Bora Milutinovic couldn’t do it. Steve Sampson couldn’t do it. Bruce Arena couldn’t do it. But Bob Bradley has accomplished it: consecutive games against Brazil where the US allowed three or more goals. Prior to the September 2007 friendly in Chicago the US had held Brazil to two or fewer goals in ten straight matchups, although the US lost nine of those games. In the same exact situation during the 2003 Confederations Cup in France, the USA needing a result against Brazil scraped and fought but still lost 1-0 and were eliminated. We’ve chronicled the 1999 Confederations Cup where the US dominated large stretches of a 1-0 loss to Brazil and then beat Germany three days later.
IN FACT IN SEVEN MATCHES UNDER STEVE SAMPSON AND BRUCE ARENA VERSUS BRAZIL THE USA ONLY CONCEDED SEVEN GOALS IN REGULAR TIME (NOT INCLUDING AN EXTRA TIME GOLDEN GOAL IN 2003 GOLD CUP) IN TWO MATCHES VERSUS BRAZIL UNDER BOB BRADLEY THE US HAS CONCEDED SEVEN GOALS. AGAINST ITALY THE US LAST CONCEDED MORE THAN A SINGLE GOAL IN THE 1934 WORLD CUP. IN OTHER WORDS THE LAST FOUR DAYS HAVE BEEN HISTORICAL LOWS FOR THE USMNT AGAINST THE OPPOSITION THEY FACED.
Bob Bradley has wanted the US to defend in numbers and generally is conservative tactically. But the conservative tactics have failed, as has the conservative player selection which regularly employs double standards towards different players. Jose Torres makes one mistake and is buried while the likes of DaMarcus Beasley, Sacha Kljestan and Benny Feilhaber continue to play regardless of performance.
Freddy Adu? He’s being told he must play regular club football to pl;ay for the nats while several others who don’t feature regularly for their club sides are given free reign on the national team.
Now under Bradley the US is not only losing to powerful teams from outside of CONCACAF much like it did under Bora, Sampson and Arena. But the US is being humiliated on the world stage. The USA under Sampson beat Argentina in the Copa America and Brazil in the Gold Cup. Under Arena the US beat Germany in the Confederations Cup and Portugal at the World Cup. But three years into Bradley’s tenure we have yet to witness a significant US victory off US soil or in a major competition.
Bob Bradley’s continued loyalty to players who he coached at the club level was his undoing today. DaMarcus Beasley and Sacha Kljestan were both horrible.
PODCAST LINK BELOW WITH PHIL SCHOEN OF GOL TV AND MARTIN ROGERS OF YAHOO! SPORTS: