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Bob Bradley discusses status as U.S. coach

U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley is under contract for another 4 1/2 months, but with the World Cup behind him and the U.S. Soccer Federation setting its sights on the next Cup cycle, speculation grows concerning Bradley's future.

The USSF has yet to decide whether to offer him a new contract. The sides have held discussions and will meet again in the near future following Tuesday's friendly against Brazil at the Meadowlands.

"On my end, from the end of the World Cup, I have said the same thing: There would be a period when both sides would assess. I think that's normal," Bradley said. "I had a few discussions with U.S. Soccer. This fixture date comes at a tricky time, and so we agreed it was most important to get on and prepare for this date and then we would have some discussions following this game. That's where it stands. Other than that, there is different kinds of speculation on different days, so there is not much to be said until some more discussions take place."

Reached by the Insider, neither USSF President Sunil Gulati nor Bradley's representative, Ron Waxman, agreed to comment.

Keep reading.....

Touching on the subject later during his media briefing, Bradley said: "Some general starting points were laid out and I think it was agreed at that time, with this game coming up so quickly that it just made sense to use the starting points so that both sides could think a little bit about what was laid on the table and then we could pick up following the game."

Asked about his interest in working abroad, Bradley responded: "I have said over and over as well that I am always excited about new and different challenges. Certainly coaching in Europe at some point is something that I would love to do. At the same time, I also consider it a challenge when you finish one cycle and begin the process of working on another one. From the time one World Cup ends, you begin to go through process of assessing where you are."

Bradley confirmed that, through an intermediary, he talked to Fulham before the club hired Mark Hughes to replace Roy Hodgson this summer. Today, upon Martin O'Neill's stunning resignation from Aston Villa, Bradley's name quickly surfaced in the English media. He also has been mentioned in Honduran circles about the national team position.

"People spoke to Fulham on my behalf; I did not actually speak to anyone at Fulham," he said.

For the USSF, a decision based solely on results, it's a difficult call. Had the Americans been eliminated in the group stage, Bradley almost surely would not have returned. Had they reached the quarterfinals, he certainly would have been retained. But the round of 16? And elimination to a Ghana team that the U.S. team felt it should have beaten?

On broader terms, there is undoubtedly concern by the USSF that the program could grow stale between World Cups. The USSF typically rewards head coaches with four-year deals, but in this case, might Gulati present a two- or three-year contract with options?

Meantime, captain Carlos Bocanegra had nice things to say about Bradley.

"Bob did a really good job with our group. He definitely took us to the next level. These past four years, not only on the field but off the field, he has made it a very professional environment. It's a good place. We know what to expect when we come in here, he has us prepared, and you can see by the results we had and the success he has had as a coach, he has brought us [higher]."

Asked if he has been approached by the USSF for feedback about Bradley, Bocanegra said: "We spoke a little bit briefly, but that's up to U.S. Soccer and Bob. Obviously, today with the Aston Villa thing coming into play, that is a fantastic opportunity. Who knows what Bob wants to do?"

By Steve Goff  |  August 9, 2010; 5:27 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team , USSF  | Tags: Bob Bradley  
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Next: Primer for USA-Brazil friendly at Meadowlands

Comments

I think Bob's holding out for the Man United job.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 9, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Jurgen Klinsmann for Coach of US Team for Brazil 2014

In order to build a world class team we need a world class coach. Alexi Lalas has said that we need a coach who can impart a philosophy of soccer on the team. I have previously observed that US players are excellent athletes in top physical form. But as a team we lack holism, i.e., our team as a whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. Great teams are holistic, the team as a whole is better than the individual players. This I believe is the secret of Brazil (which was lacking in WC 2010) in the past and which the Spaniards have captured in their quick passing game. This is the type of character the US team lacks. I'm not saying that we should adopt the Spanish game but rather we need to develop a game that gives a holistic effect to our physical presence, energy and speed. We have the potential to play creatively and artistically like Brazil but with the physical presence and intensity of the English or Germans. Only we have this potentiality due to our superior athletic training methods and free spirits. American sports philosophy is simple: We play to win. Therefore, US Soccer needs needs a coach that can teach us to win in the world’s biggest stage.

Previously I've said that in my opinion that US coaches, while very competent, do not have the successful international experience--coaching major foreign clubs in foreign countries. It is difficult under these circumstances for a person to develop the coup d'oeil necessary to take our US team to the next level--that of a top world class team. As Aristotle reminds us, "We are what we repeatedly do." Soccer is just now beginning to take a hold in the US. In other countries, soccer is life; everything else is details. I believe that a person who becomes a top coach under this ethos is more capable than our domestic coaches to give rise to a great US team.
I believe that Jurgen Klinsmann is the man for the job. Besides his outstanding experience as a world-class player, Jurgen's resume as a coach is equally amazing.

Here, I quote directly from his website:
In June 2000, Jürgen earned his German Football Teacher License in a course led by Georg Bisanz that included members of Germany’s winning 1990 FIFA World Cup and 1996 UEFA European Championship teams.

Jürgen’s leadership approach and coaching acumen resulted in Germany exceeding predictions for the 2004 -2006 time period:

• 34 matches with 20 wins, 8 draws, 6 losses
• 3rd place 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup
• 3rd place 2006 FIFA World Cup
• German Coach of the Year (2006)

What Jurgen really brings to US Soccer is knowledge, experience, a philosophy of the game and an understanding of Americans. In my view, Jurgen is the only person that combines these attributes and can transform our team into a world-class team.

See my post http://www.goalazo.com/discussions/80/jurgen-klinsmann-for-coach-of-us-mens-soccer-team-for-brazil-2014

Posted by: gvergara54 | August 9, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Was there an essay contest?

Posted by: Reignking | August 9, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I assumed "Chest Rockwell" would appear at the bottom of that post. Well, at least until I saw Alexi Lalas cited as an authority.

Posted by: benonthehill | August 9, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

As a Villa AND US fan, I will say first that I like Bob Bradley. He did some dumb things during the World Cup (cough, cough, FINDLEY, cough, CLARK), but all in all, I like the players he's brought in, certain exceptions aside.

That being said, as a Villan I am devastated by O'Neill leaving and hiring Bradley would be the exact right thing to do if Lerner was trying to completely alienate the only English fan base that have been supportive of their American owner. O'Neill has turned the club around and this would be seen as an attempt to dump the best manager at Villa in decades to bring in an American (yes, I know O'Neill quit, but this would be perceived as 'driving him out'). Bradley is not the right fit.

On the other hand, we're going to end up with Jol or Zola or some other retread who got dumped by his club. My preferred choices would be Dave Jones (Cardiff) or hiring the young Clough. Neither will equal success this year and expect an exodus of talent from Villa before the transfer window closes.

Posted by: daandre3 | August 9, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Nah. He's holding out for Kasper's.

Posted by: seahawkdad | August 9, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I think people forget that at the international level the manager isn't coaching players so much as adapting (to varying degrees) to the strengths of the players that you have. Other than the January camps, which are mostly comprised of MLS players that don't have a shot of playing for the National Team, it's not like BB has much time to develop players. The most time he gets to spend with the the team at one time is probably in the lead up to the WC, and by that time he already knows what he has.

Development comes from daily training with your club teams. The reason the German model worked so well was that most of their players play domestically and, as a country, Klinsmann was able to shape influence the Bundesliga's philosophy and approach to the game.

Posted by: sdb11281usa | August 9, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Just for a lark, I copied gvergara54's comment into the box and found that he ended it too early. He had 54 characters remaining.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 9, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

You mean there was more room for Alexi's wisdom?

Posted by: Reignking | August 9, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Great post Steve. Hope it's a prelude to your above the fold story on tomorrow night's tilt and speculation into the future of the Yanks.

I'd keep Bob on through the Gold Cup. I think he made some pretty lame player selection errors in the World Cup, but I'd like to believe that he's had plenty of time to look at the tapes and reflect on what he could have done differently. If he can't keep the team moving in a positive direction through the Gold Cup there will still be plenty of time to find the right coach before the qualifying cycle begins.
Unless of course Bob has something in the works that he can't refuse, and Klinsmann is ready to sign.

Posted by: DadRyan | August 9, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

No team has EVER won the World Cup with a foreign coach.

Hire the German at your own peril.

Do you think Bob would take an assistant position with an EPL club? Just thinking it might make the transition to head coach more palatable if he "proves" himself first.

Posted by: SoccerVA | August 9, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

He also has been mentioned in Honduran circles about the national team position.

Wow, that seems like kind of an odd fit. If he goes can he bring Johnny Bornstein with him?

