Breaking: Bob Bradley Fired By US Soccer

Bob Bradley out as US Men’s National Team Manager.

The release from US Soccer below.

Wow...

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BOB BRADLEY’s TENURE AS HEAD COACH OF U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ENDS

CHICAGO (July 28, 2011) — U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati announced today that Bob Bradleyhas been relieved of his duties as the head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team.

“We want to thank Bob Bradley for his service and dedication to U.S. Soccer during the past five years,” said Gulati. “During his time as the head coach of our Men’s National Team he led the team to a number of accomplishments, but we felt now was the right time for us to make a change. It is always hard to make these decisions, especially when it involves someone we respect as much as Bob. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

This announcement comes after a meeting at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., between Gulati, Bradley and U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn.

Bradley was named the head coach of the U.S. MNT in January of 2007 and during his five-year tenure compiled a 43-25-12 record. He led the team to a number of accomplishments, including winning the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, finishing second in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, winning their World Cup qualifying group and advancing to the Round of 16 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

U.S. Soccer will have a further announcement on Friday.

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105 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Andy on 2011/07/28 at 12:07 PM

    It was the tracksuit that did him in. Get a suit, Bob.

    Reply

    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/07/28 at 1:21 PM

      I always found it more ridiculous that men whose job it is to direct 11 sweaty guys kicking a ball around field would wear a suit rather than sweats, but that’s just personal preference , I guess.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Durant Durant on 2011/07/28 at 12:08 PM

    Boom! Didn’t think Sunil had it in him.

    Reply

    • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/28 at 3:19 PM

      Sunil didn’t do this alone. We’re not even sure he wanted to fire BB though he probably did.

      There are 14 votes required to do this and Sunil is only one and he isn’t influential as some seem to think.

      It took this long because those 14 votes had to come to a consensus.

      Reply

  3. Posted by dth on 2011/07/28 at 12:08 PM

    What a shocker…

    …but in retrospect, not at all. It took them weeks to fire Rongen.

    Good choice. Speculation:

    IF IT HAS TO BE AN MLS COACH: Schellas Hyndman.

    Foreign-wise: uh, who knows? Not Klinsmann, I hope.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/07/28 at 12:15 PM

      Unfortunately, dawdling on the USSF’s part may have cost us a chance at Marcelo Bielsa. That would’ve been fun, at the very least.

      Reply

      • Posted by s44 on 2011/07/28 at 3:12 PM

        I know he did good last time, but I can’t forget his epic fail with a loaded Argentina.

        Reply

  4. I would be interested in knowing at some point about how some of the players felt about him as coach. Obviously, they cant say while he was coach….but maybe now….just curious. Someone could be better, someone could be worse…there are some great new players coming up as well…but with BB you never had to doubt his love of the team and its players. All I will say is he is a great club team coach. I hope he gets with a top club and can show what he can do on a new stage. Obviously, he did well with MLS, so it would be great to have him back, but if he needs to go abroad I wish him all the luck.
    P.S. Maybe next year if he is still thinking about his next step, MLS can invite him in to be the All-Star team coach ;-)

    Reply

  5. Posted by gary on 2011/07/28 at 12:12 PM

    Yes. Great news. Now we get to see different options in the mf

    Reply

  6. Posted by Durant Durant on 2011/07/28 at 12:13 PM

    I’m hoping for a foreigner this time around…someone not already connected with USSF.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Smitty on 2011/07/28 at 12:14 PM

    Wow. Didn’t see that coming. Did anyone else? Or was I just not paying attention.

    IMO, you fire a guy like this, you must have someone else lined up to take the job, even though they will not admit as much…but wait, I am getting ahead of things. I am sure that TSG will have a “who’s the next Coach” post shortly, maybe we should keep this one focused on what Coach Sweatpants did or did not do to warrent this ending.

    Reply

    • Posted by Dan on 2011/07/29 at 3:39 AM

      I thought the same exact thing, given the timing of upcoming friendlies less than two weeks away. I just hope this doesn’t affect the mentality of MB90.

      Reply

  8. Posted by kaya on 2011/07/28 at 12:15 PM

    Good grief, it’s about damn time. Now we need Sunil to fire himself.

    Reply

  9. Posted by dth on 2011/07/28 at 12:23 PM

    Frank Klopas just became a very nervous man.

    Reply

  10. Posted by JW on 2011/07/28 at 12:26 PM

    Gunil: Wow, Pia worked out well for the Women. Where can I get a Swedish coach for the men… “Hey, anyone have Sven Goran-Eriksson’s number?”

    Reply

    • Posted by s44 on 2011/07/28 at 3:13 PM

      I’d rather actually have Pia.

      Sven… isn’t made for our confed.

      Reply

      • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/28 at 3:53 PM

        Bradley made about 5-600 grand per. Eriksson would laugh at that. He’s way out of our price range.

        An MLS type is more in the USSF price range.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2011/07/28 at 5:51 PM

          No. The USSF is paying Bradley that amount because that’s what he was worth. They were willing to pay Klinsmann $2 million/year last year. With the continuing strength of big-money friendlies at all professional levels, there’s no reason to believe USSF finances are any weaker and plenty of reason to believe they’re stronger.

