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What About Bob?

USA Coach Bob Bradley does not go into great detail about his roster decisions. He just doesn't. Few coaches do. Sorry. That said, I did get him to talk a little bit today here in Miami about the decision to add young players such as Marvell Wynne and Michael Orozco while passing on Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore.

It ain't much, but here you go:

The first thing he pointed out was that the red card suspension to Steve Cherundolo, on top of injuries to Jonathan Spector and Frankie Simek, necessitated the need for defensive help on the right side. Frankie Hejduk is likely to start, but Bradley needed reinforcement.

"Marvell comes off a good Olympics. Cuba presents some challenges physically, so in that regard, Marvell handles those kinds of challenges very well. Mexico is on the FIFA calendar, [so Orozco is available] and it's a chance of getting him into his first national team camp, getting him a little bit comfortable with it. I wouldn't go too much into that one."

As for the young attacking players, "I am not going to talk about all the players. When you pick a roster, you take all sorts of things into consideration and every roster says a lot of different things. I guess if I were to say one quick thing about young players is that we are always watching, we are always keeping track of how they are doing and we always are trying to continue to move the players who have earned the opportunities along at the right speed. Sometimes decisions go a certain way for different reasons when you put a roster together, sometimes they go another way. I don't think it's wise to get into the details of any of that, but all of it gets put in there together and we go from there."

The team practiced this morning and will go at it again Wednesday. Everyone has arrived except midfielder Sacha Kljestan, who is playing for Chivas USA this evening in Los Angeles. The group is scheduled to depart for Havana on Thursday.

By Steve Goff  |  September 2, 2008; 8:57 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Dark Day for MLS



Have a great time in Cuba. It is a wonderful country, with wonderful people being held hostage by a horrible government. I have been there many times, legally and illegally, and have met some great folks.

Posted by: bob | September 2, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

It is a wonderful country, with wonderful people being held hostage by a horrible government. I have been there many times, legally and illegally, and have met some great folks.

Posted by: bob | September 2, 2008 9:28 PM

Couldn't agree more -- we're all hoping things will change in January. Oh wait, you were talking about _Cuba_...

Posted by: edgeonyou | September 2, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

First! Goff-what did you have to do to get a special visa for cuba?

Posted by: pigman sweet | September 2, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Note to DC United

CONCACAF champ. league doesn't matter. Play using the reserves and concentrate on winning US Open and MLS Cup.

Posted by: average Joe | September 2, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I hate the way the cuban gov't forces health care on its people.

Posted by: pigman sweet | September 2, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you should have changed it up an asked him about Cenny Kooper.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 2, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Cenny Kooper?
Do you mean Whinny Cooper?

Posted by: dadryan | September 2, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

How crucial is it to buy tickets early for USA/Cuba? It won't sell out will it? Will the cheaper tickets run out?

Posted by: Hey Joe | September 2, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. The tickets will go fast because 45,000 Dade and Broward county residents will drive up I-95 to protest against Castro :-)

Fifty bucks for a sideline seat, at RFK, against Cuba. Anyone else find this ridiculous?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 2, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't really get it. Will I be at risk of having to buy an "expensive ticket" if I wait till game day? I really don't know, never been to a WCQ@ RFK

Posted by: Hey Joe | September 2, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Not really an inspiring endorsement of the young guys. If he truly doesn't think they're in the top 18 for this nation, he should be fired immediately. I normally don't call for coach's heads, but I'm sick of having coaches that play afraid to lose.

Posted by: psps23 | September 2, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Very intresting.

He said "I guess if I were to say one quick thing about young players is that we are always watching, we are always keeping track of how they are doing and we always are trying to continue to move the players who have earned the opportunities along at the right speed"

well ummm... I dont think he has watched FC Dallas play this season at all. I mean he mentions that he keeps track of the young players and gives them opportunities, but he doesnt give young Kenny a chance against cuba, which is not a tough apponent..andhe continues to give Johnson a chance.............keeps me wondering just how much does the coaching staff watches the young talent, and if they actually know how to handle these types of players (Adu, Altidore, Holden, Edu, Cooper, ect.)

