus our 2-2 injury time draw with Costa Rica held up.
      – We were completely outclassed in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and almost T&T.
      – We had to continuously fight back from being down against the likes of Honduras & El Salvador.

      Finishing First in the WC Group is a respectable accomplishment, but everyone in the World knows we finished there because England didn’t seize their opportunities in any of their group stage games. One could argue that we seized enough of our opportunities to finish first, but in reality we came out and started piss poor in every game except the Algeria game, and even that one could’ve seen us down a goal within 15 minutes.

      Klinsman may not have been better, but we’ll never know. It’s not the job of an international manager isn’t to jazz things up with his name or spew random quotes of non-sequitor greatness. BUT there should be some excitement about what lies ahead. Knowing Bradley is at the helm doesn’t really inspire us (USMNT fans) to believe that things can get better than the status quo.

      We know the Bob can navigate the rigors of CONCACAF with some ease and competancy. What we don’t know is what Klinsy could’ve brought to the table. The fascination with the German is that he could either be a complete failure (think 2nd or 3rd in CONCACAF and bowing out 0-0-3 in WC 2014) or he could hold all of the keys to propel us to glory.

      What he and Jogi Loew accomplished, guiding a less than stellar side to some inspiring displays in Germany 06, the remnants of which were on full dislpay in South Africa, is nothing short of fantastic. Would it be the same for the US? Probably not, but the chance is there. Bob hasn’t inspired us with the hope that they could do something great. Did he have a chance in SA? Really? I think we all knew what was going to happen in the Ghana game, we just couldn’t admit it to ourselves.

      My last thoughts on the hiring are these:
      – The USMNT is still a young international team and can grow exponentially. The question is which direction will we grow in the next four years? Will we continue with yeoman-like efforts against pedestrian opposition and continue to produce hard working, efficient, yet tactically naive players, or will we start to learn some possession and create a national team that is capable of playing multiple different styles? Given who the coach is going to be the next four years, that question now becomes 99.5% rhetorical.
      – Sadly we’ll never get to see what other possibilities there are for the center of our midfield as the next four years will be built around Baby Bradley. Mikey’s displays in South Africa were nothing short of awesome, but his inclusion in every match means we HAVE TO HAVE an Edu type playing alongside him. What would a Benny! and Paco midfield look like? Could it be what we’re looking for in terms of possession and creativity, we’ll never know. Can Mikey play a different role (in a 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, or something new Jose Mourinho hasn’t invented yet) and help the team even more, again we’ll never know.

      Reply

  12. Posted by Freegle on 2010/08/30 at 5:51 PM

    This wreaks of the cliche de ja vu all over again. Bob Bradley is hired as the questionable-not-first-choice-candidate with the cloud of Klinnsman hanging over the whole proceedings. Meanwhile, the USSF hides in dark corners and whispers instead of offering even half disclosure as to how this all went down. On the other hand… there is a certain symmetry to it. Bob Bradley got the job originally as a last option when USSF couldnt get the coach we really wanted. Now, he is returning the favor… taking the job because he can’t get any jobs he wants managing across the pond. Regardless, I’m disappointed on a number of levels.

    I respect Bob Bradley and what he has done during the last cycle. His accomplishments were everything we could have hoped for… and I dont need to list them in this forum. But I can’t help feeling that a lot of those accomplishments were in spite of him as opposed to because of him.

    Someone answered above on the definition of crazy being repeating actions but expecting different results. We have a plethora of examples with Bob including (but not limited to) players selection, substitution patterns, and an annoying habit of coaching teams that concede early goals. Now, USSF is showing the same signs.

    The rhetorical question is, Who else is out there is better? My contention is that we don’t know, but thats not necessarily a bad thing. Remember, we had no idea Bradley would be successul when he took the job either. We do know what we have with Sweatpants. IMO, he has reached the limits of his international coaching abilities.

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  13. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/08/30 at 5:59 PM

    what coach bradley really needs is a number two man who can bring some good perspective to the tactical side of the game. we did have this a little bit with peter nowak, but nowak was also one of bradleys guys from chicago days. bradley maybe needs a bit of an outsider to bring a little fresh perspective. this might make four more years of the same regime actually an advantage. usa needs to get the man who said “if it aint dutch, it aint much” and im not talking about thomas rongren. usa could sure use the service of rudd guillit. he has not been the most succesful manager, so he might be ready to take anumber two spot and his skills and understanding of the game are very choice.

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    • Posted by Seybold on 2010/08/30 at 6:37 PM

      Something like this is needed–reliance on the strict 4-4-2 may work against CONCACAF, Slovenia and Algeria but it’s far too predictable at the top level, and makes the USA too easy to play against for top sides.

      The key is the next two years, before 2014 WC qualifying begins. It’s a golden opportunity to start playing a different way. The emergence of Holden could make for a 4-2-3-1 with Demsey/Donovan/Holden as a genuinely dangerous attacking midfield. I doubt Torres fits in a 4-4-2, but he might soon be good enough to run the whole show as an attacking mid in a 4-3-3. Just to name two players who will likely be critical in 2014.

      If the next two years bring us the same old 4-4-2, it will be frustrating to watch.

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      • Posted by dth on 2010/08/30 at 7:11 PM

        Except Bradley started out in the 4-5-1 and migrated to the 4-4-2 in the middle of qualification, after the disaster at Saprissa where they played a 4-3-3. And in the World Cup, the team shifted to a 4-2-3-1 often in the second halves. Bradley’s shown himself to be flexible as regards switching formations; he just hasn’t shown himself to be skilled at judging which formations and personnel are appropriate for a given circumstance.

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        • Posted by scweeb on 2010/08/30 at 7:17 PM

          Here is the thing i don’t think he will really try new things out. But we will see what happens.

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        • Posted by dth on 2010/08/30 at 7:37 PM

          So you think he’ll suddenly stop being the coach who was willing to change formation and tactics as recently as two months ago for what reason again? It’s certainly possible but you can hardly assume it as a default.

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        • Posted by zlionsfan on 2010/08/30 at 9:05 PM

          I would like him to stop being the coach who needs 45 minutes to remember that the combination of tactics and personnel he likes so much isn’t working.

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      • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/08/30 at 10:23 PM

        BB’s go too formation that you forgot to mention was the 4-2-2-2, basically a 4-2-4 with the 2 AM’s helpin gout on D from time to time

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        • Posted by bunkel on 2010/08/31 at 1:05 PM

          I think that is what people are talking about in the 4-4-2. The sort of 4-2-2-2 formation that the USA often played is sort of a natural consequence of playing a 4-4-2 with Donovan and Dempsey on the wings, both players who like to attack and tuck inside to support the strikers.

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  14. Posted by Dave on 2010/08/30 at 7:57 PM

    Mr Bradley set an awfully high bar for himself with the USMNT accomplishments over the last four years, and I have a feeling that many fans are going to be even more vocally critical of him each time the team fails to do at least as well. A lot of courage not to leave on top like Brad Friedel did.
    As for me, I think he does very well finding a tactical scheme that gives the US a chance against each opponent, doesn’t demean his players in public, and understands that he needs a certain level of continuity in the player pool. The US is not Germany, Brazil, or Argentina, where any 11 you throw out there will have an idea of their role and be able to execute it, some US players need time together to figure things out (change only a few at a time).
    I also think he, with USSF, has done a good job of “developing” players. Not teaching them basics, but putting the A team in tough friendlies so they get used to the speed and quality of play at the international level, the January camp and friendlies to evaluate some new faces and the “B” teams to Copa America and the off year Gold Cup to see how players adapt. (Stuart Holden got into the “A” team by that process.)
    On the negative, sometimes he waits to long to pull a guy who is having a bad game or a very bad stretch(I’m thinking of DaMarcus Beasley, who I hope can decide whether he wants to play soccer). I’m still trying to figure out the 4-3-3 in Costa Rica, it was as if he had listened to blog posters.
    I was a “We’ll see”. Overall I think he’s a good manager, I just think the situation is very difficult.

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  15. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/08/30 at 7:58 PM

    coach bradley and indeed us soccer, seem to like to keep things close to the vest. think about what the coach was getting into. failure would have been not qualifing for the world cup. failure was also not advancing from the group stages. its my honest opinion that things will be easier for the coach the second time around. im sure bradley is not oblivious to the two term syndrome. he surely saw it with arena. you know junior must be happy with the move.

    coach bradley has to be happy knowing jermaine jones will be in the mix. we are going to go into this cycle with a very experienced team and that will be a big help for the coach and will releave some of the pressure. the usa team was really a potporri of lineups during the last cycle. dmb as a lone striker against barbados, remember that? a 4-3-3 in saprissa with torres pablo and junior in the midfield. i always have felt like coach bradley trotted out this 4-3-3, just to make a point to his team. this game did take place just before the confederation run, so maybe his psychology did have an impact on the team. i mean the coach went from a 4-3-3 in costa rica, to a 4-5-1 in the first two games at confederations cup, then he settled with the 4-4-2 and charlie davies.

    coach bradley may not be a coaching genius, but come on, his son is probably the smartest player we have, thats got to count for something in seniors favor. you know the coach will never get the credit he may or may not deserve and he will obviously take the heat, relentlessly. to say there is no pressure on an american soccer coach would be a falseism.

    jermaine jones is going to be a real difference maker. cant you just see freddy adu getting more playing time with jones in there, it seems like an obvious match to me. jones on the pitch means our attacking mids will be able to worry more about attacking the goal and we have four years to figure this out. 4-5-1 and 3-5-2, thats the future of the usa mens team. i dont even like spector, but if his best position is as a central defender that three defenders sounds like the way to go to me. jones and edu as defensive mids in a 3-5-2 or a 4-5-1 sounds like a real serious team and junior can move into a more attacking roll. bring in guillit as an adivisor.

    coach bradley and gulati sat down in a meeting with fabio capello to discuss capello taking over as a youth advisor. the roll did not come to fruition, but what it shows is that us soccer is not just sitting there acting as if they have all the answers, these chaps are in fact looking to get better, or was the capello meeting just a figment of my imagintion?

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    • Posted by dth on 2010/08/30 at 9:28 PM

      Sunil said in an interview after the World Cup that Capello was interested in a technical director job because it had less pressure. (This is before Capello took the England job, so it’s kind of incredible he decided to take the England job, which next to the Real job, is probably the one with the most insane expectations, pressure and media scrutiny.)

      Reply

    • Posted by scweeb on 2010/08/30 at 9:29 PM

      Fabio capello? really to be a youth advisor?

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  16. Posted by moosecat on 2010/08/30 at 9:13 PM

    4-4-2 until i die

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  17. I’m definitely in the “wait and see” camp. Bradley has guided us through a solid if unspectacular last cycle and I’m intrigued to see if he steps it up now that expectations are heightened for the next go-round. People forget that just like players develop and improve, so do coaches. I also wonder if US Soccer might spring something surprising on us with a position for Klinsmann.

    After all the tactical criticism, I want to see BB bring us out in a 3-5-2 against Poland and just blow people’s minds.

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  18. […] Read the rest of this comment here. […]

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  19. Posted by Rhodie on 2010/08/31 at 12:36 AM

    If I remember correctly when we were coming into the world cup this year and it became evident that CD9 was going to be unable to play in the cup (notice he is still not playing first team), we were looking everywhere and anywhere for a speed option to open up the field in front of Donovan. This I believe was one of the defining moments of Bob Bradley’s cycle. He tried absolutely everything that he could up front: Dempsey as a second striker, Altidore alone, Brian Ching, Herc Gomez, and eventually settled on a very well performing Robbie Findley. I remember in the confed cup, I was upset that Davies was playing because he was quick and could get the ball but couldn’t do much with it once he had it at the beginning, he eventually improved and was one of our best players, I was hoping the same would happen with Findley.

