US Soccer had the opportunity of a lifetime that may have been able to win worldwide credibility to a program considered a lightweight in International circles. But as has been the case for several years now US Soccer proved to be stubborn, arrogant and in the worst way nativist when dealing with Juergen Klinsmann.
Media reports indicate that Klinsmann was not comfortable with sharing power on player decisions and other matters related to the US Soccer program. Jaime Trecker reminded us in his excellent post mortom this morning that the US had a similar debacle with Carlos Querioz, now Alex Ferguson’s right hand man at Manchester United after the 1994 World Cup.
The leadership of the US Soccer Federation, including President Sunil Gulati constantly talk about the need for prospective coaches to understand the “mindset of the American player.” But Gulati and his cohorts do little to understand the mindset nor culture of International Soccer. Thus after five months of waiting and several missed international friendly dates where the US could have worked to develop young players and deepen a depleted player pool we are given Bob Bradley as our National Team coach. While Bradley is one of the better American coaches around, he has had his issues as well, and was fired last year as Head Coach of MLS’ New York franchise after two and a half poor seasons leading that club.
US Soccer it seems only goes where it is comfortable.
An American Coach with no International experience is a safe, insider pick for Gulati. But sadly it will not do anything to help US Soccer develop a more competitive product on the International stage.