Posted by: LUIS | September 2, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Hard workin bob is in over his head, I can't wait for the day he gets canned. He's so mediocre it's laughable

Posted by: Thora | September 2, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Has there been any word about the national team making a move to cap Neven Subotic, who played for the US U-17 and U-20? He's been making waves and earning plaudits in his first few games for Borussia Dortmund and could be one for Bradley to consider adding to the team.

Posted by: BundesligaRaRa | September 2, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

American journalists go to Cuba all the time. It took a while, but I got a Cuban visa and a license from U.S. Treasury Dept.

Tix for USA-Cuba at RFK will be available for quite a while, I'm sure. I have no sense of the crowd size -- 20K? 25K? 30K?

Posted by: Goff | September 2, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse


an embarrassment for the league...

Posted by: maw | September 2, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Goff--thanks for squeezing some info, at least, out of BB. It's all too rare. Now, get him to talk about all the positives EJ brings to the team???!!!

Posted by: Larry | September 2, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I really want chivas to get one to make this interesting.

Doesn't altidore have a knock-why he is not getting called up?

Posted by: pigman sweet | September 2, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for asking, Goff. I guess Coach won't allow himself to be pinned down about the young guys. No surprise there. It certainly does seem like a double-standard sometimes, with certain players as locks no matter what. If Coach is watching all the young attackers, why specifically has he failed to at least call K. Cooper into camp? Many of us would be interested in that answer.

Posted by: Scott | September 2, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Is it true that kenny cooper is a man-god-a warrior poet in the classic sense.

Posted by: pigman sweet | September 2, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I think less and less of BB every day......

Posted by: voyager | September 2, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't own Kenny Cooper. I don't own anything about him. All I know is that this guy works!

Stop hiding behind bad strikers. You can be on the road to a better striker....RYN NOW!

I'm not putting my name on the line for a striker that doesn't work!

Posted by: Guiseppe Franco | September 2, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I think the Revs represented the league quite well during SuperLiga. With the fixture congestion, they appear to have deemphasized the CONCACAF Champion's League and U.S. Open Cup.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | September 2, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the intelligence Goff, you must be Hotel lounging and not Living La Vida Loco in the Miami Sound Machine. Thanks!
I think I'm coming to realize that moaning and groaning about Bradley's roster selections are affecting the actual selections even less than dead soldiers mothers camping out in front of the president's house...
I'm over it.
The pressure builds for Cooper to continue performing with the denial.
Does anyone out there feel that all these player's and arm chair coaches themselves have the answers?
I don't. Bradley got it done in Gaute and that says something doesn't it?

Posted by: dadryan | September 2, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I am so glad chivas scored-now I have a legitimate excuse to stay up late and watch the end. I am also very excited about the real esteli/montreal impact match-up. ;)

Posted by: pigman sweet | September 2, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Vamos Esteli!

(that's for my gf)

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

We have an away goal in LA

Posted by: sitruc | September 2, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Game over in la. That was really a cheap red on boorstein.

Posted by: pigman sweet | September 2, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I will be very disappointed in DC United if they decide to go with the reserves in this tournament. In my opinion, this tournament is worth more than the MLS Cup. DC has dominated this league in almost every way; it's time for DC to show that they can dominate this region as well.

Posted by: Red Devil | September 2, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Bradley will be done after the US team is eliminated in the first round in 2010 South Africa. We certainly aren't progressing as a team / country. If someone would point out how we have improved since the last WC cycle I'd be glad to listen

DCU will play its best team tomorrow against Charleston because this is the best shot we have of winning a trophy this year. MLS Cup would be great but we play 6 Champions League games this fall which will be too many for this frail roster.

If DCU wins tomorrow I hope we take some rest (even if it means squandering points). The game plan has to be advancing in the Champions League and just barely making it into the MLS playoffs. Jaime et al. just can't play two games per week.

Posted by: diego r. | September 2, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

The Revs fall from grace has started.

Note to Nicol . .. this calendar of USOC, international competitions, MLS season and playoffs is a little strenuous, eh?

Maybe another loss in the MLS Cup will do you wonders . . . 0 for 4? O for 5 sounds better.

Posted by: delantero | September 3, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

My guess why no Freddy or Jozy is because they both want to earn playing time for their clubs, and leaving right now as they are fresh arrivals wont help them, and will hurt them in the coaches eyes if they leave. I mean come on, its Cuba. We can handle them with our MLS forwards/A' mids.