    What people forget is that we scored this cup…So maybe Findley worked…We were never shut out, and our biggest problem was defense. A defense that was also struggling with injuries, and a complete lack of talent. The group of players that Bradley had to choose from, not including people that obviously are too young (Lichaj) are: Demerit (Championship Player), Gooch (injured and clearly not himself), Bocanegra (old and lost his spot in the prem), Bornstien (Awful and yet so promising), Dolo (played well also not in a top four league), Spector (voted worst player on West Ham an almost relegated side). With those players and a injured keeper, Bradley still managed to win games.

    Yes Bradley made the wrong choice with Clark, no one knows why he did that, but to be completely fair to him Bradley gets grief for not changing things when he may change things to much, we didn’t have the same lineup to games in a row the entire cup. I believe that Bradley gets his players to overachieve their abilities and at the same time is constantly searching, in the years prior to his world cup tune ups to find players, if he hasn’t found you before the world cup year you may have to be amazing to show up (Gomez). I’m not sure if I like the Idea of two cycles for the same coach, but if there was a coach I would like to give the chance to I think it would be Sweats.

    Reply

  20. Posted by JW on 2010/08/31 at 3:12 AM

    The problem with the 4-5-1 variants for the USA is the lack of a quality lone striker. We do not have a Drogba, Heskey, (insert your favorite here), or anyone else that can hold up the ball well and release our scoring midfield. Jozy might be there in a year or two, but the 4222 made a hell of a lot of sense in the WC, if only our forwards could make and find the square to each other.

    Also, even though it seems to smack of nepotism, Michael Bradley can pass, tackle, track back, and shoot at a reasonable level for international play. Other than Benny (whose exclusion from starting lineups I do question), who else has shown all of those traits WITH CONSISTENCY at the international level?

    Thirdly, what we all want is for Klinsmann to revamp our approach to youth soccer here. We secretly don’t want him to be our national team coach. We want Renya’s current position to be occupied by the German/Californian, not Bradley’s. Bradley has not been completely incompetent while using his current player pool. He sees a hole in central midfield next to Mike, and he struggled to find a partner there. Benny? He sees Benny as the best player to replace Deuce or Donovan (our top is a double D, how did we not use that in commentary?), Heaven forbid they get injured. Two forwards is the only reasonable thing to have given our lack or a top striker. The tactical choices of Bradley were not out of left field, quite reasonable in fact, and I think it’s why Ferguson has such a high opinion of them.

    Where Bradley failed was in preparation. Giving up goals and giving opponents too much respect on the ball early in the game. Given that we effectively have two CDMs, the lack of adjustment to eliminate the space between midfield and defense was nearly inexcusable. I just hope Bob and his squad can learn this in time to earn another trip to the Confederations Cup, although Mexico’s current crop does not look particularly capable of exploiting it.

    Finally, please do not forget that national team coaches can be fired mid-cycle. IT HAPPENS ALL THE FREAKIN’ TIME. If we continue to show a lack of preparation for big games, expect the axe to fall in 2012.

    Reply

    • Posted by Bmill on 2010/08/31 at 4:59 AM

      I fully agree with this entire post. bobbo has been able to do much with at his disposal. We actually didnt cry doom and gloom when both CD9 and Gooch went down in the same week for injuries that take OVER a year to even get 90% better let alone international playing level. That says something for what we trusted in Bob to get out of the pool of players (even if they werent really there). Yes sweats did make mistakes with clark starting both times and the ability to get down early to ANYONE was baffling.

      But I am completely fine with Bobbo taking over the first two years. I think that even if we do Win the Gold cup and such I would not mind another GROOMED coach to take over. I dunno if JK takes a place somewhere with the team I would love him to take over then. To little time to overhaul totally everything but enough time to implement His team and style of play.

      If that doesnt happen I do feel that Bob will increase our abilities and get us out of the group, hopefully winning the group in RIO. I think we have more promising depth of pool players than before, ie young guns lijach and gonzalez, mwungea, najar??, ginger ninja, raenn along with now VETERANS and capped guys Holden, torres, bedoya, sascha and possible next big players, bradley, felhiebler, edu (actually put holden here) and people who should continue their trajectory in jozy, CD9
      and then old veterans that will still hack it internationaly, duece, donovan howard. Thats a list of near 20 guys that i would not mind seeing on a short list at some point. (and no bornstien in sight ;p)

      I still think the future looks up, and bradley knows this too. If he knew he would have to seriously retool this pool and team i think he woulda walked away and looked for a job in norway or belgium. So i am in We’ll see but i will forever sway between postivie and oh boy here we go. but thats the NATURE of the US soccer system right now. vast potential with still needed means to put it all together

      Reply

  21. Posted by Rob on 2010/08/31 at 5:49 AM

    What is it that defines the success of a team? Is it the coach or the players? I don’t mean to sound cliche here, but I think it’s the chemistry built between a team and his players. Chemistry is just as important, if not more, than the quality of the coach. This defines American sports. Often times, you’ll see a coach stick around longer than he/she should because of the chemistry of the team. IMO, I would rather have chemistry, then a team that can function but doesn’t play for each other.

    The phrase you hear often in other major sports is that the players have to “buy in” to what the coach is saying or doing. This is a fundamental difference between US and non-US players. In Europe it’s about respecting the coaches decisions at all costs.

    All this being said, you can bet your bottom dollar that Bradley will be looking at some of his mistakes long and hard over the next few years. In terms of player selection, Bradley was looking to do his best to replicate the team we had for the Confederations Cup which is understandable. Bradley is the right choice, not because there aren’t better coaches, but because this is the best coach for this team.

    Reply

  22. Posted by MikeUC on 2010/08/31 at 6:09 AM

    Bradley for four more years to get ready for…….JOSE MOURINHO!!!!!

