Bits Of Info Make USSF Its Own Worst Enemy

A report emerged late Friday evening that Sunil Gulati had met recently with Juergen Klinnsman about the U.S. coaching role.

Gulati: The silence is becoming condescending...

If you’ve been following along with US Soccer for the past five years–or TSG for the past year–that should come as no surprise.

Our only comments on this right now are, “USSF, stop shooting yourself in the foot.”

The veil of secrecy that you have shrouded over the U.S. coaching situation creates confusion, leading to increased rumor mongering and conjecture, and ultimately frustration within your fan base.

Take a look at the results of the poll to the right, over 1000 voters on this site don’t even think that the coaching role is the number one issue.

No one is saying you need to make decision now–or rather TSG is not saying you need to make a decision–just communicate with the public on what the roadmap is or on what to expect.

The last time the collective “we” heard from Sunil Gulati, Steven Strasburg was pitching gems and Rafa Marquez was a nasty rumor.

USSF, your secrecy coupled with the trickle of information creeping out (Is it really a piece of news that Gulati and Bradley were meeting this Thursday as oppose to Wednesday) frustrates your fan base, is an affront to the dedicated and smart fans that back the team, and, most importantly, gives of an aire of “holier than thou” which clearly has not been earned in any right.

And for perspective, since World Cup 2010, here are some other notable occurrences:

• Brazil let go and hired a national team coach

• Argentina has removed their national team coach, the iconic Diego Maradona, instituted and defined the caretaker in Sergio Batista, and have discussed a few candidates in the public eye: Alejandro Sabella and Miguel Russo.

• England, England for crissakes, after a regrettable World Cup campaign re-upped Fabio Capello for at least two more years.

• Germany extended coach Jogi Low through 2012.

• Mexico’s Javier Aguirre stepped down from the team’s lead role. Mexico named Efrain Flores the temporary man, stating in no uncertain terms that Flores will coach the two upcoming friendlies and then the federation will look for permanent candidate.

Don’t you think that US fans deserve a two-paragraph statement so were not privy to leaks or bits and bytes of facts, and conjecture, from ESPN and SI? Is the meeting with Klinsmann really news?

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dth on 2010/08/28 at 6:02 AM

    I’ve been fine with the USSF’s process, as I suspect it reflects this reality: Bradley is option number two or perhaps three, and while they might prefer (perhaps) Klinnsman and Pekerman, they don’t necessarily know they can land him. Given that, that’s the reason for secrecy–you can’t come out and say that at in public.

    I suspect the leaker for this meeting is Jurgen, who wants to force the USSF’s hand–otherwise they can use the leverage that they’ve got a guy already with whom they’re happy.

    I’ll start to get snippy if a coach isn’t installed by the middle of September. Better to get it right than to get it quickly or to get it done publicly.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/08/28 at 7:20 AM

      Per my post I’m fine with the process, what I’m not fine with is the dissemination of information around it.

      Of course someone in the Klinsmann camp leaked it, it’s the first soccer “sccop” that ESPN–where Klinsmann was most recently gainfully employed–has had in 2010.

      What folks are missing is that a finite number of coaches–Javier Clemente–are scooping up jobs themselves, which always leaves any negotiation in the hand of a reduced number of sellers (Klinnsmann).


  2. Well put. The American soccer fan deserves better than to have to sort through rumor, conjecture, and full on BS to try and find out the barest of information about who will be the coach that leads us in Brazil 2014.

    Part of the transparency or quick action you see on the part of all the nations you listed comes from having a media that hold their soccer federation accountable. Just like we’ve talked before, because of soccer’s second (or third) class status among our media means there’s no fire for any officials to make a decision or, at the very least, process information, available to the fan base.

    Thanks TSG for calling USSF out. It is an affront to those who support the players in their efforts for this country that the Federation hasn’t given us the slightest clue and the ESPN/SI-sized media hasn’t asked the hard questions.

    Build American soccer and the Fed can’t pussy-foot around like this next time.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/08/28 at 8:50 AM

      Leaks are worse when the reputable data source is offering no information. You can curb leaks by being more transparent.

      Even a statement like, “We are evaluating options” would be fine.


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