          Reply

  11. Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/07/28 at 12:28 PM

    I assume that the past month has not been about decision but about finding a replacement. If we look back at the cryptic NYT quote from Gulati it would appear that shortly thereafter he decided to axe Bradley and wisely decided to get someone before making it official.

    Will there be an announcement Friday? How did US Soccer keep this under wraps?

    If we waited a month to make a decision and don’t have someone I am going to be befuddled. What was the point of waiting until now? What changed since the end of the Gold Cup? I can’t think of a single logical thing that happened since the end of the GC that should cause someone to feel differently about Bradley as our head coach.

    Reply

    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/07/28 at 1:24 PM

      This is my reading of the situation as well. Really bizarre timing if they don’t have someone lined up already.

      Reply

  12. Posted by Freegle on 2011/07/28 at 12:38 PM

    Bob Bradley deserves both congratulations and thanks. Despite his obvious shortcomings, I have no doubt that he gave his best effort for every second of his national team tenure. That desrves our respect and admiration.

    However, as a Bob Bradley hater, I am relieved. This is a positive move for the future of US Soccer, although there is still much work to be done.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2011/07/28 at 12:50 PM

      Sorry, can’t do that. I would have respected him if he had resigned like most national team coaches when they blow a game in the World Cup knockout stages.

      Reply

      • Posted by Freegle on 2011/07/28 at 1:11 PM

        Really? You resign from your job every time someone else doesnt do their job and makes you look like an ass? Cmon.

        Reply

        • Posted by Jared on 2011/07/28 at 1:17 PM

          If I’m the guy that picked a player (Clark) who was so bad that I had to substitute him before halftime then yes I resign. Edu had played well previously and the argument of him being tired was clearly crap since he came on and played well for the rest of the game. It’s the way the game works, you fail at the World Cup and you fall on your sword. Or you’ve used the World Cup as a springboard to show you’re a quality coach and get a new club job but clearly he didn’t do that.

          Reply

  13. While I do want to think Bob for his work as the coach and think he’s done a solid job with what he’s got, this is too good not to share:

    @brianching: Some days just put a smile on your face.

    Rumors of Marcello Lippi from Andres Cantor on twitter.

    Reply

    • Posted by Kevin on 2011/07/28 at 3:10 PM

      I still wonder what happened between Bradley and Ching.

      Reply

      • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/28 at 3:49 PM

        Seems to me Ching got old and injury prone.

        Reply

        • But at the end of the US pre-WC camp he was fit and had had a few impressive performances in friendlies, and we sure could’ve used a decent hold up striker in SA.

          Reply

    • Posted by SamT on 2011/07/29 at 7:00 AM

      Wow, that tweet from Ching is a shame. I always thought of him as having more class than that. But I suppose I’ll stick with the TSG adage and focus on the “body of work” here and not let one tweet color my opinion too much.

      Reply

  14. Posted by Spencer on 2011/07/28 at 12:55 PM

    One of the best things BB did was give MANY players the opportunity to play with USMNT. Im not sure why he didnt play some of them more and some of the starters (Altidore) less. All in all i think he did a pretty good job. I wonder if Michael Bradley will still be in every line up now.

    Reply

  15. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/28 at 1:13 PM

    I wonder how this news will affect Bradley Jr’s “desire” to find a club and get some playing time.

    Be warned: the new manager won’t have a magic wand. He still has the same (average) player pool. Don’t expect miracles.

    Reply

    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/07/28 at 1:17 PM

      I am not expecting miracles but I do expect:

      1) Not to allow a goal in the first 10 minutes of 50% of the games that matter
      2) Park the bus for the first half of a friendly only to open up when going down and playing respectable
      3) Not blow 2-0 leads in Cup Finals without at least a sniff of extra time
      4) Figure out how to get our best players on the field before halftime.

      Reply

      • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/07/28 at 1:40 PM

        I think the whole “Bradley’s teams always give up goals in the first ten minutes” meme obscures the larger problem that his teams were never defensively sound throughout the course of the whole game. When was last time he got a shutout against anything better than mediocre CONCACAF competition? Spain 2009? The floodgates in both blown finals took awhile to open, but when they did it wasn’t pretty. And look at qualification for 2010. In the ten hex games, we pitched exactly three shutouts: two against hapless T and T, and one at home against Mexico. Think about that. In six games against the likes of El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica we couldn’t manage a single clean sheet. Compare the 2006 hex, in which we didn’t concede a goal at home and got two road shutouts.

        I don’t think that’s just down to the players, as it was a problem against even inferior competition. Whoever the next coach is, I hope he can implement a sound defensive strategy, and find the right players to execute it.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2011/07/28 at 1:52 PM

          Yeah, this is something I wish more people realized about the USMNT under Term I of Bob Bradley: most people talked about the team as if it were a low-offense, high-defense, boring team. This was incorrect–in fact, the US was a good-offense, low-defense, interesting team. Whatever the competition, Bradley’s team usually finished near the top on goals scored and near the bottom on goals conceded.