    Reply

  23. Posted by Brad on 2010/08/31 at 6:56 AM

    While Bradley is certainly not without his flaws, I think this is the right move at this point. It is impressive the team mentality and belief that he has instilled and the guys really seem to buy into his program. As this last cycle progressed think of how many times you started to hear players talk about the “group” just like Bradley. And that showed in some of the guttier performances by the team. He has also shown he isn’t afraid to bring in new guys and I suspect we’ll see a lot of young talent called up, especially in the next year and a half. He isn’t the most exciting or flashiest and if USSF gets a legit shot at a quality coach, they may do well to take that chance, but I think the team remains in pretty good hands for now.

    Reply

  24. Posted by Freegle on 2010/08/31 at 11:00 AM

    Sadly, there is a bigger problem in all of this… the system is broken. From youth on up to international, the US us lacking in top quality players, coaches, administrators, and leaders. Hell, judging by what’s written on the “Worldwide Leader,” even the analysts are weak. Hopefully, Reyna can bring a new perspective to the youth and I think Cabrera has been admirable as well. But at the top, Gulati has been poor. He has shown either an inability or a lack of desire to get talented coaches. Rongen got another cycle after underperforming nd showing questionable player selection and now Bradley gets a second cycle after similar problem and a “disappointing” (Sunil’s word) World Cup.

    It simple, the US coaching job is a desirable one. We have good talent, great worth ethic, and excellent facilities. Yet, we can’t get a top notch coach? Its perplexing and it points to a problem at the absolute top.

    Bornstein and Clark play in games that are over their head. But can you blame them? If I was offered a World Cup cap, i’d take it too. On the next level, Bob Bradley takes the USA job thats over his head but if someone offered me the job, I’d take it too even though Im not qualified. At the top of the ladder is Sunil Gulati. There are no checks and balances for him even though he is apparently over his head as well. Make no mistake, there are problems at every level. But, as the saying goes, sh** rolls down hill… and gulati is at the top of the hill.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2010/08/31 at 11:21 AM

      Uh, clashing much?

      First sentence of first graf: “The system is broken.”

      First sentence of second: “the U.S. job is a desirable one.”

      Maybe you need to decide yourself which one it is before criticizing Gulati, Bradley, et. al.? In truth I think neither of your sentences is correct: the job isn’t particularly desirable and the system isn’t broken; it’s in the process of getting better, actually. Look at the homegrown players coming up, specifically the homegrown players with some attacking flair–Najar and Bowen, for example–and I see a system that’s correcting its errors and getting stronger. These things aren’t going to show up immediately, as none of the homegrown players are ready for senior national team minutes, but they’ll show up soon and the player pool will be the better for it.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/08/31 at 11:42 AM

        I feel that Freegle was talking about the crop of players available to Bradley not being good enough for the 2010 World Cup cycle. Yes the US First XI is good, but there is a massive drop of in quality which hinders the coach.

        Whether you’re right about the youth system getting better, offering whoever is in charge of the MNT with more depth, only time will tell, as ultimately, nobody knows.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2010/08/31 at 12:16 PM

          Yeah, no one knows because we won’t see the results of this change until, hell, five or six years from now. So no one knows. The early returns, I’d argue, are encouraging.

          While I don’t want to put words in Freegle’s mouth, though, I think he means a more comprehensive problem than this cycle’s player pool: “from youth on up to international”, he says. Which, again, clashes with the sentiment in his second paragraph. Both of which are exaggerated, as I’ve argued.

          Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/08/31 at 12:41 PM

          To be honest, I haven’t seen enough US U17s, U19s or U21s matches to agree or disagree with you.

          Out of curiousity, why do you believe the early signs are encouraging? I mean, there might be a lot of US players being “produced’ but how many are on the trajectory of truly making it to the elite level, rather than being a MLS?

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        • Posted by dth on 2010/08/31 at 2:03 PM

          I’ve seen a few u-20 games, which is a really encouraging group, of which many (if not most) went through USSDA at some points in their careers. I think Najar is potentially elite; Juan Agudelo has only gotten U.S. Open Cup minutes but has a high upside; etc. etc.

          I’m mostly just glad that more kids have a direct route from academy teams to some sort of professional opportunities, which I figure (at the very least) will produce marginally better pros than before. Whether or not a few of them will be elite? I can’t say, but I feel (perhaps irrationally) optimistic.

          Reply

      • Posted by John on 2010/08/31 at 11:51 AM

        Er, not sure that it is a 100% success for homegrown talent if Andy Najar ends up playing for Honduras, but carry on…

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2010/08/31 at 12:14 PM

          Irrespective of whether or not Najar plays for Honduras, it’s a success for the process. And a comment like “the system is broken” or some such indicates that the focus is on the process–commendably so, as process is more important than any individual result. If the process can produce an Andy Najar and Tristan Bowen on a fairly consistent basis, then it will matter less whether or not any individual chooses the U.S. So the question is, is Najar a fluke or the part of a process? Part of it looks flukish, but given that D.C. has signed Hamid, Najar and Shanofsky homegrown and have Jalen Robinson’s and Ethan White’s rights (as well as losing Samir Badr on a free to Porto), I’d say they have a good process. Dallas has a good process. New York seems to have a good process. That’s good for the league and the country.

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    • Posted by Freegle on 2010/08/31 at 6:20 PM

      Calm down dth. Why can’t it be both?

      First, Our youth progam – specifically pay for play and college- is not designed
      to produce top quality professional and international quality players (although sometimes we get lucky). The Academy movement is more of an MLS undertaking than a USSF one. They are looking
      to better their brand (which is fantastic) and there is some natural trickle
      down (or up i guess) from that which will help the Nats. But the core of the USSF
      youth program is flawed.