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | September 3, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

My guess is what delantero is saying is exactly what Nicol(sp?) is worried about.
The Kraft's are probably like,"what the F is the CCL?" anyway right?
I didn't watch the match, but my guess is that they feel like they will have better luck in the playoffs.

Posted by: dadryan | September 3, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Yay, more Sacha Kljestan.

Seriously, why is this kid even in camp? He's horrible.

Posted by: Ryan | September 3, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

"I guess if I were to say one quick thing about young players is that we are always watching, we are always keeping track of how they are doing and we always are trying to continue to move the players who have earned the opportunities along at the right speed. "

Uh, so how does this apply to Cooper, and what does it mean?

And I don't care if "Bradley got it done in Gaute." Shouldn't the USMNT program have progressed enough that we can play attractive, attacking soccer in the process of getting a result?

Posted by: BJR | September 3, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

...and in the third CONCACAF game of the night:

Real Esteli 0-0 Montreal Impact

L'Impact move on to group play. I suspect playing in Honduras didn't help the Nicaraguenses...

Posted by: SportzNut21 | September 3, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Bradley doesn't answer to the press.
Bradley doesn't answer to the fans.
Bradley only answers to ...........
Well, who does he answer to???
Will we find out in '10, right after the first round? Maybe sooner?
We'll qualify, no doubt, maybe even top of region after pummeling Mexico yet again. That should keep his job but, then what??
It doesn't seem like the team gets better or grooms new options.....just more of Eddie Lewis, EJ, Cherundolo, etc, etc.
More of the same, defensive, no risk MetroStars soccer....
Will an early dismissal in South Africa (or England/US) mean a dismissal for old Cheatin' Bob?
Should be a boring next two years, that's for sure.

Posted by: marksman | September 3, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse


There was an article on Soccernet about that recently. Basically, Subotic wants to put the decision off as long as possible. It's not a lost cause like Rossi was, as he seems to be genuinely debating the possibilities for himself.


SG, thanks for making the effort to ask Bradley about his selection. I'm sure you knew going in he wasn't going to open up or say much of anything, but the questions had to be asked.

On the CCL results tonight:

New England thoroughly deserved to be eliminated. 4-0 was a heavy scoreline on the basis of play, but then 2-1 in Trinidad was also extremely fortunate. The Revs left too many players out and Joe Public's strengths (speed down the wings, dynamic forwards) exposed the real weaknesses of a half-reserve NE side (awful flank defending, Badilla and Igwe being quite poor). This game reminded me of the United-Fire 2005 Eastern Conference final. Everything Joe Public did went perfectly, and everything New England tried ended with an errant pass or a good defensive play (more of the former than the latter). I hope this now puts an end to the constant talk of New England having so many fixtures, even though DC and Houston have played more, and will add to that lead in the coming days.

Chivas was hurt by bad luck, a moment of stupidity from Bornstein, and bad coaching. Why Bornstein grabbed the Tauro player when already on a card, I'll never know. Chivas was facing a 2v4 break. Bornstein is further from the national team at this point than he was when he was in college, in my opinion. Meanwhile, Preki's decision to remove Justin Braun was suicidal (never thought I'd be saying that). Braun was causing all kinds of problems for the Tauro defense, and the direct style of play that Chivas could use with him in was a big factor. Razov and Eskandarian are both far more skilled than Braun, but neither one is going to offer the same physical threat that Braun did.

If anything good comes out of this, MLS will realize that its squads are going to have an incredibly difficult time competing in this tournament due to the tiny rosters. Both NE and Chivas were playing far too many reserves, and in most instances these were decisions forced onto the coaches. That doesn't excuse the awful play of the Revs (the worst 2 games I've seen them play under Nicol) and the boneheaded moments from Chivas (2nd Tauro goal, Bornstein's red, Braun being subbed out), but something closer to a real roster of players would have done a lot to cover for these mistakes.

Hopefully United's players were watching this and taking note that anything less than a good performance could see them lose to lesser opponents (make no mistake, both Joe Public and Tauro would miss the playoffs badly over a full MLS season). Charleston may be a USL team with players rejected by MLS clubs, but DC should treat them with as much respect as they treat anyone else with this season.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 3, 2008 4:11 AM | Report abuse

Did someone say "Cuba?"

