By Mark Vincent Lincir

If you put your money on Bob Bradley getting rehired as the United States National Team coach, I commend you on your victory, but scoff at your imagination. When will it get better? When will US Soccer get it right?
Maybe someday, but not today.

Sporting Lisbon/Bayern Munich Champions League 25.02.2009 PHOTO: FOTOSPORTS INTERNATIONAL/Action Press Bayern Munich manager Jurgen Klinsmann celebrates goal

So many people wanted US Soccer to go a different direction and hire somebody new, say somebody like Jurgen Klinsmann (photo). But after Jurgen went off on international television during the World Cup about the United States and how we have the pyramid inverted…did you really think US Soccer was going to hire a guy like that?

NO WAY…not today, not ever.

The reality that Jurgen Klinsmann will never coach the U.S. National Team is something that all fans who want him in there need to accept now. He was in the mix after the 2002 Bruce Arena mess in Germany. His name was brought up time and time again after this past World Cup, but the deal still isn’t done…so just forget it.

Maybe he’ll become the Technical Director for US Soccer…who cares! That would be a great waste of Jurgen’s talents…having him write yet another curriculum that nobody in this country will follow. So US Soccer chose to continue to plod along the same path it has for many years now…a coach leading the charge who has never been there as a player or coach (the late rounds of the World Cup that is)…and we’re continually expected to expect better.

It won’t get better unless a drastic change is made and that did not happen this time around. Don’t tell me we don’t have the players to get to the later rounds, because we do! The United States would have beaten Ghana had Bradley not started Findley and Clark. Can we please stop celebrating the 2010 second round exit as some kind of massive accomplishment?

The United States made it to the second round in 1994 and the quarterfinals in 2002…the expectation to go to at least the second round in every Cup is there, but should not be celebrated like we were raising the Cup over our heads.

There is a great expectation nowadays for the United States National Team. The stakes have been raised. The exposure is greater than ever before. The manager has more choices of full time pros than any coach before him ever has. Settling on mediocrity to save a few bucks and to keep control is not the right way for US Soccer to go about this.

It should have been Klinsmann instead of Bradley this time around…but that would have been too simple, it would have made too much sense and it would have forced US Soccer to loosen its grasp of the situation just a little bit more than it would have liked. And therein lies the biggest problem of all.
The only good thing about rehiring Bob Bradley is that nothing really matters for another four years. I could coach the team through qualifying…then we will all hope for a good draw and more luck than we had in 2010 (if that is humanly possible)…then we will go in with the same coach and many of the same players and expect a different result. That’s the definition of insanity, isn’t it?

Mark Vincent Lincir is the Editor-In-Chief of You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook too!


  1. As far as BRUCE ARENA’S rant about only an AMERICAN should coach AMERICANS…well that is such crap, yes the last three guys have been pretty much in that mode, but really every other coach in my lifetime has either been brought in from overseas, like Bora Milutinovic or Dettmar Cramer… or a stray professional player hanging around the states at the time, Phil Woosnam, Gordon Jago, Gordon Bradley or Manny Schellscheidt etc…or were foreign born “ethnic” community guys like Walt Chyzowych, Alkis Panagoulias, Lothar Osiander or Bob Gansler…so just what in hell does he think even makes someone an “AMERICAN” anyhow? About the only other “white bread” American guy I can remember was Al Miller…so we have a LONG history of having either Foreign or at least foreign born coaches running things…but nearly always Brits, Germans or Eastern Europeans… not a great deal of Latin influence then or now… and it shows in just how few Latinos have been making it through the ODP/rich White Suburban pipeline lately.
    Until we find some real way other than to depend on College soccer to develop the bulk of our teams, both National and MLS, we simply will continue to lag as these guys age… AND THAT at least as much as just who is coaching the National Team will continue to be a major factor in just how much depth the US team has. I believe that Jurgen Klinsmann touched a raw nerve on this point and THAT is one of the reasons that the Soccer House guys went with the lame very conservative choice of Bob Bradley.

    Until we make use of the Latino, Asian, Inner City and Rural players…rather than those coming from the suburban pay to play, “name” club teams and from ODP that is set up to mainly identify those whom are on a college track, not necessarily a PROFESSIONAL track… we will continue to under preform no matter WHOMEVER we hand the keys to the car to!!!

    But certainly Klinsmann would have been a great improvement!

  2. Rather than rant about Bunker Bob…which I’ve done nearly non stop over the past week, let me say that it is clear that this team is going to need to be rebuilt, that especially in the defense players are getting to the point in their career’s when they really can’t be expected to go another full four year cycle…and from what I have seen of Bradley, he is loath to change much of anything unless injuries force him to do so, think Spector, Altidore or Davies a year ago, if say Ching or Hejduk had been healthy, none of these guys would have seen much real playing time. So we are facing a case of a coach that has set ideas about his players and even though he likely will need to cull a good third of his player pool, will still stick with his favorites and under use or just plain ignore others…think Kljestan, Bornstein or Beasley rather than Torres, Buddle or Castillo. So long as we stick with this coach we also stick with an over reliance on Route One direct play, 4-2-2-2 formation and playing Clint Dempsey too far back and wide of net to get the best out of him… NOTHING here is likely to materially change and it simply WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH at this past World Cup so why would it likely be good enough in the next one?
    By sending down a second rate squad to the last COPA AMERICA US Soccer and BOB BRADLEY managed to insult CONMEBOL, and hence now we are NOT invited back, so if we don’t manage to beat MEXICO in LA next year in the GOLD CUP, we WON’T qualify for the next edition of the CONFEDERATIONS CUP and if the proposed changes to CONCACAF’s World Cup qualifying do go through…we could be looking at having no real high level competitive tournament to play in until well into 2013…this is NOT going to test much of anything and outside of our u-23 Olympic team… not likely going to get us ready to be ABLE to compete even if we are lucky enough to continue to qualify for Brazil ’14. The signs here are pretty ominous and the fact that Bradley was handed a full four year contract and that Gulati and Flynn and the boys over in Soccer House don’t seem to think that was such a poor move…means we’d better get used to mediocrity as a general plan.
    And yes I’m VERY VERY angry…why did this come down to ONLY two candidates… so they didn’t wish to deal with Klinsmann, does that really mean the ONLY other viable soccer coach on the planet was Sponge Bob? Hey Turkey got it right in hiring GUUS HIDDINK…there MUST be another ex professional player with real TEACHING and COACHING experience out there!???
    So yes VERY VERY ANGRY about all of this!

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