      Even the players who overcome and improve to professional quality have to
      contend with the next problem… the two most important coaching figures at the international level(Rongen and Bradley) have made some repititive and damning blunders in player selection and tactics. They showed themselves to be incapable of handling their positions. Nevertheless,
      both were rewarded with another cycle.

      These two problems underlie what I consider the greatest problem, and that is Gulati. He has shown again that he is happy with the staus quo and would rather be mediocre his way than take a chance on being great with some input from another source. He is the brains behind it all, and just like the human body, it the brain is damaged, you may be able to survive, but you can’t thrive.

      Finally, the US coaching job is desirable DESPITE the system being broken. Imagine that? As I said, we have good (but not great) talent, athleticism, players with heart/spirit, and great facilities. Those are all things that you cant teach. What coach wouldnt want to work with that? Also, this next coach is taking over at a time of crossroads in US Soccer. This cycle offers the opportunity for us to jump to the next tier in international soccer. I think breaking the USA into the status of “possible contender” is a challenge that would interest many coaches.

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2010/08/31 at 7:04 PM

        No, I’d say the Academy effort is shared by MLS and the USSF. The USSDA–which is what all the MLS teams as well as the better club teams play with–is a USSF effort, which does all sorts of fun stuff that I’m sure you’re aware of. At any rate, it’s definitely not just Garber’s baby.

        Rongen is an interesting case, by the by. I don’t think he’s the failure people have painted him as. When Rongen has the players–as in 2007 and as is true now–he plays an attractive, winning brand of soccer. Did you watch the Milk Cup final? I did: it was pretty wonderful attacking soccer. 2009 Rongen didn’t have the players; you can tell–the selection controversies that time around focused on whether or not Brandon Manzonelli should have been selected, which, judging from his subsequent club career, was not much of an omission.

        As to your last graf: I don’t think it’s particularly desirable, no. The USSF simply doesn’t have a lot of cash. Gulati–the guy who’s come in for so much crap–is being paid a nominal salary (like a $1/year.) And that’s symbolic of the budget situation: revenues last year I think were around $40 million or so. By contrast, University of Texas, USC and Ohio State all had higher revenues than the USSF. Let’s take something like Brandeton. I think it’s a fine program–but it spends as much as the average Bundesliga team. I’m fairly certain that Mexico spends far more than us at soccer–I think they’re probably paying three coaches right now–and that’s partially why it’s not desirable. It’s also not desirable when many people have somewhat unrealistic expectations about the team. Let’s compare the US to Ghana: Ghana had one player on the Champions league winner, and if Essien weren’t injured, would have another Champions League contender and Double Winner. The year before the World Cup, Ghana won the u-20 World Cup. We have exactly no players of similar professional accomplishments, and have yet to do as well at that level of competition. This is a team that many loudly insisted we should have beaten; weren’t these expectations somewhat unrealistic? I thought Bob’s choices were inadequate and better choices would’ve given us a better chance, but by no means was the U.S. clearly superior.

        So think of it from a big time coach’s perspective: you’re taking a pay cut. You’re working for a system somewhere between broken and repairing itself. The system has never produced a player who’s an integral part of a contending Champions League team. Do you want to take a chance on that system suddenly being able to produce such a player within your four-year tenure? More specifically: do you want to take a chance on that system producing such a player quickly within your tenure? Because if it’s late, well, it’s going to be difficult (but one of those good problems) to integrate that player. If a coach wants a big challenge, more power to him. But I hope you can realize why this combination of factors wouldn’t interest the vast majority of big-time coaches?

        (NOTE: these big-time coaches are in some cases not very good. See, for instance, how Carlos Quieroz turned a team with Ronaldo, Nani, and Coentrao into a staid, bunkerball team.)

        Reply

        • Posted by Freegle on 2010/09/01 at 6:01 AM

          Portugal was on a 19 match unbeaten run before they lost to eventual champions Spain in WC2010. They hadn’t lost since November of ’08. How is that not very good?

          Anyway, you are “perhaps irrationally optimistic” about the future of the USA National team program but its unreasonable for a potential coach to be?

          Your comparison to those three NCAA schools is flawed. They are the highest grossing three schools in the country and they have more revenue sources than the USSF. Also, one of the main reasons that we have less revenue is because NCAA schools get so much. USSF are in a unique situation in that our professional sports dollars are split a number of ways, including MLB, NFL, NBA, NCAAA, etc and we are not the biggest fish in the pond. Mexico can afford to spend more money because they dont have the competition for dollars that USSF has.

          Remember, we are still a very young footballing nation. The money comes with the support from fans and advertisers, which is growing every year. The growth potential is what makes the job attractive to an outsider. Either way, USSF is not poor. There currently is plenty of money available to pay a reasonable salary to a worthy manager if Gulati so desired.

          The learned USA soccer fan was disappointed that we lost to Ghana twice in the past two world cups but I don’t think we were shocked. Also, if not for the player selection gaffes, we do indeed beat them IMO. Regardless, I consider expectations a good thing. My expectations for this team are to dominate lesser CONCACAF foes, win Gold Cups, make World Cups. Beyond that, my expectations are dependent on the situation. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. Without expectations there can be no disappointment, but also no victory. What competitive person wants to be part of a program where “just playing” is good enough? Whoever he is, I don’t want him as my national team coach.

          Finally Rongen… Remember Neven Subotic? I hate to sum his entire tenure up in one failure, but it was an epic failure. You say he has not had the players. Are we sure he didn’t just miss them?

          Reply

  25. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/08/31 at 11:38 AM

    how many times can someone use cliches like the system is broken or coach bradley is all out of ideas. i guess it is easy to sit behind the computer and come up with this. im sure the people that made these comments know their soccer. but really, i guess saying two term managers dont do well is a lot like saying europeans cant win a world cup outside of europe. maybe that second term manager is just a little behind the curve. i guess it is also like saying no team has ever won a world cup with a foreign manager. it is sure to happen one day, maybe.

    the bottom line with youth development is that usa needs more coaches with quality experience. maybe the guys on this board, who are so “knowledgeable” should be coaching and maybe these people already are. how bad has the usa really done over the past generation or so and how would us soccer be viewed if it had one three more games, one against germany and two against ghana? think about it honestly, the difference between beating germany and going to a semi finals in 02 and beating ghana to advance from the group stages in 06, along with a win against ghana this past summer sure doesnt seem like to much difference. its all hypothetical, but usa was close and all of these games could have gone either way.

    i hate the usa giving up early goals. early goals and early cheap fouls. im sorry, but it has got to be on the players and it might be the system also. these players on the national team today did not grow up with quality coaching the whole way through their development, unless they were real lucky. but it seems to me that a lot of blame is placed higher up the ladder, when maybe if usa wants to really improve, we as soccer fans need to look more inward, instead of looking out and trying to place blame here, there. and everywhere that does not indict us personally.

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  26. Posted by Kick-Ass on 2010/08/31 at 12:31 PM

    Thats it I want Gulati’s head on a stick and I want it soon. He is the one that has to go since he is the one choosing to give us four more years of mediocracy. Gulati is not a soccer man he is a economics professor who do not understand what is to have love for the game. I bet anything that he has never touched a soccer ball out in the field in his entire sorry life. Bob Bradley cannot do anything beyond what he has accomplish in the past four years. He has demonstrated the unwillingness to change. I expect Findley, Bornstein, Bocanegra, Clark, Junior, weak-slow defense to be around for the next four years. He do not like change and always wishes for a positive output from the same selection of players. We will have Bob and Gulati heads when they fail to win 2011 Gold Cup and not qualify to Confederation Cup as a result. I just hope that true fans have the guts to get rid of this two characters since it is going to require some boycots of the games. The only way to have change is to hurt them in the pocket book. I hope that I am wrong because I will hate for USMNT to loose the opprtunity to play Confederation Cup because of these two. I will support the USMNT but if Bob and Gulati cause the team to fail I will boycot so that some change will come. Lets all support the USMNT with bob for now till the final of the 2011 Gold Cup is known!!!

    Reply

  27. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/08/31 at 1:20 PM

    my guess is that the people that are ultra critical of us soccer were not around pre 90 and do not know the feeling of missing out on world cups all together. its hard to relate to that if all you know is 90 to 2010.

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    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/08/31 at 1:24 PM

      Not sure if I agree or disagree here, but I think that is of little consequence.

      The standards and expectations today are different from yesteryear.

      That fans are critical is a good thing.

      As a note, I was casually around pre-1990, but I do remember that expectations were different. It was a surprise and wonderful when the US won games–in my opinion, it’s much better now that there are expectations and people get upset when US Soccer loses.

      Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/08/31 at 1:39 PM

      Doesn’t that sort of illustrate that professional football in the US has grown?
      And isn’t it a good thing that a lot of people “do not know the feeling of missing out on world cups all together”?!

      Reply

  28. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/08/31 at 7:00 PM

    i guess there is the old saying that says you can never really know how good you have it, until you have been at the bottom, or something like that. the fact that usa has been in more consecutive world cups than the inventors of the sport is not lost on people. of course the answer always come down to the fact that usa plays in concacaf, so therefore it does not mean as much. its like the people that think advancing from concacaf is a given. didnt the troubles mexico had in this past round of qualifing not wake people up to the fact that it is not guaranteed.

    imagine if coach bradley were fired after the confed cup, say brasil did not outscore italy so bad, then we went and hired a foreign coach, good foreign coach, not some recycled guy. now we might have still come out of the qualifing, but there would not have been much margin for error. personally, looking at the situation, if klinsmnn comes in just before the mexico game, then im not sure usa qualifies for the 2010 world cup. im really not sure if he would have been able to handle the pressure of an away game in honduras, and im just not sure if the team would have played as hard for a foreign coach in the game against costa rica in rfk. im just not sure if klinsmann could have done it. think about that and tell me if you agree or disagree.

    i want all the foreign coach bandwagoners to explain to me why they think a foreign coach is such a lock to take the USA to higher level when rudd gullit cant even coach la galaxy with success and this is a team that did not just have american players. tell me why q ball, carlos quieroz cant coach a team in MLS to success and people expect a foreign coach to provide all the answers. please…… carlos alberto parreirra, world cup winning coach, failure with new york metro stars. yet these all knowing people will try and beat you over the head telling you how much better the usa would be with a foreign coach. this is very personal and im sorry if anyone is offended by the commmentary, but god dang.

    expectations should be sky high, because thats how americans do it, they set the bar high. maybe foreigners dont appreciate that enough and im sorry to say, but lord knows you tell someone you think usa will win the next world cup and ah, the response will be something of a derissive nature.

    Reply

    • Posted by Freegle on 2010/09/01 at 4:31 AM

      All of your examples are MLS. It’s apples and oranges. The MLShad/has very unique rules when it comes to acquiring players and if you watch MLS vs a top quality international match, they might as well be playing a different game.

      I can’t speak for everyone else, but I don’t need a foreign coach per se. I want a change and it just so happens that most of the top coaches are foreign. Thats a product of being the USA. If we were Italy or Holland we would be able to choose between a handful of coaches that were “domestic” but still quality. We don’t have that luxury.

      You can say that you are not sure a foreign coach would have gotten results in Honduras or at RFK but there’s no evidence there. Maybe a foreign coach has us playing without leaking early goals so we win instead of drawing El Salvador and draw Costa RIca at Saprassia and wrap up the group early. It’s all conjecture.

      Regardless, all of that is the past. My concern is about the future. I commend Bradley for his success in the past. But, I also believe that there are better options that should have been explored for the future.

