Jumblin: Bob Bradley, Victory or Pink Slip?

And rounding up our roundtable Jumble with a question on none other Coach Sweatpants.

A huge thank you to all our participants who contributed.

85 days until evaluation...

The $25,000 question:  Will Bob Bradley be the coach of the USMNT in September 2010?

Michelot, Ligue1Talk: Definitely. He is the only one who knows the pool of players that well. Players trust him and his leadership. He’s seemingly also already started testing new players (Bedoya, etc…) for the future. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Euro assistant coach for fresh ideas. Queiroz come back!

GeorgeCross: No.  I think he will get his key decision making wrong, i.e. tactics, formations and he doesn’t possess the nous to make *timely* game changing substitutions.  I can see the USA getting to the Last 16, but getting comprehensively beaten by Serbia (Group D winners).

Roger, Hillcrest Blog: Yes.

Arbogast, Notre Dame: I don’t think the US is going to advance out of the first round (England and Algeria go through), so my answer is no. Bradley has done some good things, but let’s not forget how lucky the US was to advance out of group play last summer. Too conservative. Too many injuries. I just don’t see it happening.

Shoaff, Black Sox: It’s all down to results. No points for effort. A first round exit and he’s got to go; get beyond the second round and he’s earned another 4 years.  A respectable second round loss to Germany and Gulati will have a difficult decision.  My take: the Yanks do enough for Bradley to keep his job.

McKee, “Spectator-Capped”:

Simply boils down to 2 factors.:


  • Group Stage washout: fired
  • Through Groups/ugly Round of 16: 50/50
  • Good Round of 16/ better: bigger corner office, new sweats.

Viable/Attainable alternatives:

  • True upgrade – international experience
  • Knows US players: can relate/motivate
  • Will USSF pony the Euros?

15 responses to this post.

  1. Regardless of whether he does enough to get the US through the Group Stage and he would want to come back, do we really want to recreate DaBruce’s last year or so by giving Sweats another 4 years? He may deserve it, but I think we might want to go another route simply for shaking things up and getting some fresh ideas. The only problem is that Sweats knows the players and has their respect which will take some time to develop for a new coach.


  2. This is all assuming he actually wants to stay the coach of the team. I think even if US Soccer wants Bradley back (which they should) he says no anyways.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/18 at 11:21 AM

      Not saying you are incorrect Evan, but why do you believe this? I have some notion of it to, just want to hear yours.


      • It just seems to me that the detail oriented kind of person Bradley is, he can’t be enjoying not coaching every day anymore. I know that a lot of managers don’t like coaching internationally as much because they don’t have as big of a say in a players development and they don’t get the chance to work with their players every day. It just seems to me like Bradley, while he likes this post, would prefer to go back to coaching club after the World Cup. Furthermore I have heard much from Ives and other people that Bradley is well respected in Europe and would therefore try to do something no American coach has done before; coach in a top European league. This being said if he does decide to stay I would welcome him back with open arms. I am one of the few fans who thinks Bradley has done an excellent job.


  3. Posted by i_like_tuesday on 2010/03/18 at 1:31 PM

    I really think the US should not repeat the Arena mistake by giving Bradley 4 more years. Bradley has done a passable job but the program should be moving beyond his managerial capabilities in the next four years. We need a manager that can help us take the next step as more and more of our players reach the highest levels.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/18 at 3:27 PM

      I think with the progress that the USA has made in the last 20 years, and the players at your disposal, you really ought to expect** rather than hope to get out of the group stage in every WC (unless you’re in a right b1tch of a group). And most US fans seem to be hoping…

      **not meaning to sound arrogant or think that you have a devine right, but knowing that if you play to you maximum, then you should go through to the knockout stage.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/18 at 3:32 PM

        George — you’re absolutely right on that.

        The US should expect to get out of the group stage. I concur. Well said.