"I was gambling in Havana
I took a little risk
Send lawyers, guns and money
Dad, get me out of this..."

Enjoy the trip, Steve. And try and go a photo of your "tail." Would love to see what he/she looks like!

Posted by: Joe Doc | September 3, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

did anyone see the attractive attacking soccer our u20's played in wc 2007? why can't our full squad play this way? we all know the answers and can speculate for ourselves, but it is upsetting when you know the potential to play attractive attack-minded soccer is there but we hold back.

Posted by: PKTaker | September 3, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Superliga called. It wants its trophy back. Turns out there is a clause requiring the holder to maintain Pride, Honor, and Victory throughout the year. Losing alone is not grounds for punishment, but the trophy will be reclaimed from any holders who lose by five goals on aggregate to "teams trading under the names Joe Public, Jane Doe, or Exhibit A".

Posted by: FC | September 3, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

What great comments Bob. Young attacking players have no place on the field. Try 3 defensive midfielders these next 3 games and see if we can get 1-0 wins or scoreless ties. That should be enough to get us to the next round.

Posted by: Bora | September 3, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Bob doesn't pick the players I would pick! I'm a soccer genius! Fire Bob!

Posted by: Ash | September 3, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse


Not going to get too worked up on that debacle last night by MLS. However, DC United needs to lift the cup tonight and then BAG MLS in favor of salvaging MLS reputation on the continent.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 3, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Let's say you go out an buy a new car. Someone asks you to talk about that new car and to comment on some of your reasons for not buying some other car(s).

My guess is that you would rather talk about the new car you did actually select and buy.

Buying a car or picking a roster for WC Qualifying matches, I can see the logic in Bradley's decisions on what to talk about and on what topics to limit the discussion.

Posted by: But nobody likes a US coach | September 3, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Bradley is a coward.

Posted by: But I won MLS cup in 98! | September 3, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

He's paid to win games (hopefully).

He's not required to go into great depth on every answer to the questions the media asks of him.

But thanks to Goff for at least asking the good questions and getting some kind of comment.

Posted by: Keyboard coward | September 3, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Fire Bob Bradley. So he can go back to coaching Chivas USA.

No imgination. No personality. No loses against Mexico.


Posted by: East LA Chiva | September 3, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Bradley's response that he does not discuss roster selections should not be acceptable to anyone in the media. That's a huge part of his job, one of the main aspects of being a national team coach. Perhaps his tactics and substitutions should also be off-limits, and what he would be willing to discuss are the uniforms and weather conditions.

Would the national, political and international beat reporters accept from Bush "I am not going to talk about Iraq. When you invade and occupy a country, you take all sorts of things into consideration and every country is different. I guess if I were to say one quick thing about Iraq is that we wish things were going better there. ..."?

Posted by: confused | September 3, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Bob's getting results so it's hard to argue fully why he should be fired on the spot, but his selection is definitely questionable. Let's see what he does once we've clinched, though I'd like to see how whoever we bring in does in a high pressure situation. Thanks for asking Goff. Now if the media can make Bob look the way the Michigan coach looked after their game...

Posted by: Donadu | September 3, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Interesting what Alan Curbishley wrote in his letter expressing his grievances with West Ham United that led to his resignation today:

"The selection of players is critical to the job of the manager and I had an agreement with the club that I alone would determine the composition of the squad."

If Curbishley's assessment is correct, wouldn't it seem odd that a function that is "critical to the job of manager" should be off-limits for questioning?

Posted by: Fed Up United | September 3, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Just as surprising as the Kenny Cooper non-call is the Charlie Davies non-call. Davies has scored 9 goals in 17 games for Hammarby this season:
("In the new season he has scored 8 goals in 16 games."

Seriously, what does this guy have to do to get the call? Whiff a few dozen times like Eddie Johnson and get sent down to a lower level?

I would really like to see a Kenny Cooper-Charlie Davies strike tandem for the US MNT. Seems like a very good combo of a tall target forward with a speedy forward, both with good dribbling skills.

Posted by: Eugene | September 3, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

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