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Bob Bradley Has Been The Right Choice

Uh oh. I’ve typed the wrong title. I have already done the most horrible thing that any blogger or pundit has said in favor of Bob Bradley. I can already feel every single US Supporters anger being directed at me for this report because I have done the un-thinkable. I am supporting Bob Bradley and all the comments towards me will be negative or worse, down right insulting from everything that was written in the book of curse words and doing something very nasty. But honestly, I will always come up with something better so don’t start.

But let’s get serious for a moment and this is a serious thing when you’re talking about the Head Coach of the US Men’s National Team. The highest coaching position in all of US Soccer. This man has done something that most of you who have been against him from the start never expected. He has grown into the position as the top coach of the National Team and he has done so with flying colors. For the second straight tournament in this calendar year he has led the USA into two Championship Finals with the best starting eleven in the Confederations Cup as well as a “B” side in this version of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

We all remember after the Bruce Arena era officially ended after the 2006 World Cup that US Soccer was looking for his successor and wanted former German National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann to replace Arena for the 2010 cycle. Everything was near completion as the I’s were dotted, but sadly the T’s weren’t crossed as Klinsmann walked away from Soccer House in Chicago and decided to take the Bayern Munich job in the German Bundasliga. With no other big named coach available to take over the position US Soccer President Sunil Gulati decided to go with second fiddle Bob Bradley as the interim head coach and the loud groans from all supporters were already thinking we were doomed. All of a sudden everyone was screaming that we had a Bruce Arena clone. A robot that showed no emotion. A Big Soccer Poster named Namdynamo that said Bradley was a loser because he coached the MetroStars for three seasons and that he would do the same thing with the US National Team. The empty bucket formation that all of you love to phrase because we didn’t have that central attacking midfielder to give service to our strikers.

I can keep on going and going and going, but I have been supporting Bob Bradley since he got the job and yes I was very critical of him during the Brazil Group B match in this past Confederations Cup till he got his tactics & formations correct against Egypt. Then the ultimate victory over European Cup Champions Spain & being ahead by two goals to nil at the half against the five time World Cup Champions in Brazil before coughing up three in the final.

Sometimes you have to understand whatever Bradley has in camp that’s what he has to work with and so far for the most part he has done a very good job and deserves all the praise he has gotten. At the same time I’m hoping to hear out of Dave Denholm’s mouth that he will give Bob Bradley some credit during one of Kartik Krishnaiyer’s MLS Talk Podcasts. Let’s look at this squad in the 2009 Gold Cup. Out of all the players that’s been used and those who were forced to leave to play with their European clubs like Steve Cherundolo, Charlie Davies, Freddy Adu & Benny Feilhaber who was only used against Honduras in DC for their Group B play the extra seven roster spots that CONCACAF has handed to Bob Bradley from playing in the Confederations Cup only Feilhaber was used. Bradley has said he will use these players from the original roster to reach the final and so far they have done a terrific job.

Reading the headlines from around the globe discussing how the USA defeated Spain in the Semi-Finals of the Confederations Cup England National Team head coach Fabio Capello was so surprised to hear this news he told the BBC that he had to get the tapes to see how they defeated Spain. After this man spat at Major League Soccer and our players I hope the tape got burned so he never gets a chance to plan against the Spanish.

If most of you thought we needed a European or South American coach to get our players to the next level in International Football, well guess what people you are sadly mistaken. Bob Bradley has done the job and he will lead our players into the 2010 World Cup once we have officially qualified. But right now we have two matches against our biggest rival in CONCACAF coming up within two weeks and four days. The Gold Cup Final on Sunday, July 26th at Giants Stadium & the road World Cup Qualifier at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on Wednesday, August 12th. It’s time to see Bob Bradley plan for Mexico in the Gold Cup Final and attempt to take home another Confederational Trophy.

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  1. ERT09

    July 26, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Daniel- Charlie Davies played against Haiti. Mexico’s “B” side crushed Haiti 4-0. They didn’t have Franco or Vela for that game two of the few regulars they selected for this event. I agree with Stearling. This piece is pure drivel.

  2. Daniel Feuerstein

    July 26, 2009 at 4:41 am

    Jack (from Vegas) As of right now Bradley is the coach till the end of the World Cup or at least till the end of 2010. No where did I say that he is going to get another cycle. People wanted him fired by now, or at least before the World Cup.

    Let’s worry about the Gold Cup Final and the next five qualifiers first. That problem will return after the World Cup. First things first.

  3. Jack(from Vegas)

    July 25, 2009 at 3:27 am

    Who are you realistically going to get that will clearly be better than Bradley? I am not interested in lateral moves. Someone may be available after the world cup but until then it is just a dream.

