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Gulati: Bradley Is World Cup Coach

During a media gathering this afternoon with Mexican reporters (and a few pesky Americans), USSF President Sunil Gulati was asked about the regular coaching changes with El Tri the past few years. He noted how the situation is different for Mexican and American soccer, and in so doing, reinforced his long-term support for Bob Bradley:

"We have a different structure in the United States. Bruce Arena coached our team for eight years. That's almost unheard of anywhere in the world -- a national team coach for eight years. ... In 19 years, we have had the same coach take us all the way through qualifying and coach the team in the World Cup. That hasn't changed. First Bora, who didn't have to qualify, then Steve Sampson, Bruce Arena at two World Cups and hopefully Bob Bradley. We probably have the luxury of a little bit more patience in decision-making that isn't afforded in a number of other countries, Mexico included, because of the public pressure. We don't have that same sort of public pressure. It's increasing, which is a good thing because people care. In South Africa [at the Confederations Cup], I had 200 or 300 e-mails from fans asking me to think seriously about a change -- they were using different words -- in our coaching situation. In some ways, that is a positive thing because they care about it. We didn't do it. I can imagine a number of countries, if they had gone 0-2 in the first two games and not played well, where the federation president would be saying, 'I've got to make a change.' That thought never crossed my mind. Bob Bradley will be our coach through qualifying, Bob Bradley will be our coach at the World Cup if we qualify, and I am confident that we will."

The USA delegation has arrived at the team hotel near Azteca. More to share later.....

By Steve Goff  |  August 11, 2009; 7:05 PM ET
Categories:  Mexico , U.S. men's national team , USSF  
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Comments

If and when Bob Bradley retires as USMNT coach, I would like to see Peter Nowak take his place.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 11, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Fire Gulati then??

After the way we finished at the Confed, Bradley has definitely earned the right to coach this team through the World Cup. I wonder how many of those emails came from Insider loyalists...

Posted by: DCUMD | August 11, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Nowak was certainly in line -- that's why he took the job as BB's assistant. Hard to know how that is affected by his resignation to take the Philly job. Now, he's gonna be compared with Kinnear and Schmid, and maybe even his fellow Polish national team alumnus, Robert Warzycha.

Posted by: fischy | August 11, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

@redskinsux I second that notion!

Keep the underground posts coming Stevie G! Don't succumb to the altitude and smog!

Posted by: adamsunited | August 11, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

fischy:

I'd throw Steve Nicol in with that bunch. I would expect the trend of opting for a US-born coach to continue if the big name approach doesn't work a second time, but if we're pulling from MLS ranks only Kinnear and Schmid have been consistently as good over a long stretch as Nicol. Nowak certainly has the consistency (3 strong DCU teams), but his career as a head coach has been the shortest of the group. Warzycha has found his way after a somewhat rough start, but I don't think he should be considered until he's got several years under his belt.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 11, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Chest -- No doubt it's too early to assess Warzycha, and he'd have to have more experience before you consider him for a national team post. I'm assuming we're talking about several years down the line -- and he'd be more likely to get an assistant post before getting the top job. One other name I forgot to mention -- even though Chivas is in free-fall, Preki has been pretty impressive. He doesn't have the trophies that Schmid and Kinnear have, but Chivas has consistently overachieved under Preki.

Posted by: fischy | August 11, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

"we don't have that same sort of public pressure. It's increasing, which is a good thing because people care."
/////
Yeah because most of them are dumb when it comes to football.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | August 11, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

ok fine. let bradley take this team to upcoming world cup. we will go so far, who knows how far, but not all the way. but if we are to get to the finals, which we are capable of. we need a world class coach. "HIDDINK" or an equal.

Posted by: tyobrien1 | August 11, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

fischy and Chest-

I think Nowak's resume is more impressive. Although he may have been a head coach in MLS for a shorter time, he has excelled in coaching internationally (US youth squad), as well as MLS.

I put Nowak above Nicol, Schmid and even Kinnear.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 11, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"he has excelled in coaching internationally (US youth squad), as well as MLS"

??????

He didn't even get the Olympic team out of group play, did he? Excelled? He has international coaching experience. Let's leave it at that.

Posted by: fischy | August 11, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I seem to remember the U-23 played well under Nowak. The U.S. was in a very hard group. The Dutch, Japan and Nigeria. We beat Japan, tied The Netherlands and lost to Nigeria which ultimately went advanced to the finals only to lose to Argentina 1-0.

Perhaps, "excelled" was too strong of a word but the U-23 put on a show under Nowak.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 11, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Edit: which ultimately advanced to the finals only to lose to Argentina 1-0.

But, Nowak did excel in MLS.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 11, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

fischy:

I would have been more willing to put Preki up there until this utter collapse over the past 3 months. If he can correct the tailspin, I'd say he belongs up there. However, right now Chivas is awful and he's not getting the best out of his key players (Kljestan is the big example, but Galindo has also been poor and Bornstein has been bizarrely tried at center back a couple times).

