No Need To Rush On Bob Bradley

Frankly, people need to chill. The mantra coming from bloggers, fans, and the press to “just get it figured out already” or “to do something” is wrong. US soccer and Sunil Gulati is right to be methodical about this.

We are not in some race against the clock here. This isn’t 2006 where the US had a bad world cup and had fired Bruce Arena and was left rudderless and directionless for six months when the team was in desperate need of an overhaul and was facing 2 tough tournaments in June of 2007. And despite the supposed “fiasco” that was the 06 process, it is not like that worked out poorly.

US soccer can totally take their time here.

First, they have a good coach in place for the next 4 months. Let’s say that no one new is hired in the next month, Bradley doesn’t get another job and remains at the helm for the October friendlies, even though US soccer has no intention of keeping him on. So what. One of Bradley’s strongest attributes was his ability to bring in young talent. Frankly, I would probably rather have Bradley manage that game than a new manager that isn’t familiar with the player pool. It is not like he is going to slack off and phone it in – and anyone who thinks so isn’t giving Bradley any credit. Would this be a missed opportunity for a new manager to work with the team? Perhaps, but guys, we have 3 years until the next really meaningful competition.

Second, the World Cup went well and we have a fairly settled squad. We are not in crisis people. Overall the team at the World Cup was very young and the vast majority of those players will be around. Yes we need to find some new defenders, but we are going into this cycle with a much more settled squad than we were in 2006.

Third, we have plenty of time between now and the next real competition. We are not in Europe where qualifiers for the European Championships begin next week. We have 10 months until the vaunted Gold Cup. Yes that tournament matters, but we have plenty of time.

Also, perhaps it is Bradley not Sunil that is dragging his feet. Bradley is in the running for the Villa job, perhaps he is a long shot, but Villa just got dumped from the Europa Cup after interim manager Brian MacDonald was given two game to show what he could do. Villa will need a new manager and with few great candidates out there Bradley is definitely a contender. So if your Bradley, why re-up with the national team?

Finally, I rolled my eyes when reading the complaints from Grahame Jones at the LA Times that US Soccer doesn’t leak more rumor tidbits to him. Being someone who lives in Washington, a lack of leaks is the sign of a very well run organization. The press often times don’t realize that it is not about them. Jones’ whining is really unprofessional. Would I love more tidbits about what is happening on the search? Of course. Would I rather have US soccer conduct a thorough methodical search in which press rumors don’t muck up negotiations – yes.

If I were going to guess at what is going on, I would posit that Gulati is in talks with Klinnsmann and that these are some intense negotiations that are dragging on. I bet this is in some sense a repeat of the intense talks that happened four years ago.

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One Response

  1. “… we have 3 years until the next really meaningful competition.”

    ??? The Gold Cup is next summer. If we don’t get to consider tournaments like that “really meaningful,” then it’s not actually much fun being a U.S. soccer fan.

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