      Reply

  29. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/09/01 at 5:42 PM

    im sorry freegle, but i dont know what watching top quality international matches has to do with anything. we are talking about the us national team, a team made up of americans, many of whom play or have played in MLS. we are also talking about the merits of foreign coaches and the downside of foreign coaches. MLS has given these coaches a chance to coach americans and we have not really scene any type of epiphony from these european and south american coaches. and im just curious why people think it would be so much different with the us nationl team.

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  30. Posted by Freegle on 2010/09/01 at 7:09 PM

    Wow. I’m not sure we can even have this discussion. I have so many questions. I’m all for patriotism and solidarity and the american spirit but I can’t even fathom your position. Your contention is that because a foreign coach fails for one year in the MLS (and two of your examples were with the same putrid organization in the mid-90s) that they are not qualified to coach the national team?

    If that is what your saying, then watching international quality matches has everything to do with it. I understand that most of the USMNT have played at some time in the MLS, but that doesn’t make international matches and MLS matches equals. Are you saying that coaching an MLS squad requires the same skills as being a national team coach? Its ridiculous!

    In the case of Ruud Gullit, I agree with your contention that he should not be the national team coach. But it has nothing to do with his inability to understand and work with the MLS salary cap (his fatal flaw with the Galaxy). Im more concerned about his reputation as selfish, arrogant, and petulent and his lack of experience.

    Carlos Queiroz just led Portugal to a 19 match unbeaten run that was only ended by the World Cup winning Spain squad. Admittedly, I would prefer him to take over Rongen’s position considering his reputation of unearthing and molding youth talent. But I think that his recent international success FAR outweighs his (distant) past failures in MLS.

    Finally, If I’m reading you correctly, you are saying that the fact that Parreirra was unsuccesful as an MLS coach (in 1997, when the MLS was in its infancy) means he could not be a good national team coach. Meanwhile, he has coached FIVE countries to World Cups and has in his trophy case a WC championship. He also has won domestic titles in Turkey and Brazil. So, one year of MLS failure outweighs a career of international success? I doubt it.

    I am not a “foreign coach bandwagoner” and I would never dream that any coach, foreign or domestic, has “all the answers.” But your contention that these coaches could not be successful as our National Team Coach because they failed in MLS (two of them over 3 world cup cycles ago) is patently absurd.

    And just for good measure… the Metrostars, the same team that Queiroz and Perreira coached, also fired Bob Bradley in the middle of a season due to por results/failures. So by your standards, he is no more qualified then these other three.

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  31. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/09/01 at 7:56 PM

    well freegle, the last time we had a discussion you were trying to convince me that usa was not taking MLS players to the world cup. so obviously when coach bradley selected findley, buddle and gomez, you felt that it was a slap in your face. why on earth would coach bradley select robbie findley over someone like ryan guy who is playing in europe and therefor must be a better player. then again, maybe usa should have gone with mike grella, he plays for the storied club in england and leeds must be better than MLS teams because they are in england. forget tht grella still cant get minutes even as their best player has departed for the epl.

    now i might be extending the truth a little, but not much. now you are trying to tell me that a foreign coach, failing in the MLS does not have anything to do with whether or not foreign coachs will fail in the national team roll. i dont know, q-ball did write the q-report and it is a blueprint designed to send us soccer in the right direction at least according to the author.

    the thing you left out about the metrostars situation is that one of the coaches that failed at metrostars stuck with coaching in the usa and moved on to another difficult situation in chivas usa and turned the club around, meanwhile these foreign coaches, that want to do so much to help out us soccer went on to take big money jobs with oil sheks and alec fergusons. just because bobby robson mentored jose morinho, dont mean i want brian robson to come and take over the us mens team.

    Reply

  32. Posted by Freegle on 2010/09/01 at 9:24 PM

    Robbie Findley had more yellow cards than shots in South Africa. Our combined score with him on the field was 1-4 (the 1 being Green’s gaffe) and with him off the field was 4-1. He didn’t play (due to suspension) in the only match that we won. You’re right. Thank got we brought Robbie Findley along. We would have been just as well off going with only 22 players.

    I don’t remember any past discussions wih you (unless you were under a different i.d.) but you are right about the fact that I have a pro-europe/anti-mls bias. Nevertheless, a slap in my face? I will readily admit to a ceratin level of arrogance and narcicism but not in my wildest dreams do I think that Bob Bradley considered my feelings when picking MLS players for WC2010. I would have to have the self-importance of, say, you to take Bob’s player selection personally.

    As for only one of those coaches sticking with MLS, I have three responses

    1) … Chris Rock likes to say that “a man is only as faithful as his options.” Bob Bradley stayed in MLS because he had nowhere else to go. Also, in Bradley’s one season at the helm at Chivas (the one where he “turned them around”), they finished 3rd in the West and lost in the quarterfinals. Thats the definition or mediocrity, not success. Preki is the coach who brought them to the top of the table.

    2) A.C. Perreira i’m sure sends his regrets, but he was too busy coaching Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and South Africa into World Cups to hang in New York. I don’t think that we can hold it against him that he didn’t stick around with a 3 year old professional league obsessed with economics and parity. Instead he was involved with having the most decorated international manager’s career ever.

    3) Hmmm.. Metrostars or the Man-U, Real Madrid, Portugal national team poo-poo platter. Tough call. I can’t imagine why Queiroz would have wanted to coach at two of the most storied football clubs in the world and then lead his home country to a World Cup instead of staying in MLS.

    Queiroz and Perreira couldn’t have success in MLS because they had moved on to success of a larger scale elsewhere. If anything, that strengthens their case as a capable potential National team manager, not weakens it as you contend.