Posted by: BooThisMan | August 9, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I hope Aston Villa takes Bradley, and we can finally be rid of this dull, boring coach! The we can hire Jurgen Klinsman, a coach that can take us to the next level.

Posted by: drphillips44 | August 9, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

@soccerva

They have, however, brought valuable insight to countries who were fairly ignorant of Why they were not being successful against top teams. The US? Because we don't value possession, we try the direct route and make it easy for opposing defenders, and we sit back thinking that a deep line=defense. South Korea and other newbies have benefited greatly from foreign instruction. Once that knowledge is part of the program, it tends to stay.

At any rate, Bob's the man if Aston Villa are looking to squeeze every drop of talent from a squad devoid of real star power (they 're losing Milner, possibly Young, and not spending).

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 9, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

England is a stronger footballing nation than the US but did no better, but it's not because of their coach. The US is NOT in a position to win the WC in 2014, so I'm not against Klinsy. Indeed, no US coach at the time could have done what Bora did in '94. The foreign coach issue should concern Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and whoever else is in the top rung of nations.

Posted by: Modibo | August 9, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm debating with myself whether I'd prefer four more years of Bradley or having him coaching one of our hex competitors.

Posted by: benonthehill | August 9, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

So, what do we make of our boy Yura's accepting a call-up for Armenia for their friendly?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | August 9, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

This Old Club with Bob Villa?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 9, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

No team has EVER won the World Cup with a foreign coach.

Honestly, this just isn't very meaningful. Powerhouse national teams almost always hire domestic managers. So there have been sparingly few legitimate contenders with a foreigner at the helm, and it's not surprising that one has never won.

Now, all other things being equal, it would be better to hire domestic. The countries that produce top footballing talent also produce top managing talent, so they can do this. But does anyone think Brazil would just stop winning titles if they hired only foreign coaches from now on?

I could spin this around the other way and say that no American coach has won a World Cup, but three Germans have, so it's better to go for the German. The argument is about as valid.

Posted by: BooThisMan | August 9, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

My one and only requirement for the next coach:

Must have at least one win against Ghana

Arena tied Italy, who went on to win the WC, but was trounced by Ghana

Bradley beat some of the world's top teams in the confed cup and went on to tie (an overhyped) England but was trounced by Ghana.

Before I die I want to see the US team beat Ghana.

Posted by: Southeasterner | August 9, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

No team has EVER won the World Cup with a foreign coach.
-----
Honestly, this just isn't very meaningful.

Posted by: BooThisMan | August 9, 2010 9:04 PM
-----

You're right, 19 for 19 statistically isn't very meaningful at all.

it may be stating the obvious, but it seems to me that it may be more important that the US produce a WC caliber coach (than WC caliber players), as that likely would be an indicator of the growth in the player development system.

Posted by: VTUnited | August 10, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I've actually emailed my resume Gulati so I got my fingers crossed I'll be getting a call back.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 10, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Fabio Capello is a WC caliber coach and underperformed with a talented team even though many - including me - thought England would compete for the semis at least. I actually think Bradley would be better with 4 more years to prepare and with our player pool improving by the month. Our players are developing and some coaching consistency could be good. I will disavow this post if we fail to get out of the Group Stage in 2014.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | August 10, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

You're right, 19 for 19 statistically isn't very meaningful at all.

As I noted, it's easily explained by the fact that the teams that have the talent to win it all almost always bring a domestic coach to the World Cup. By "not very meaningful", I meant "not in the way that SoccerVa seems to think it's meaningful"; I didn't mean "not statistically significant". Was that really not clear from my previous post?

Posted by: BooThisMan | August 10, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Giuseppe Rossi, Neven Subotic, Jesus Padilla all were eligible to play for the US, but chose not to. I wonder if Klinsmann, or another high-profile foreign coach, had been the US manager if they would have made the same decision.

I also suspect if Bob Bradley can't help the US team develop a striker in four years, he won't be able to do it in eight. Klinsmann might.

I think Bob's attention to detail might serve him well in an administrative capacity. I'd like to see Chang fire Payne and Kasper and turn the reigns of DC United over to BB. DCU needs to be rebuilt, and that is a challenge that might appeal to Bradley.