          Then, in the abortive Bob Bradley Term II, we could neither score nor play defense.

          Reply

          • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/28 at 3:31 PM

            The Spain win was the height for Bradley but shortly after the Confederations Cup, Demerit, Gooch and Davies, three very pivotal players, were injured and never came back to their previous form. The US never really recovered from that, which more than anything illustrates the US’ lack of depth.

            The US is likely to improve in the near term because newer, better, blood should be on the way, at least in theory.

            Reply

          • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/07/28 at 5:53 PM

            dth, hate to be confrontational as I have a ton of respect but I think that most USMNT fans realize that the defense was a large problem. That said, I am not sure how much of the defensive issues fall on Bradley. Sadly the defense mentioned in these comments with all the same 2006 Hex was great but it was largely the same defense that we rolled out in 2010 and 2011 (2006 was Dolo/Gooch/Boca/??? and 2010 was Dolo/Gooch/????/Boca with Boca moving back in the middle in 2011).

            First 10 minutes I can blame on Bradley as that is a strategy/motivation issue rather than talent.

            Reply

            • Posted by dth on 2011/07/28 at 6:02 PM

              Hmm…OK, well I guess agree to disagree. Most USMNT fans, as far as I can tell, mention defense passingly while focusing on creativity as the number one thing. So they may agree defense is a problem but that isn’t foremost in their consciousness.

            • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/07/28 at 6:39 PM

              I think it depends on who you define as the fan base… TSG community is different than the “average” USMNT fan. I was speaking in terms of TSG community.

              I feel there has been as many RB/LB rants as there were creative player rants.

              Yes people want a creative force but thats stylistic and doesn’t take the place of winning. Would I rather win like Brazil or win like Italy. Of course its win like Brazil. If its play like Brazil and lose or play like Italy and win I would much rather win.

        • Posted by Texas 1836 on 2011/07/28 at 4:31 PM

          Word. Given that the new coach won’t be able to wave a magic wand re: personnel, I hope it is an Evil Witch of Defense.

          Reply

          • Posted by Kevin on 2011/07/28 at 7:35 PM

            Sorry to make this personal but where do you come up with a name as great as texas 1836? It’s a shame there’s no MLS team with that name.

            Reply

            • Posted by Texas 1836 on 2011/07/29 at 8:41 AM

              I think you’re picking up what I’m putting down. You’re mowing what I’m growing.

    • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/28 at 4:29 PM

      GCL,

      “I wonder how this news will affect Bradley Jr’s “desire” to find a club and get some playing time.”

      He just got married and most newlyweds would feel really insecure about being unemployed. I would hate having the new wife upset about little things like money and security.

      I’m sure you would feel the same.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/28 at 7:34 PM

        I doubt a pro-athlete millionaire has the same money / security concerns as somebody like me.

        Reply

        • Posted by SamT on 2011/07/29 at 10:47 AM

          You should pick up the book Richistan sometime. Refutes that notion pretty successfully. Not to mention Mike has the additional pressures of 1. a very short window for high earning potential, and 2. a career that plays out in the public eye. Maybe different in nature than the pressure you and I feel day-to-day, but lots of pressure on the man to be sure.

          Reply

  16. Posted by EFG on 2011/07/28 at 1:13 PM

    Carlo Ancelotti anyone? He’s available and I think he’d be better than Klinsmann since, well, Carlo’s actually won things as a manager.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/07/28 at 1:54 PM

      I see what you did there.

      And I absolutely agree. People who are highly enthusiastic about Klinsmann are–and I don’t want to be too mean here–showing their ignorance. But Klinsmann’s clearly figured out the Bobby Convey Principle–among large portions of the U.S. fanbase, criticizing US Soccer/Bob Bradley will cause your standing to be inflated beyond recognition.

      Reply

      • Posted by EFG on 2011/07/28 at 2:28 PM

        Louis Van Gaal, I believe, is also out of work.

        Reply

        • Posted by Johninho on 2011/07/28 at 4:53 PM

          At this point? I’d take ANY of those guys. In a heartbeat. I’m even having pleasant alcohol memories of Bora. I want somebody who isn’t super-glued to a 4-4-2, even with a diamond midfield. I want somebody with an aloof and foreign perspective, who doesn’t know JACK about the player pool so he can’t play favorites with guys like Bornstein and can play strikers who impress him and score the freaking soccer ball right in front of him.

          The successor to Bob Bradley should validate what was right, and reject what was wrong, about the Bob Bradley tenure. I’ll take that, and I’ll go to war with that coach and those results.

          Reply

  17. Posted by dth on 2011/07/28 at 1:14 PM

    Interestingly, Alex Ferguson said this:

    For some reason, Ferguson seems to like Bob Bradley–last year, while the will-he-or-won’t-he-come-back was going on, he said something to the effect of, “I wonder why they haven’t rushed to his house to give him an extension.”

    Reply

    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/07/28 at 1:18 PM

      Is that pro Bradley or anti US (in that he is surprised that we perform as well as we did)? Also how much of our fighting attitude does he contribute to coaching?