    Reply

  33. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/09/01 at 10:44 PM

    you know freegle, i really hoped portugal would not make the world cup. you do have to admit that portugal underachieved in qualifing, but in the end, they did prevail, to their credit and the credit of their coach. the brasilian coach, he did win the world cup in 1994, before he ever took a job in the MLS. im sure his success in 94 had something to do with that. so really what you want is a religation and promotion system and its as simple as that. isnt that really what you feel needs to happen. this of course is just the way i see it, but i think some people feel like certain steps need to occur before the usa can be successful, be they switching to a fifa schedule or hiring a european coach, or getting more youth academies. or maybe getting rid of college soccer, or moving the headquarters from florida, to california. the list goes on and on.

    i dont know, it just seems like its easy to take the eyes off the prize. do you really think quieroz is the answer, because he won some games in a row for his home country, he has been an under study to ferguson, but would he be exhibiting the passion that we have seen from coaches in turkey or croatia, or bulgaria? these countries all made semi finals with domestic coaches. egypt wins african nations with domestic coaches. south korea did make the semi finals with a dutch coach, at home, similar to how usa got to the knockout round with bora. maybe korea was a little further along in their development in 02 then usa was in 94

    i dont see south africa or saudi arabia being much better off for having the brasilian as their coach. is saudi football better off now that they have had the privelage of having such a great coaching mind in their midst. some people out there think that maybe if the usa miss out on a world cup that will shake things up and then the european wise men can come in and fix soccer here in america. its weak. coach bradley probably would be wise to hire guillit as a number two though. it would be a marriage like ying and yang.

    freegle, think about what you are saying. us soccer is worried about economics and parity, and you act like that is a bad thing. you bring up preki taking chivas close to the top when coach bradley actually achieved the top, with a first year expansion team, no less. then, what i see as the clincher, is that you marginalize the usa job, by clarifing that none of these euro/south american coaches really want the job anyway, when they can go for big money, or big clubs. so you quote chris rock, let me leave you with quote. “a military operation involves deception. even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. though effective, appear to be ineffective.” freegle, im sure you are smart enough to know who is quoted here.

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/09/02 at 5:28 AM

      Wow. You’ve really got an chip on your shoulder about European football, haven’t you? That’s a massive inferiority complex you have. Surely it should be about ability and not about somebody’s nationality? Whether you agree or disagree with this decision is a moot point now as USSF has renewed Bradley’s contract. I feel what’s important is that people get behind Team USA.

      Reply

      • Posted by dikranovich on 2010/09/02 at 6:41 AM

        george, it should be about ability rather than nationality, just like it should be about skill, not race. you know what im saying?

        Reply

  34. Posted by Freegle on 2010/09/02 at 5:33 AM

    Oh Narkid3…. I haven’t missed you at all. I was really hoping you would never find this site. I stopped going into discussions at the “Worldwide Leader” so that I could avoid posters like you. TSG is a great site with fantastic analysys where knowledgeable football fans can discuss USA and professional soccer. Quite simply, you don’t fit in…

    You have an annoying habit of trying ot put words in my mouth:
    – I never mentioned anything about relegation
    – I never said Queiroz was the answer; only that your contention that because he failed in MLS he should be disqualified for consideration for out Nat Team manager is ridiculous
    – I never mentioned a word about USSoccer economics and parity; only MLS.

    Back in February, you and I had a week long discussion/arguement with you making ridiculous statements, me proving you wrong with facts, and you changing the subject and making more ridiculous statements. The underying theme/arguement was that you drink the MLS koolaid and said that MLS players were some of the best in the world. You stated that MLS alone was capable of preparing Americans for top level international matches (as in outside CONCACAF). I asked you a simple question: Could a team of American players that only played professionally in the MLS challenge for a World Cup? I let you build your team: Perkins, Wynne, Marshall, Goodsen (cheating but I let you have him), Cameron, Dax, Beckerman, Kljestan, Donovan, Pontius, and Ching. You said that they were good enough to challenge for the trophy. And with that you lost the little credibility you may have had.

    If you want to take a walk down memory lane, here’s the link: http://myespn.go.com/s/conversations/show/story/4913559/sort/newest

    Your idiocy is on display for all. As for this discussion, I am done with you now that I know who you are. Please feel free to have the last word. I’m sure it will be amusing.

    Reply

  35. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/09/02 at 6:39 AM

    isnt that just it, your an idiot if you dont agree with freegle. george, i watch european football every weekend and during the week also, regardless of whether or not there are americans playing on the teams. chips on shoulders, inferiority complexs, idiocy, it is easy to throw these words or phrases around, isnt it? i bring up the fact that some foreign coaches have had a tough time assimilating to the game in the usa, not all coaches, but some of these coaches and im an idiot for thinking that this might also be the case if a “genius coach” was to take over control of the us national team.

    so this site is not fond of coach bradley re upping his contract. bradley is limited he is this and that, he is out of ideas and apparently someone has the proof to back this up because they watch european games, can name every plyer on every team in the top five divisions in england and can see that the game in europe is played on a vastly superior level. im sorry, but its like you guys have a personal agenda and you feel very strongly about it and disagreement in any sort of vosiforous manner might just get someone banned. is vosiforous the right word? i think it is. am i going to be banned from the shin guardian for speaking my mind, because you know dang on well im going to be called an idiot, or told i have some inferiority complex or that i just dont watch enough of the world game. lord knows george, when i get behind my country and root them on to victory, it always has to be with the caviat that they are not ready to actually win the world cup, at least according to the freegles of the world.

    Reply

    • Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/09/02 at 11:54 AM

      Hey Guys,

      While we love passionate discussion here at TSG, we don’t care for name calling or attacking each other. By all means chose to disagree and disagree all you want, but please do it in a polite and respectful manner.

      Thanks

      Reply

  36. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/09/02 at 7:18 AM

    Don’t you think you’re being patriotic to the Nth degree here? Nobody is suggesting that X is a better manager purely because he is European or South American.

    I feel what you’re saying about coaching in America has a certain mirror image to people who say ‘Americans aren’t good enough to play in Europe’ or ‘because Donovan failed in Germany he’s a failure and shouldn’t be given another chance?’. We both know that that isn’t true.

    If you think the USA is going to win the WC, good for you, fill your boots.

    Reply

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