I was among the skeptics who believed their red-hot start was mostly an illusion, and credited Preki with keeping up the smoke-and-mirrors show. However, they've been found out and he should have been able to arrest the decline by now. Honestly, if you told me DC had to play one team tomorrow in a must-win game, the only team I'd choose over Chivas right now is NY, and they barely count as an MLS team. If Preki can get them going again, he belongs among the elite; if not, it would leave me wondering how he got them to be so good over the past 2 years and in this past spring.

As for Warzycha, it'll be interesting to see how he does in the CCL. He'll be facing a lot of the same approaches that he would coaching a US team (youth or senior) in CONCACAF. It won't be a massive indicator either way, but it should still be fascinating. I think the Crew's approach will be difficult for the teams in their group to deal with, since it mixes the more direct elements (especially with their forwards all being so physical and aggressive) with some real skill in Schelotto and Rogers.

redskinsux:

Nowak has some good achievements, to be sure, but I'd like to see a longer run of consistent positives. Of course, Kinnear has only been in charge of Houston since 2006 (one more season than Nowak in MLS), so maybe on examination that position isn't as sensible as I initially thought.

I still wouldn't put Nowak ahead of the group, but the fact that he's been in the US setup is an obvious advantage.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 11, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

OT but I'm going to mention this again. I stumbled over the Comcast sportsnet tv schedule for next week to find a Champion's League pre game shows and actual Champion's league matches that are reported to be live and in HD. Scheduled to start on Tuesday following their EPL replay at noon....
Kev29, I think we were speculating on where some Champion's League may be ending up this next season. I'm really curious about the matches being advertised as broadcast in HD!

Posted by: DadRyan | August 11, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

hiddink or an equal?

hiddink doesn't have an equal.

Posted by: troy6 | August 11, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Mr. President,

You could have said "My name is Sunil Gulati" and gotten more shock out of me.

This is to be expected. I don't like Bob, but there's nothing I can do.

If, however, we pick Greg Kinnear, or any other MLS coach, the next time around, instead of picking a foreign coach who knows how to integrate the exciting new talent at our disposal, I will implode.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 11, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Sven!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 11, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Basically, let's have a good world cup, and let it be an audition for a really superior coach, Guus would be great. We don't have to sacrifice the whole team spirit, hard work thing, but we have the players to play some fluid, hard to control defense, and provide service to our young guns. Let's do it!!

Anybody who can integrate Torres would be great.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 11, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DCUMD

Fire Gulati then??
-----------------------------------
Who exactly would do that? It's not like Sunil is the GM of a club, he's the elected president of sport's non-profit national governing body. Other than doing something corrupt or violating USSF rules, the only way I can see him geting "fired" is by doing something that drastically favors the professional game at the expense of the youth and/or ethnic amateur voting blocs. Ironically something like this is what we fans of the pro game want him to do!

Posted by: EricB1 | August 11, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Demon, I agree. Greg Kinnear is overrated, even in his celebrated roles, such as in As Good As It Gets. How about Gerard Butler? He know how to rally men.

Posted by: familano | August 12, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Getting rid of Gulati is a huge step in the right direction . . .

Posted by: LCR-54 | August 12, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

All coaches you guys named would bring a marginal, if any, improvement only. We need somebody of a higher statue to move us forward.

My personal preference is Marcello Lippi. He was Italian coach from 2004 to 2006, won the World Cup and was reappointed back in 2008 after Roberto Donadoni's fiasco. He will be available again in 2010 after the Cup.

Guus Hiddink is everybody's favorite for a good reason too. But it's probably easier to get Lippi.

Posted by: Tolik | August 12, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Dom Kinnear. My bad. :)

Still, we've seen the limits of Bob Bradley and MLS coaches in general. We need to make a change.

Look at what happened for the women's national team. Sundhage has done wonders for the quality of play.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 12, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

But I'm not certain Lippi would be able to move the offense forward like we'd like to see. I mean, he let Pirlo run loose, but that's about it.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | August 12, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

How about Gerard Butler? He know how to rally men.

Posted by: familano | August 12, 2009 12:36 AM
_______________________________________________

FWIW, Gerard Butler has played a member of the USMNT (Frank Borghi), albeit in a mediocre film.

Posted by: universityandpark | August 12, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Well, the Conf. Cup was the test and he passed. So, he's our guy for the rest of the run and we just need to accept it. I have to admit, he has seemed to change his roster selections since some players tanked in SA; which is a good sign.

Stability is a good thing. Guess we need to get behind Bob to the extent possible.

Posted by: hacksaw | August 12, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The excuse for the loss is what? The reason for the loss is Bob Bradley - it's time to get a professional to lead this team. So far the change from Arena to Bradley has been what? Better excuses. Please! If USSF President Sunil Gulati thinks this is working than maybe I can't even blame Bradley.

Posted by: jerseyredd | August 13, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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