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2011/07/28 at 1:25 PM

        I think he’s more pro-Bradley than anything else. I recall reading somewhere that Bradley’s often watched Manchester United practices, for example.

        Reply

      • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/28 at 3:46 PM

        It’s interesting that you think SAF is anti US.

        MU has had many Americans on their books; Spector, Kirovski, Cooper, Rachubka, Howard, Rossi.

        Reply

        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/07/28 at 5:59 PM

          Don’t think MU is anti-US, just saying that supporting Bradley in WC10 has two reasonable angles…

          1) that Bradley got the most out of the US team (anti-US) or
          2) that Bradley really was a great coach (pro-Bradley).

          I find it hard to believe that someone like SAF feels that playing Clark instead of Edu or waiting until after half to shift to a 4-2-3-1 against Ghana was a strong tactical move which makes me feel that SAF thinks that Bradley got the US to play above their level.

          Reply

    • Posted by Alex Song on 2011/07/28 at 1:21 PM

      Because, unlike most US soccer fanboys, Ferguson understands that we have a crap player pool and that Bradley has done a pretty respectable job with the meager resources at his disposal.

      Having said that, I’m not sad. I don’t think our team is likely to become a powerhouse under a new manager, but I think we needed a fresh set of eyes. It’s time to move past the Landon/Boca/Dolo era and start preparing for 2014.

      Reply

      • Posted by Chris on 2011/07/28 at 1:53 PM

        Couldn’t agree with you more. It will be interesting to say the least what will come next. Much respect to Bob….for doing quite a bit with less. A change can be good though.

        Reply

      • Posted by Paula on 2011/07/28 at 1:54 PM

        Shhhh, you know you shouldn’t consider reality when judging Sweats.

        Seriously, I imagine Bradley’s mindset is “you won’t have me to kick around anymore when the MNT start losing matches 4-0. See you later, mofos.”

        I think change is good, in general, but the idea that BB is/was the only thing standing between the USMNT and winning is ridiculous.

        Reply

        • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/07/28 at 2:13 PM

          I don’t think that Bob is all that is standing between us and winning… but I do think that we should be better than 35th in the world given our talent pool. Bob isn’t maximizing what we have currently. I honestly don’t see why we can’t be a 12-16th team in the world.

          Reply

          • Posted by Alex Song on 2011/07/28 at 2:39 PM

            I’d say there are only a handful of teams ahead of us in the FIFA rankings that we definitely outclass in terms of talent. Slovenia, Montenegro, Norway, maybe Greece, Japan, and Peru.

            But even some of those teams have players better than our best (Vargas, Kagawa, Hangeland, Honda). And the rest of the teams ranked 10-30 in the latest FIFA list have talent that is equal to ours if not superior. For example…

            Ivory Coast has the Toure bros, Drogba, Gervinho, Tiote, Eboue.
            Sweden has Ibrahimovic, Larssen, Elmander, Kellstrom.
            France has Malouda, Ribery, Sagna, Lloris, Sakho, Benzema, Diarra.
            Turkey has Erdinc, Turan, Sahin, Tuncay.
            Serbia has Krasic, Subotic, Vidic, Stankovic.

            And there are even some teams ranked BELOW us that have scary players…

            Ghana has Gyan, Boateng, Muntari, Ayew, Vorsah.
            Belgium has Hazard, Vermaelen, Kompany, Lukaku, Fellaini.
            Colombia has Falcao, Guarin, Rodallega, Yepes.

            What do we have? Dempsey, Donovan, Bradley, Howard. Altidore.

            Not exactly a scary collection of talent in comparison.

            I think we’re pretty comparable to Australia right now. Mediocre domestic league. Weak regional federation. A decent team with a handful of solid players (Cahill, Kewell, Schwarzer), but no real stars. Basically mediocre.

            We both have an easy path to the WC because the region is weak, but neither of our teams has the horses to consistently threaten the global powerhouses.

            So yea…a good manager might be able to get us into the 10-15 range if everything clicks, but solely on the basis of talent we’re a fringe top 20-30 team. I don’t think we’ve consistently punched below our weight with Bob at the helm, though I agree that the last 12 months have been rocky.

            Reply

            • Posted by Johninho on 2011/07/28 at 4:55 PM

              You know what’s weird about that list? Norway and Greece are A pool UEFA sides for their World Cup Qualifiers.

            • Posted by djpeisner on 2011/07/28 at 5:02 PM

              Our player pool is good enough to be better but probably not good enough to be really good. That said, Hangeland and Subotic could both be playing for the US. Not that it’s Bob’s fault that they’re not–well, not entirely–but it is tantalizing (if entirely useless) to imagine what this team could be with those two, Rossi, Vidad Ibisevic (of Bosnia/Hoffenheim) and Simon Poulsen (of Denmark/AZ), among others, in the player pool.

              Regardless, it’s the right time for Bob to go. He’s had a moderately successful tenure, but a fresh perspective will do this team well.

            • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/07/28 at 6:06 PM

              Your post to me supports my, admittedly biased, view….

