Thursday, December 07, 2006

Now that I can breathe again....

Wow. That was a sudden change in temperature.

For the last two months, people have been expecting that Jurgen Klinsmann, former World Cup winner and leader of the Mannschaft, would become the next head coach of the United States Men’s National Soccer team. Hell, most people already had Klinsi’s name on the office door. So much for that idea.

This all started with Fox having an article by Jamie Trecker confirming that Klinsmann had signed a contract that the USSF was just holding off on announcing things. Then several news outlets started running reports that the deal had not been finalized and that the USSF was still working on finding the new coach. Trecker still continued to defend his article on his blog and state that we just needed to give the issue time to unfold.

Well, unravel is more like it. Trecker’s own bosses ran the story first, claiming that Klinsmann has withdrawn his name due to being unable to agree with the power sharing of authority over the national program. Then CNN/SI posted their article, one which pretty much said the same thing, but really dropped a larger bombshell on us all. Bob Bradley, the current (well, former now I guess) head coach of Chivas USA is now the interim USMNT Head Coach and could become the full time coach in the near future.

As a friend of mine said in an email, “We had a choice between instant legitimacy and more MLS bred nonsense - guess which we chose?!”

The USMNT lays down worse than a girl on prom night at the World Cup, after all the hype and build up. The USSF then fires Bruce Arena, the guy who took the USMNT from a state of wholly hell and turned it into a credible CONCACAF power, one that could beat anyone in our region on any given day. Instead of having a guy waiting in the wings, Sunil Gulati waits until December to announce that Bob Bradley is the head coach?

Jurgen Klinsmann was the best thing that could have ever happened to the USSF. He would have given instant swagger and made our boys into men. Gulati claimed that the search for the next coach was not being rushed because he wanted to be sure that it was done right. Doing the right thing would have been giving Klinsmann whatever the hell he wanted. If he demanded he be carried around the training grounds like a Roman Emperor, then you hire guys to carry his chariot.

The USSF was made a fool in Germany, and now they have been made a fool by their actions. Giving someone a temp job, as Bradley seems to have right now, does nothing but set the USMNT up for failure. I almost don’t even want to watch them play anymore. I need a drink.

I need more time to see how this pans out, but any hope the US had at really recovering from the World Cup pretty much went away today.


Blogger Mike H said...

The sad thing is Bradley is a good coach, but after the build up for Klinsmann, he looks like crap in comparison.

Gulati has made this whole process into a fiasco. What high level coach would want to touch the program now?

5:03 PM  
Blogger The Manly Ferry said...

You've outdone yourself with this post, Brian. Excellent point about how bad the six month lag looks assuming the USSF settles on Bradley.

Liked it so much, in fact, I had to post it. Nice analysis.

Gulati's laid a major egg on this. Every slip the U.S. men makes will now pass through the lens of, "would this have happened had we hired Jurgen?"

7:02 PM  

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