  4. Daniel Feuerstein

    July 25, 2009 at 3:07 am

    Stearling: Is that the excuse you are giving to the European Cup Champions that the boys defeated fair and square? If that is the case it’s a pathetic one to bring up. The Spaniards weren’t tired, they admitted that they thought it was a cake walk against us. So please stop sounding like you knew what was really going on. If it’s more drivel, then why did you comment on it.

    For those who keep forgetting that the draw against Haiti never had Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, the departed Charlie Davies Michael Bradley or Jozy Altidore. This is a “B” side hence the letter B as in second stringers that are being looked at to fill the holes for the bench or the starting eleven. Let’s also talk about Costa Rica. How many times has the US played down there when it wasn’t a World Cup Qualifier? The answer is none. If you never been down to a Central American country for Football and it’s World Cup Qualifying don’t expect pretty or sexy football. Or have most of you forgotten what happened to Eddie Lewis against Guatemala in the Semi-Final Round road match last year August. I suspect you have.

    Just for once you anti-Bradley supporters, admit it that he has done a good job. He is going to face Mexico twice in a span of two weeks and four days. He will have a handful

  5. Stearling

    July 24, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    More drivel from Daniel, seriously, why would expect anyone to believe this tripe, Bradley needs to go, yes we performed against a tired Spanish team and gave Brazil a run for it, but sh*t man, the rest is like the French Rev, high body count, little progress…

  6. quakesin2kNever

    July 24, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Yankeehooligan: “It’s amazing what a single game can do. And let’s not forget, it was a SINGLE GAME.”

    Uh, no, it was not just a single game. BB has been a great coach for his entire tenure with the team. We have completely dominated Concacaf, the Gold Cup, and Mexico during his tenure. We also beat Egypt and almost beat Brazil, the new #1 team in the world.

    “Why is Stuart Holden and Robbie Rogers only now beginning to emerge, for example”

    Because they are only 22 and 23 years old. They are emerging on the young side actually. They are great young players and are right on track. I’m glad they weren’t rushed. They are bringing brought along perfectly fine. They are getting great experience in the Gold Cup, I can’t ask for much more.

    Fire Bob Bradley: “Are you still forgetting how unprepared we were to play at Saprissa last month after 10 days of Club Med in Miami.” Also: Thomas and Louis.

    Uh, we’ve never played well at Costa Rica. Even our legendary 2002 team lost both road games in 2002 WC qualifying. The turf there is horrid.

  7. soccer goals

    July 24, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I agree that Bob is doing a great job.

  8. Thomas Skull

    July 24, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Daniel dude, we haven’t won ANYTHING yet legit under Bradley. If we win Sunday fine. But we should have lost to Canada last time if not for a typical CONCACRAP ref. We got smoked in Saprissa worse than usual. We struggled in game after game on the road. We got beat worse by Italy than anytime before. Other than the Spain game we have not beat a team in a legit international…..friendlies do not count….that we would not have beaten with any other coach- anyone. Dude, take a guy out High School to coach and we beat Cuba and Barbados by the same scorelines, and struggle on the road like we did. The next two games define Bradley. He wins them both come back here and I’ll post that I was wrong and everyone else will do the same. Mexico may be struggling but for some reason they always play better in the bigger games than we do. We will see what happens Sunday and August 12th. A split will be so-so,. a sweep and Bradley’s won me over. Two losses, and the Federation better consider other options.

  9. Louis

    July 24, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    How can you say that Bradley has been the right choice when we struggled to beat Guatemala and Cuba in qualifying? We tied El Salvador? We tied freaking Haiti last week! The Confed Cup was a short tourney that in no way resembles the World Cup and even there we won two games and lost three! We got killed in Saprissa, and a s another writer on this correctly stated before the spain game, the law of averages and Bradley horrible record against good teams meant we’d probably win that one. Keep in mind Bradley only won the 2007 Gold Cup because of one of the worst calls most of us will ever ever see in the game against Canada.
    In short, writing this piece with one major win and about 8 major losses or under performances shows some people will say anything to back our program.

  10. Nate

    July 24, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Well said Ray- lets wait for Azteca before we anoint Bradley.

  11. Ray

    July 24, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    If we win at Azteca then Bradley’s a great one and a lifer. If we lose there yet again after we got hammered in Saprissa and had our worst ever loss to Brazil in the group stage you have to wonder if we really have progressed. Bradley cannot simply live off the Spain game.

  12. Lee

    July 24, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Good piece, Daniel some cognizant points that the haters will just ignore!

  13. Fire Bob Bradley

    July 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Awesome dude! We beat Panama, beat Egypt and drew with Haiti.

    One good result in three years for Bradley. Are you still forgetting how unprepared we were to play at Saprissa last month after 10 days of Club Med in Miami. WTF, did they do there.

    If your satisfied with beating up on CONCACAF teams at home keep writing garbage like this. If you like losing at Costa Rica and Mexico and blowing two goals leads against Brazil because you don’t sense the changes in the game flow or see the tactical changes of the other side keep writing junk like this.

    If you like Sacha Kljestan and DaMarcus Beasley and hope to see them in the World Cup keep writing this nonsene.

    I’ll shut up if we win in Azteca and if we win Sunday. Truthfully, I don’t see either happening. Mexico is terrible on the road but they still own Azteca and I think they want to beat us so bad they’ll get Sunday’s game also.

    If Bradley really wanted to win he’s start Cooper, but then again if he really wanted to win rather than following up on his prejudices he’s have played Adu over Beasley and Torres over Kljestan at the Confed Cup.

    I think Mexico’s B team that has looked like crap in this event is going to beat up on us because they have been looking ahead and Bradley was lucky to face Sanchez and Sven before. Aguirre will turn the tables on us and we’ll wish we hired someone with a clue or fired Bradley when we had the chance.

  14. Lenny

    July 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Beating Panama and Honduras with a B team after drawing Haiti aren’t exactly great results. Seriously, we still got hammered by Italy and Brazil and needed crazy things to happen to get out of the group. Bradley’s substitutions were awful with Kljestan, Bornstein and Beasley.

    If Bradley beats Mexico twice coming up call me. Until then not getting Klinsmann or Pekerman are still things that we may not regret in CONCACAF but will make us sick in South Africa.

  15. Jack(Vegas)

    July 24, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I will freely admit that I was on the replace Bob Bradley bandwagon but I believe he has grown into becoming the right choice. One fact that people fail to take into account is the fact that if you are going to fire Bradley, is who are you realistically going to replace him with that will clearly be an upgrade.

  16. Jason Gatties

    July 24, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    I’ve always been a huge supporter of Bob and was always angered at the hate thrown towards him. Great article, I agree 100%. Do not discredit what Bob has done during the Gold Cup with USA “fringe” players. He’s made all the right decisions.

  17. Yankeehooligan

    July 24, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Wow, the Bradley bandwagon seems pretty full right about now. A few months ago it was collecting cobwebs. It’s amazing what a single game can do. And let’s not forget, it was a SINGLE GAME. Yes, Spain is a talented team and for a little while it looked like we might even beat Brazil. And now with a U.S. C team he’s done well enough to get to the Gold Cup final (Of course, the U.S. has reached the final of this tournament 7 out of 10 years, so is it really that impressive?) With all the Bradley love over the Spain result, I think it would be foolish to lose sight of his overall record against solid competition (especially his away record). He’s done a serviceable job in various tournaments and friendlies (mostly in the U.S.), but if the goal is to perform well at a World Cup, I’m still not sold on Bradley. Coaching national teams is like 20% tactics and 80% team selection and he hasn’t done enough with the bubble players to develop real depth going into 2010. Why is Stuart Holden and Robbie Rogers only now beginning to emerge, for example? I think Bradley’s turned down the heat considerably with recent performances, but if you look at the matches, there has been some superb individual performances that have pulled his feet out of the fire. While he doesn’t deserve all the blame for the losses, I think you give Bradley too much credit for the wins.

  18. Kyle

    July 24, 2009 at 8:43 am

    I don’t think you can really criticize any coach for losing to Brazil. Last I checked they are the FIFA #1 ranked team. If the biggest criticism of the US coach is that he can “only” beat Spain I’m pretty fine with that.

  19. Adam Edg

    July 24, 2009 at 8:15 am

    I think Bradley has done a great job with what he has. Some of our “stars” are primadonnas that give nothing on the pitch because they have already “made it” (I’m looking at you Beasley). He has used a strong contingent of MLS players to fill our holes as needed and has found success with pretty much anybody he’s put on the field. Yes he blew the group games against Brazil and Italy, and yes he blew a 2 goal lead in the final. Still, he has mixed and matched and found ways to get the job done. He relies on the bunker style far less than Arena. Even if it may win a game or two, bunkering is a boring style of play and encourages apathy among players.
    Do I think Bradley is a great coach? No, but he passes. I would rather see a new coach that allows more freedom of play and finds a way to keep players inspired. I would prefer a coach that knows how to use players like Adu and that can help Beasley find his mojo again. We have a wealth of talent, but that talent is diverse. Bradley’s biggest weakness is not knowing how to embrace their diverse styles and skills.
    If the US follows the lead of most established nations, we should look to replace Bradley after next year’s World Cup. Most countries do this to keep things fresh.

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