              If we are talking about; Slovenia, Montenegro, Japan, Norway, Greece, Peru, Ivory Coast, Sweden, France, Turkey, and Serbia… I don’t see why the US is behind these teams. Yes we don’t have the same quality of world class as say Italy but I don’t see why a well coached team with our talent can’t be ahead of and not behind this pack.

              I think a good coach can help us get there. I also think that other than France and the Ivory Coast the US was above all of those teams in 2009, not I don’t feel the same. The fact that I don’t feel that way today means that Bradley had to go.

            • Posted by Dave on 2011/07/28 at 7:20 PM

              Damn!

            • Posted by dth on 2011/07/28 at 7:25 PM

              Come on, Alex Song…Australia? Pffttt…way ahead of Australia.

              Howard > Schwarzer
              Dempsey > Cahill
              Donovan > Kewell.

              To use the leagues heuristic–Australia’s 2011 AFC Cup squad featured 5 top-five league players; the U.S.’s Gold Cup squad featured 9 players–without some of its best players. Australia had no such injury crisis.

            • Posted by Rich on 2011/07/28 at 9:22 PM

              +1 Alex Song. US fans have unrealistic expectations because our teams have mostly overachieved since 1990. Bradley was the latest in a line of coaches who have made the most of a mediocre talent pool. I don’t mind a change, but I doubt the next guy will perform any more miracles than BB.

          • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/28 at 3:40 PM

            That depends on your perspective.

            BB took the US to the final 16 of the World Cup so from that perspective one could consider the US in the top 16. And that team had some of it’s best and most important players either missing or diminished via injury ( Holden, Onyewu, Davies, Demerit, etc.).

            Hard to take current FIFA rankings very seriously; note how the 93rd ranked Bolivia just tied Argentina in the Copa America.

            Reply

    • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/28 at 3:47 PM

      Maybe Ferguson actually thinks Bradley is a good manager.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/28 at 6:57 PM

        He’s Scottish, and he wanted to help America beat England last year. Plus, he is pretty good about that sort of thing in general.

        Reply

  18. Posted by dude on 2011/07/28 at 1:42 PM

    HUZZZZZZZZAH! We have a fighting chance now. His usefulness was far past spent, I think we can safely agree. The team had stagnated, and we need someone who will think objectively about the players at our disposal.

    Reply

  19. It was time for him to go.

    I was a supporter after WC2010, even though he screwed the pooch with the whole Redcardo Clark debacle. I was excited about the youth he was bringing into the system, and I thought we’d be getting better…

    …until I saw the excrement product he was putting on the field in friendlies and the GC2011. His blind devotion to players like Bornstein, Clark, Findley (and, yes, MB90, although MB90 deserves those starts on his own merits) just showed an emotional flaw in his style…resulting in paralyzing inability to objectively assess the talent around his program.

    The straw(s) that broke Gulati’s back were:

    1. The embarrassing showing in the Spain friendly.
    2. The inability to force Nurnberg to release Chandler for GC2011.
    3. The INEXPLICABLE substitution of Bornstein against Mexico, when there were SO many other options available.

    Now, I just pray Gulati doesn’t f- this up and hire JK.

    Reply

    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/07/28 at 3:21 PM

      There was no need to “force” Nurnberg to release Chandler, as it was a FIFA date. As best we can piece together, Chandler got the call and accepted, but was still recovering from some knocks he picked up. Nurnberg wanted him to get some rest and recovery, asked him not to attend the Gold Cup, and Chandler acquiesced. Chandler’s on the record saying that he was hurt and needed the time off.

      There are a lot of things that can be pinned on Bob, but the Chandler Gold Cup affair is not one of them.

      Reply

  20. Posted by obxfly on 2011/07/28 at 2:37 PM

    Mexico is coming up soon. Should be interesting to see who is in charge then.

    Reply

  21. Posted by Justin on 2011/07/28 at 2:47 PM

    I don’t understand why everyone wants to up grade from warmups to suit… I think that’s going in the wrong direction. Let’s go in the exact opposite direction and go from warm-ups to actual uniform/jersey…. That’s right, Clint Dempsey kickin’ it as the first ever USMNT player/coach!

    Reply

  22. Posted by s44 on 2011/07/28 at 3:17 PM

    I don’t think this proves that Bob was bad or anything. It was time for a change. This happens to the best coaches, and I’m glad we’ve headed off another Arena 2006 reasonably early in the cycle.

    The “blind devotion” callups also gave us Benny 2010 and Freddy’s miracle lifeline, remember. Actually using some of these guys (Clark, Bornstein) in games over better options… not such a great idea of course.

    Reply

    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/07/28 at 6:13 PM

      I agree. While I didn’t like Bradley going forward, it doesn’t mean that I can respect his prior accomplishments. If he was to leave after the WC he probably was the best USMNT coach of my lifetime as a fan (granted its limited to Bora and after). That said, the team was moving in reverse not forward and for that reason he needed to go.

      Reply

  23. Posted by Bob on 2011/07/28 at 4:07 PM

    A foreign coach who works well with American players = Robert Warzycha!

