Thursday, July 28, 2011
Honestly, I feel as if this was a move that was inevitable, but Bob Bradley has now been officially fired as coach of the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team. Bradley has been the coach of the team since the winter of 2007, and for the most part you'd have to consider his run with the team a success. He had a record of 43-25-12 and under him the team performed quite well in the World Cup of 2010 and the Confederations Cup of 2009. Put the team struggled quite frequently throughout the Gold Cup, including being routed 4-2 against Mexico in the tournament final after they had lead 2-0 in the early stages of the game. It was becoming quite clear that the team had reached it's full potential under Bradley, and that improvement was going to have to come from a different leader.
Bradley was extended after the 2010 World Cup, which was a bit of a surprise in my opinion. While the National Team did perform well last summer, I thought it was quite apparent then that the level of soccer they played in the World Cup was the best that they were going to achieve. But with really no better option to spearhead this team through another summer, Bradley was retained. Since the World Cup, the United States soccer program seems to have plateaued. Whether he wasn't getting through to the guys on the club anymore I don't know, but this was not a team that looked poised to get better any time soon. For that reason, Bradley has been let go and the search is on for a replacement.
The popular choice among American soccer fans would be to see Jurgen Klinsmann take the reigns. Klinsmann is a former soccer star for Germany, and he was the nation's coach during the 2006 World Cup. After resigning shortly thereafter, Klinsmann began a life in America which now includes him serving as a consultant for the MLS club Toronto FC and living in California. You've probably been familiar with him in some regard as well, as he was one of the studio analysts during the 2010 World Cup for ESPN. Sure, there are other options out there, but I think anyone besides Klinsmann would be a disappointment. Just as it was in 2006.
Kudos to Bradley for his time well served, but the United States program had no where left to improve under his tutelage. Let's now go out and find someone who can make that happen.
And let that someone be Jurgen Klinsmann. Ja Wohl!