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Thursday, December 7, 2006

Klinsmann Says Auf Wiedersehen

Earlier today, Juergen Klinsmann, the cold stone lock, according to various media sources, to be the next coach on the US men's National Team, removed himself from contention. No precise reasons were given, but perhaps Professor Gulati encountered a "student" that knew more than the teacher. We may never know for certain; however, a press conference has been called for tomorrow. Ostensibly, to name Mr. Bob Bradley, the present coach of Chivas USA, as the next, or interim coach, of the US National Team.

For the US to lose such a big name and talented man will not be lost on the soccer world. Especially as the search has gone on for months across the world. Coach Bradley has never played professional soccer. Nor has he ever represented his country at the international level as a player. His predecessor, Bruce Arena, had one international appearance against Israel, and one year of professional soccer with Tacoma of the American Soccer League in 1976. Mr. Steve Sampson, who coached the National Team before Mr. Arena, never played professionally.

Coach Bradley, a graduate and long-time coach of Princeton University, has an impressive coaching dossier. He has been involved with three MLS championship teams as either an assistant or head coach (DC United in 1996 and 1997, along with the Chicago Fire in 1998.) He also coached the Red Bulls of the MLS. For many years, he assisted Coach Bruce Arena at the University of Virginia. His son, Michael, plays professionally in the Dutch First Division. His brother, Scott, was a professional baseball player. Another brother, Jeff, is a writer for ESPN. He lacks international experience at this level, but given his background, no doubt he will be a quick study.

The US team has two important tournaments this summer: The Gold Cup and the Copa America. Let us wish Coach Bradley and his staff all the best to move the program forward.

Bob Bradley on ESPN

1 comment:

Merengue said...

Nice blog. I thought I'd add a few comments myself. The problem with losing out on Klinsmann and signing Bradley as coach, even if it is on an interim basis is that it is more of the same thinking from USSF.

Bradley reportedly is a dedicated worker and his club teams have played pretty entertaining football so he likely will be able to do ana dequate job as US coach but bottom line is he is just another version of Bruce Arena. The same type of coach from the same school of thinking. This was an ideal opportunity for the US to hire someone different, a Jurgen Klinsmann or a Jose Pekerman to come in and bring new ideas and a new way of playing to the US. The fact that it didn't happen because the federation wished to assert too much control over the new coach means this has been a lost opportunity for US soccer to move forward.

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