Posted by: rcdwriting | August 10, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Funny thing is this issue of foreign or local coach is big in Africa too. Most of them hire foreign coaches at incredibly high salaries and only get mediocre results. Nigeria hired a Swedish coach 5 months before the world cup, paid him truck load of money (in American dollars no less) and only had 1 point to show for it at the World Cup. Now the dude doesn't want to sign an extension (and I don't blame him).

The morale? Just be careful wishing for a foreign coach. Just being foreign is no guarantee of ability.

Posted by: tundey | August 10, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

actually, 19 for 19 isn't statistically significant. it is far too small a data sample for significance. Vegas was built on people who don't understand that.

That said, the points both VT and Boo made outside of the statistical issue make a lot of sense.

Posted by: troy6 | August 10, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Spain hadn't won 18 of 18 World Cups.

Posted by: Reignking | August 10, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Well, the USA has never won a World Cup with a foreign or domestic coach. So what do we do now? Hire an extra-terrestrial?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 10, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

gvergara packed a lot in there . . .

coup d'oeil -- never heard it appied to soccer before, but hell yeah, we need more players and coaches with that

"We have the potential to play creatively and artistically like Brazil but with the physical presence and intensity of the English or Germans. Only we have this potentiality due to our superior athletic training methods and free spirits." Not sure I agree that ONLY we have this potential, but I share this vision and hope for what is possible (and like old Brazil, not new Brazil).

One gets the sense Klinsman sees this possibility. He caught a lot of flak for bringing American training methods to Germany. Also I wonder what his role was in fostering the inclusion of non-native Germans in the German side, which was a huge benefit to Germany in 2010.

Posted by: OWNTF | August 10, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

The talk about Bradley taking over an English club omits the detail of a European/English coaching license. I've read elsewhere that he lacks this seemingly necessary permit. Does anyone here have a fix on this subject?

Posted by: runningcloud | August 10, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Greece won Euro 2004 with a foreign coach. By most accounts, the coaching was the key factor in team's success.

For the USA, it's not just about getting to the quarterfinals or beyond at the World Cup. I'd like to see the team play consistently better throughout qualifying and the Gold Cup (plus the Confed Cup if we're lucky). Our performances from 2007-09 were very hit-and-miss. I'd like to see if a top-level foreign coach can bring some new ideas to the team, and a system that makes the team stronger than the sum of its individual talents. Not guaranteed to succeed, but at this point, I think it's worth a shot.

Posted by: Miles_Standish_Proud | August 10, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

No team has ever won a World Cup with an American coach, perfect 0-19. If we want to follow the statistical trend we should hire a Brazilian coach - they've won 5...but only one in this century. I should also point out that 3 of those guys had Pele on their team.

Posted by: soccerman | August 10, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

@gvergara54- Screaming "hop, hop, männer" over and over will not prevent Spector for being torched again and again or Buddle missing the net from inside the six.

Klinsmann for coach of Hollywood United, Bradley for coach of the US Nats.

Funny that after Jurgi's raging successes in 2006 that the DFB sacked him so quickly. Also funny how he couldn't even coach one of the most talented club sides ever assembled to the Bundesliga title in 2008-09, and he hasn't been considered for a serious coaching job since. Just watch the first 45 of the first leg of Bayern-Barca in the 09 Champions League QF to witness Klinsi's side operate as a greater whole than it's parts...

I love Jurgen Klinsmann, but in a TV studio or on the pitch, not on the sideline.

Posted by: rademaar | August 10, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

coup d'oeil
Posted by: OWNTF
==========

Eurosnob!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 10, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I've actually emailed my resume Gulati so I got my fingers crossed I'll be getting a call back.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 10, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

i have a feeling that when gulati sees the name "poopy mcpoop" at the top of the resume he will delete it.

Posted by: birdynumnum | August 10, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Another US-based Villa supporter here, gutted about O'Neill departing. Would BB be the man to replace him? Maybe. But he wouldn't get a fair shake from the fans over there, at least not initially, and not ever if he doesn't deliver results. I'd take him over Jol any day though.

I don't see BB coming to DC United under any scenario that keeps Payne or Kasper employed by the club. Until they go, United is radioactive to anyone with a career that they don't want to see destroyed.

Posted by: cmjhawk86 | August 10, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Just for a lark, I copied gvergara54's comment into the box and found that he ended it too early. He had 54 characters remaining.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 9, 2010 6:44 PM

Perhaps that's why he chose the User ID gvergara54.

Posted by: butthead2 | August 10, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

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