Bob Bradley Signs Extension to Coach US National Team Through 2014
U.S. Soccer provided no additional details or quotes from either Bradley or president Sunil Gulati, who met late last week in Los Angeles. Reports then surfaced that Gulati had resumed his pursuit of former German national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann, who had rebuffed him in 2006. There was never any confirmation of that rumor, and no other names surfaced as potential candidates. Meanwhile, Bradley expressed interest in a possible move to England, but nothing materialized.
The decision likely seems rest on the fact that each represented the best option for the other. U.S. Soccer was not going to be able to entice or afford a coach with a better resume that Bradley, and Bradley was never going to be considered a viable candidate for a high-profile job in Europe. It was either the national team or a vacation, followed by a return to Major League Soccer. That isn't a very difficult choice.
Bradley accomplished quite a bit in his first four years on the job. He led an American team to first place in a World Cup first-round group for the first time since 1930, defeated Spain on the way to the 2009 Confederations Cup final and won the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup. His overall record was 38-20-8.
"Bob is honored to be the U.S. coach," Bradley's agent, Ron Waxman, told the Associated PRess. "It's a job he enjoys very much, and he's very happy."
His predecessor and mentor, Bruce Arena, also coached the national team for eight years. His second term ended with a winless exit from the 2006 World Cup. Some thought the message may have gotten stale. Gulati clearly is willing to take that risk with Bradley, likely because no one more qualified can be found and hiring someone less qualified would constitute an even bigger gamble.
After signing the contract, Bradley will begin preparing for exhibitions against Poland in Chicago on Oct. 9 and Colombia in Philadelphia on Oct. 12.