      • Posted by i like tuesday on 2010/03/18 at 6:17 PM

        No, I absolutely agree. I expect to get out of the group and anything less would be a disaster. I think most fans have really seen it that way since 2002 but don’t want to expect too much because of how far our program has had to come to get here. But you’re right, we’re there and I think the very existence of TSG demonstrates that. In terms of hopefulness, our new goal needs to be to reach a semifinal.


      • Posted by Rick on 2010/03/19 at 8:48 PM

        So far, though, we’ve gone into the World Cup with too much of a wonder-struck, “just happy to be here” attitude, played timidly, and had lousy tactics. Awful combination. Let’s hope Bradley can inspire better play, and provide better strategy, and let’s also hope that the players can finally show the kind of poise they did last year against Brazil and Spain, and play up to (and beyond) their potential.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/12/20 at 12:38 PM

      1. Germany
      2. USA
      3. Portugal
      4. Ghana


  4. Posted by 723FootballFilms on 2010/03/18 at 6:15 PM

    I don’t think BB should be the manager after the world cup. IMO 4 years is all a NT manager should need to put their mark on a team. After that it’s all downhill or repetitive. (See Bruce Arena) It’s time to get a manager who will give us a bit more quality and a lot more creative ideas. Something more than the debate between a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1.


  5. I think Bradley has done a solid job to this point but it’s almost one of those “change for the sake of change” things IMO. I’d really like to see either a European coach and/or a coach with very tangible skills in developing young players (Dom Kinnear anyone?) to start working with the USMNT as the type of team we are (made of largely European players who are capable of very high level football) as opposed to the type of team we were (athletically gifted but not skilled enough to complete technically with European nations).

    I don’t think we’re quite capable of playing a total football kind of game yet, but I do think we’re better than the bunker and counter tactics we currently employ.


    • Posted by Rick on 2010/03/19 at 8:42 PM

      You make a super point. I’ve thought about this recently, wondering how we would do if we adopted a more attack-minded overall strategy. It would definitely be a challenge, and I think we’d lose a lot more games at first, but I agree that we have the players that allow us to start thinking about being able to pull off something like that with good results, given time.


  6. Posted by Rick on 2010/03/19 at 7:57 PM

    Based on three facts, at least, I’d say the expectations are going to be high, as in passage to the second round in South Africa, and a good showing in the first knockout game, if not a victory.

    1. Last year’s Confederations Cup showing raised the bar, along with better recent results in European away friendlies.

    2. Sunil Gulati initially hired Bradley with the interim tag attached, and didn’t make it permanent for quite a while. The initial performances of the team earned him the job, but all roads lead to the World Cup.

    3. We’ve drawn into the most favorable World Cup opening group we’ve seen in a long time.

    I’m intrigued about what Sunil Gulati thinks. It would seem like we could do much better than Bob Bradley (as good as he’s been), but the failure to work out a deal with Jurgen Klinsmann makes me wonder about Gulati’s fitness to run the show. I know a lot of people had misgivings about Klinsmann, but I don’t think he would have taken the program in a negative direction. Maybe that’s being too harsh on Gulati, but it’s a natural reaction for a lot of people to think that way.

    I do also agree that having an American coach gives the team the often-stated advantage of having a coach that understands the culture, mind-set, and special circumstances of American players. However, that factor will continue to diminish as MLS matures, and as more Americans develop and gain respectability abroad.

    In many respects, Bradley is a big improvement over Arena, at least in my opinion. He has a better overall understanding of the game, he coaches the tactical part of the game better (or at least, the players utilize better tactics, for which I largely credit the coaching), and he is more open-minded about bringing players into the potential national team pool. Oh, and he’s less annoying.

    But how does he compare to the likes of Guus Hiddink, or Martin O’Neill, for example? I’m in no position to judge, but I’d like to hear what others think (and why).


  7. Posted by KMac on 2010/03/22 at 2:49 PM

    Interesting article on Toffee Web, commenting on Andrea Canales article from Goal.com, titled,
    ” What The USA Team Can Learn From Everton “.


    Might be interesting to debate
    KMac (McKee, the capped spectator)


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