Friday, December 08, 2006

Bradley it is.

USSF announced that Bob Bradley is now the U23 USMNT Head Coach and the interim USMNT coach. Bradley will oversee the USMNT as they start the 2007 campaign and prepare for the Gold Cup and Copa America. He will also head up the Olympic squad that will attempt to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

We waited 5 months for this?

Don't get me wrong, if you look at this alone, without any of the previous 5 months of news, rumors and such related to the coaching search, this doesn't sound that bad. Bradley most likely will be a great U-23 coach and one who should be able to form a squad that gets to travel to Beijing in 2008. As it is most often times understood that the U-23 coach is usually the primary assistant coach of the Head Coach of the USMNT, moving Bradley into this role makes sense. Have Bradley start the program up again, get the guys working and bringing new faces and be in a perfect situation to form the Olympic squad for CONCACAF qualifying.

So based on looking at this with a very blinded viewpoint, appointing Bradley the U-23 Head Coach, with interim National team status, USSF hasn't laid as big an egg as we all thought yesterday.

Now if you take the blinders off, this type of announcement should have been made once Chivas USA were eliminated from the MLS playoffs and the USSF still needs to find a Head Coach. I want, and I think a lot of other people want to have Sunil Gulati explain exactly where the SNAFU with Klinsmann occurred. Because you have to figure that he was the guy who was getting the job, from Gulati's eye.

If they were going to hire Pekerman or Queiroz, the situation would have been different. Pekerman is still without a job, so he could have moved right in and started his reign, and started his English classes. Queiroz is currently Sir Alex Ferguson's right hand and SAF has already shown that he will allow Queiroz to take off from Old Trafford for a head Coaching position, so there is little reason to believe that Queiroz would have asked for USSF to hold off until May 2007.

This all leads us back to Klinsmann. If Gulati was not going to hire Klinsi, why did the reports of Bradley get dropped on the heels of Jurgen withdrawing his name? Why would the press conference happened today and not last week? Klinsmann was the Mann, but not anymore.

On thing to re-examine is something I saw that Mike H. at My Soccerblog posted yesterday:

"Only a few people know all the reasons, but when I read that my mind went back to Bruce Arena saying Gulati is a micromanager." - My Soccerblog

If the cause of the break down in talks was the authority issue, be it authority over match scheduling, or authority over player selection or such, it does make on think that Arena was correct in Gulati's micromanager status. Micromanagers, in fields where you have to have multiple people running many things, like a sports team, do not work.

Take the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL for example. Jerry Jones bought the team and made his own changes. Jimmy Johnson won Jerry two Superbowls. After the second Superbowl Championship (Dallas' 4th overall), Jerry started to impose more of his own ideas an opinions on the coach, he even said something to the like of, "I didn't buy the Cowboys to just own them," or something like that. Jimmy left, and they failed to get to the Superbowl the next season. Granted they won it next season, wasn't that the last time they really had a powerhouse team? Didn't they get embarrassed in the playoffs against the Arizona Cardinals, at Texas Stadium no less? Jerry Jones owns the Cowboys, and as he owns them, he has every right to do whatever he wants with them. Sunil Gulati doesn't own the USMNT, so his micromanager persona should be checked at the door.

I hope that the interim that is attached to Bob Bradley's title is a real one and not just a smokescreen (there's that phrase again). Bradley is a good coach, but he hasn't got what it takes to get the USMNT to the next level, which is to consistently perform outside of CONCACAF, against countries outside of CONCACAF. Bruce Arena got us to this level, Bob Bradley looks to be only able to keep the USMNT at that level at a time that we need to be reaching higher.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4:56 PM  
Anonymous jay said...

is klinsmann really out of the picture? or is bradley just buying time for gulati to pick up negotiations with him a little later, and under less scrutiny?

1:33 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

What we know right now is that Bradley will be the USMNT Head Coach at leasst until May. USSF has targeted May as the deadline to find another coach or to remove the interim lable from Bradley's title. Klinsmann might not be out of the entire picture, but unless someone changes their minds, I doubt he becomes the next coach. I expect Queiroz to be named the next coach after the Copa America.

8:11 AM  

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