    Reply

  24. Posted by Paula on 2011/07/28 at 4:26 PM

    Gross. Asshole move by Gulati to keep Bradley (and by extension the players and staff) in the dark. And two weeks before Mexico …

    Reply

    • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/28 at 4:34 PM

      It’s a friendly, Paula. Gulati probaly spent that time herding the cats at the USSF to get the required votes and then agree on a replacement, who will very probably be announced tomorrow.

      And I doubt Bradley was surprised. He is a lot of things but stupid isn’t one of them.

      Reply

      • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/07/28 at 5:18 PM

        Not that it necessarily makes it true, but Grant Wahl tweeted the following:

        Source: Bradley was blindsided by dismissal. His staff was notifying players yesterday of call-ups for USA-Mexico friendly.

        Reply

  25. Posted by John m on 2011/07/28 at 5:28 PM

    okay maybe it was time for him to go but please let’s leave michael Bradley out of things – the guy consistently scored big goals and played his ass off. you can bet that whatever coach we end up with will be happy to have mb in the starting midfield

    Reply

    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/07/28 at 6:14 PM

      As hard as this is for Junior I have to imagine it helps him greatly in the eyes of USMNT fans. He now hopefully gets a fair shake from fans.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/07/29 at 6:20 AM

        Agreed. Jr always was and is part of the conversation.

        Folks love to decry that it’s not nepotism, but no player in Bob Bradley’s system was ever given as much latitude with as many errors and cards early in his career.

        This helps him immensely.

        Reply

    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/07/29 at 7:28 AM

      I don’t see where you can exclude Mikey from the discussion. While most agree that he has a ton of want to, his Dad broke his own rules by making him an auto-inclusion in every lineup when HE WASN’T PLAYING ANY CLUB BALL AT ALL!
      I think if you were to get his MNT mates in a booth at a corner pub they’d let on that that Mike, while a nice, hardworking player and definitely deserving of inclusion in the player pool, should not have been a an automatic 90 min guy who demands the ball in the MF, has limited distribution skills and plays wherever he kind of wants. He’s not that guy but his Dad seemed unwilling to believe and/or force him to play in a more limited, and IMO effective, role.
      Mike gets credit for playing without injury and is a gamer with some strong attributes but I am interested to see what happens to HOW he is used. I am one to think that he can be a much more effective MNT player in a more disciplined role with a little fear of the bench in the back of his mind. That’s the discussion, IMO, that most MNT fans are having not just nepotism whining.

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 7:56 AM

        Everyone says Bradley had a stated rule about club time play…but as far as I can tell, that’s false. The closest thing he’s said on the subject was in the NYT’s Goal blog that it would be better if everyone was playing constantly for their clubs–and that that would be a “next step” sort of a deal. But at no point did he state that. It makes sense–Bradley hates definitive statements of that nature.

        At any rate, this was a foolish standard to hold Bradley to. Everybody plays guys who don’t play much for their clubs. The Germans play Miroslav Klose, and he hasn’t really played much for ages now.

        Reply

        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/07/29 at 8:47 AM

          OK. We can debate our respective interpretations of his statements all day but the discussion wasn’t Bob’s rules but his usage of his son’s skill set and automatic inclusion in the side for 90 mins regardless of form or contribution. I think you would have to agree that your CMF has a major impact on the teams performance and most agree that this teams CMF play has been consistently less than OK over the last 3 yrs. To trot out the old example, a mid table EPL team entrusted the holding CMF role to Holden (for good reason as we’ve seen) while Holden was still fighting for a regular spot in the squad that Mikey was penned, not pencilled, in for.

          Reply

  26. Posted by dth on 2011/07/28 at 6:00 PM

    Everyone is saying it’s Klinsmann, but I haven’t seen this piece of evidence mentioned in its favor. Now, as basically everyone knows, Klinsmann reportedly wants “total control,” though lord knows what that, exactly, means and whether that’s particularly reassuring. (Klinsmann has never had anything resembling total control in his previous stints as coach, and his record is basically average. Some people are puffing it up and some are blowing it down, but to me it’s what you’d expect of an average coach. At any rate, this doesn’t seem to be a special recommendation for “total control.”). The prevailing theory as to what “total control” means is that Klinsmann wants control of youth national teams, particularly their coaches.

    Well, let’s look at the youth national teams: Gulati never officially announced the Olympic team head; he fired Rongen and hasn’t even leaked about beginning the process there (he earlier said he’d be doing it after the Gold Cup); and rumors have been percolating that the 2013 cycle will be the last we see of Bradenton. Seems to me Gulati is setting up a tabula rasa for his boy Klinsi to draw on.

    I guess I’m confused at what’s in it for Klinsmann. Leave aside the competence issue and focus on incentives. If Klinsmann thinks the number one problem is youth development and wants to change it through the national teams, how does that help him as national team coach? All his changes will have long-term effects, whether for good or for ill, and he’ll be judged on the short term. That seems like a very strange set-up, and it’s hard for me to believe an economist would ignore this.

    Reply

    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/07/28 at 6:30 PM

      In Europe I think its win-win for Klinsmann. I think that if he takes the US team to the next level huge kudos for him. If he doesn’t take the USMNT to the next level it was a subpar talent pool and there was nothing he can do.

      I 100% agree on the youth system angle. If he turns it around but doesn’t help the squad today he gets fired and the next coach the credit. The only way he gets the credit is if he stays around long enough for the youth to come through. That said, next coach loves the position he walks into as the US talent is continuing to improve (really impressed by the U-20 prospects in comparison to prior classes). Despite all of the talent gap talk (I do believe we are falling behind Mexico) we are still improving faster than most countries.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/28 at 7:03 PM

        Then why not hire Klinsmann as Head of Youth Development, rather than the Head Coach?

        I guess with the USSF snaking their fingers around family trees of German players, to see if their father was part of the US Military, they require a German-speaker!

        Reply

        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/07/28 at 7:17 PM

          The question is would he accept the job of head of youth development.

          Your comment though seems rather off-base. I think that to question someone as being American when their father/mother is overseas making a huge sacrifice to defend out country is hugely offensive. Sorry I just think that comment was inappropriate.

          In my opinion, Jermaine Jones is more of an American than I am because of what he and his family has sacrificed for this country compared to the next to nothing I have ever done.

          Reply

          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/28 at 7:28 PM

            It was more a dig at the USSF inability to implement a youth system to produce talent in numbers and to find German-Americans such as Chandler and Jones.

            I did not mean to offend anybody. Sorry.

            Reply

            • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/07/28 at 7:38 PM

              No worries. I am overly sensitive to this at the current time due to some personal issues.

              I don’t know Chandler’s story but I separate Jones from the typical player that grows up one place and plays for another (Subotic, Rossi, etc.)

      • Posted by dth on 2011/07/28 at 8:32 PM

        One note about the u-20s. Some good talents there, of course, for reasons that have been debated before.

        The thing is, the 2013 u-20 class is starting out in a better position than the 2011 u-20 class. You have many more pros, and more pros getting or about to get PT than the 2011 edition. (At this point last cycle, Fuad Ibrahim was the only pro; he’d made 20 pro appearances. Luis Gil has more than Ibrahim, and looks a far superior prospect.) You could nearly create an all-pro lineup for 2013 right now. That’s fairly impressive.

        Reply

  27. Posted by Tom on 2011/07/28 at 6:18 PM

    Next stop for Coach Sweatpants: Toyota Park. Let’s bring back the old magic!

    Reply

  28. I’m sure that someone has already said what I’m about to say, but I’m gonna throw my two cents in anyway. This is a necessary next step – Bradley had already taken us about as far as he was going to. Anyone who thinks that our showing in the next WC would have been any better than 2010 is drinking some really strong Kool Aid.

    But this next coach is not going to be the answer either. We had, IMO, a B minus coach and B minus players. A new coach isn’t going to change the fact that we have B minus players. But if he can get the young guys in, and they start becoming regular B players (and if we’re lucky, B plus), then that’s the next step. There will be many more, and we’re still probably 3 cycles away at least from becoming a legitimate soccer power, if not more. So let’s give the new guy (whoever he is) our support, and cowboy up.

    Reply

  29. Posted by DougS on 2011/07/28 at 7:15 PM

    Bradley did an excellent job and I will be shocked, shocked, I repeat if anyone they bring in will do better in the next two years. He had us heading in the right direction — US fans as a whole are unrealistic in the pace of improvement they want to see. Fast food nation has a fast food patience.

    Bradley was not a miracle worker, that is the worst I can say about him. I do wonder whether he had the support of all the players, but that is a gut feeling, not based upon any evidence. But every coach that comes in will face that challenge, especially from the ones that aren’t getting as much playing time as they feel they deserve, which is pretty much anyone ever on the bench at this level.

    Reply

    • Posted by Johninho on 2011/07/28 at 8:23 PM

      I can say worse – he played favorites with team selection and substitution, which arguably cost us results in meaningful matches.

      Reply

  30. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/07/28 at 8:15 PM

    Matthew here. Great comments.

    Still formulating on my side.

    But–if I write for tommorrow–(and I’m getting feedback here). The main gist of Bradley’s tenure to me is defined as “substance over style”–however that typically doesn’t work when you go up against quality opponents and can’t dictate the tempo.

    Bradley’s record reflects this.

    For me–and I want your opinion–the fact that after four years the core US team knew what to expect out of Bradley in camps, but still played undisciplined at many junctures was a bit troubling.

    Change is good in cases like this.

    Will another coach immediately do better? I doubt it, but the playing field is now evened in all ways and a new coach can better analyze who should play where and what.

    A perfect example of a Bradley game is the 2nd game against Panama. By all accords the US was coming up against a disciplined team and one that they trumped in talent–however Bradley’s gameplan–which worked–was to sit back and see who flinched first on losing shape. As we know, Panama did and Freddy Adu/Landon was/were the heroes.

    Did the US win? Could they have easily lost? Absolutely. Should they have been that close to losing that game? No.

    Bradley did a terrific job in unearthing talent, but when you’re main stars and key components stagnate hard to find a different solution.

    I might reprint this by the way.

    Reply

  31. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/07/28 at 9:51 PM

    Well I think this had to be done, for the good US Soccer, it’s always hard to tell someone with you whom had success with thats its time to go, Its like telling a Vet to hang up the boots.But we must forge ahead I like many loved Bob when we won ( ok not loved but more like admiration of a girl with whom you have great sex but don’t want to marry) But I hated him when we lost, ( like the girl you went out with and didn’t know how to dump,) ( or insert bf, we dont discriminate!)
    Ok enough of that, time to move forward, who’s next ? I’m not sure but we need as Americans a total shift in attitude and culture. Lets start now!! Follow me
    Americans do have the talent, we can play attractive winning football!
    Americans do have the talent, we can play attractive winning football!
    and I am a firm believer that we do, there is a whole slew of talent out there and here who can play at the higher levels, who haven’t been given a chance because of this perception that we aren’t good enough. its so ingrained into our national psyche that players limit themselves or self-identify as being mediocre. No, I’m not disillusional or under any psychotopic medications or mind altering substances. I just think that American players have to overcome this perception internally and externally, so the slow going does not allow them to make an immediate impact. Anway Enough of my US soccer dissertation but I think we collectively need to stop beating ourselves up and limiting ourselves! And remember!!!!
    Americans do have the talent, we can play attractive winning football!

    PS I think Bob had his faults but did a credible job with what he had but couldn’t get anymore out of them, he reached his max. But I would love to see him go coach in Europe somewhere, he will succeed if given the chance.

    Reply

  32. Posted by Gino on 2011/07/28 at 10:52 PM

    Thanks Bob. While I disagreed with a lot of your decisions, I’m smart enough to know that you know a lot more about soccer than 99% of your critics, including myself. For every “Huh?” that you inspired (DeMarcus Beasley at left back), you got your share of grudging agreement from us (Landon at outside mid this past Hex and WC, sticking with Cherundolo when so many howled he was done, topping Group C over England, halting Spain’s record 15 game win and 36 game unbeaten streaks) to name a few. Sure you had your share of failures during your tenure but you managed to win 43 games in almost 5 years at the helm. Not bad for an interim national team manager. Best of luck in all your future endeavors.

    Reply

  33. Posted by ghettobooty on 2011/07/28 at 11:40 PM

    Anyone else think this was not good timing?

    3 friendlies around the corner, should have at least kept him until after Mexico.

    1. I got a feeling that Bradley didn’t want to coach the USMNT after the World Cup and wanted another challenge. (Though I give him props for his accomplishments)

    2. I may get some gruff for this, but I wouldn’t automatically call up just guys overseas and not consider more MLS players.

    3. Landon Donovan shouldn’t be relied on to be one of the crucial goal scorers. He reads the game well, puts in good through balls, and crosses. He should be the captain and the playmaker. Plus he just doesn’t have the legs, I could see him as a Claudio Reyna type or poor man’s Xavi.

    4. Strikers, strikers, strikers…..speed,speed,speed (we could learn something from the Mexicans and I don’t mean how to be rude during US games)

    5. The USWNT showed team comaraderie is helpful, including a coach that is positive and not monotone like Bradley was.

    6. The back four need a serious change. I just think Bocanegra is done, Bornstien never worked out. Cherundolo is going to retire from international play. Eric Lijach was one of the positive things to come out of the Gold Cup.

    7. Why hasn’t Maurice Edu been played more? Why was DeMarcus Beasley just dropped basically after one mistake at the confed cup.?

    8. I do question some of Bradley’s call ups on strikers. Buddle should have played in the WC more, and I think he should have been called up for the Gold Cup.

    ****Side Note: After Charlie Davies’ conduct over the last two years, he should never wear the USMNT jersey again. (He’s been immature, reckless, unsportsmanlike, and unprofessional). And Im pretty sure the USSF feels the same.

    Reply

    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/07/29 at 7:43 AM

      Dear Mr Ghettobooty,
      You raise 3 or 4 points here that are very interesting and out of the mainstream of thought.
      The Davies comments won’t go over well here on TSG due to some serious overloving issues, but you raise a very compelling point that I’ve never really seen covered re his problems stemming from disregarding team rules and blowing curfew if memory serves. All that aside, I just don’t see him recovering fully from the physical toll his injuries have taken. His outrageous speed is what separated him from the pack and that’s gone with the leg injuries it looks like. Wish the best but reality is a bitch…

      Reply

  34. Posted by ghettobooty on 2011/07/28 at 11:44 PM

    That being said, let’s go with Roy Hodgson. He did a lot with a little.

    Reply

  35. Posted by Korinna Korinna on 2011/08/03 at 8:50 PM

    I think it’s ridiculous Bob Bradley was a great coach! For those of you who say he got fired because of his track suit or because we didn’t go far in 2010 world cup, we might as well fire the US women’s national team coach because we didn’t win the world cup and because she wears sweats and athletic tops!!!

    Reply

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