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Leagues: MLS

A Missed Opportunity

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.

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  1. Harvey

    December 10, 2006 at 2:10 pm

    The whole national team program is a disgrace. We don’t have the youth system we need and we make stupid cliques like “the American player,” when all that means is we have players that don’t train as hard, are not as mentally tough and aren’t capable of being as physical. We have regressed since 2002 and we have allowed the USSF and the media to be filled with yes men and apologists for the state of US Soccer. Hiring Klinsmann was a gift that fell in US Soccer’s lap and they turned down the gift to continue their losing ways. Some of us are tired of the incompotence and unwillingness to make an effort to change direction or try anything new. This has been going on since the 1994 World Cup and the rest of CONCACAF is rapidly catching up with us. We are no longer guarenteed a World Cup spot for 2010. Gulati, Bradley, Rothenberg, Garber, etc, etc, these guys are all part of a group who do not understand international football and do not make an attempt to understand it.

  2. Rafael

    December 9, 2006 at 8:05 pm

    I hear that Bradley will coach two games and then will be relegated to an assistant before Copa. Any truth to that?

  3. Anonymous

    December 9, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    Sams Army, do you think MLS is a better league than the EPL?

  4. football detective

    December 9, 2006 at 3:27 pm

    A note off topic:

    Despite Sams Army’s objections, the Eurosnobs at ESPN and ABC have announced they will televise Euro 2008!

    I can’t wait to see those ratings up against their own MLS ratings.

    Sams – let the bitching begin.

  5. USA2010

    December 9, 2006 at 3:06 pm

    Klinsmann’s success with USA was no sure thing but it would have been a gamble with tremendous upside.

    If Bradley can maintiain some measure of success, look for him to be kept around a year or two until Kilinsmann is approahed again. And again before the 2010 tournament.

  6. USA2010

    December 9, 2006 at 3:00 pm

    Bob Bradley is an emergency band-aid to stop the fatal bleeding incurred by Gulati’s complete incompetence.

    The fact that it took six months to come to this point is a joke. The reports that Bradley might not even make it to The Gold Cup but he is guaranteed the U-23 job is proof that he is nothing more that a company guy.

    His remarks on ESPNews were hardly convincing that US Soccer is headed in the right direction.

    Typically it’s one step forward, two steps back for this outfit.

  7. Gregg

    December 8, 2006 at 11:23 pm

    Why is it so critical to understand this crap game and product called MLS.

    U.S. Soccer is viewed as a laughing stock around the world and to hire Bradley just proves the point even further.

  8. Sams Army

    December 8, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    I disagree 100%. I feared that Gulati did not get it and he was allied with the Euro snobs in the USSF. But I was thrilled that according to the news reports he stood up to the pressure from some who told him to hire a foriegner at all costs and wanted to impose some limits on what Klinsmann would do. A basic understanding of American soccer and MLS is needed and Bradley is the right guy. Thank goodness Gulati didn’t cave in to the pressure from the media, the pro EPL crowd like this website and the eurosnobs.

  9. Hernandez

    December 8, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    i am pleased with selection of bradley. he do well with chivas north america, and he understand us soccer and mls. getting european or argentine coach is a mistake for us as it was for mexico with lavolpe. we must always have a mexican coach in mexico and american coach in america. they understand the domestic league and will no how to communicate with the players. bradley also speaks spanish which the german guy did not. a good choice for usa.

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