EDGAR ZUNIGA - Sunday, June 26, 2011
Bob Bradley must go.

He is done.

If Sunil Gulati has a pair, he will sack up and do what must be done before US Soccer is damned to another World Cup cycle with Bob at the helm.

When the Federation was unable to come to terms with anyone to take over for Bob after World Cup 2010, it seemed that they settled for Bob because he is a sure thing to get the US into Brazil 2014.

Mark my words: it will not be easy.

Well, it's never easy when you have to go play in claustrophobic Central American stadiums and the gaping maw of Azteca Stadium. However, under Bob's second term, the US has plateaued and may even be experiencing a dip in performance.

Bob has taken this team as far his sterile, unimaginative, robotic system can.

Look back at all of Team USA's successes under his command and you will notice a pattern of the US winning important games based on grit and determination - a hallmark of US Soccer.

The goal by Giovani dos Santos that sealed the game at 4-2 was a thing of beauty, as he deftly eluded frantic US defenders to finally curl that shot over Tim Howard. You will NEVER see a player under Bob's tutelage do something like that because he abhors that style of play.

The only player that comes close to doing anything similar to that now is Freddy Adu...and where has he been all this time? If Adu was not playing his butt off in the beginning of the game with his individual play, the US would have never scored those first two goals.

Bob must go.

He has become a detriment to the growth of US Soccer and visibly lacks the tactical knowledge to get the US to the next level of evolution.

Take for example what the Mexican team has done. They had become nonchalant against other CONCACAF foes, including the US. They were the giants in the region and had reached a point where they were resting on their laurels.

Then, the US experienced a sudden increase in skill and athleticism to go with that trademark grit and Mexico suddenly found themselves knocked to the dirt looking up at the Stars and Stripes.

It took them a while (God knows the Mexican Federation is a corrupt mess), but they finally stopped trying to match the US and instead focused on getting past them and to that next echelon by encouraging individuality and rewarding imagination - two things you will never see Bob do.

Watching a Bob-led training camp is pretty simple. He tells the players what he expects of them and then they go out and do...exactly what he tells them to do. They know that if they do not conform to his standards or - God forbid - step out of line by trying something different, they will not make the cut.

Think that a kid that gets called in to training camp will impress Bob with nimble ball-dribbling skills and sick moves? Nah...he wants guys that will fall in line with his lame tactics and style of play...that never change.

Why do you think the US got absolutely destroyed by Spain in that friendly before the Gold Cup?

Why do you think Team USA had such a hard time in this tournament? Why will they continue to have a hard time in World Cup qualifying with Bob at the controls? It is because the other teams already know what to expect from him and the team.

As long as Bob remains in control, things will just get harder for the US.

And, you can only win so many games just on grit and determination alone.

Interestingly enough, believe it or not, there are people out there that still support Bob. Be it blind devotion to the National Team coach (no matter what), or they just have a thing for a robotic fella who stands by and blinks as his team gets reamed, they think Bob is the bee's knees.

Allow me to give you a verbal slap. SLAP. Snap out of it. Bob is not the answer. He is not the future.

You would think that after all this time he would have figured out something to do with the eternally porous backline that is the USA's Achille's heel. But, all we see is more of the same, and other teams know to exploit that.

Look at what happened in the Gold Cup final when Steve Cherundolo went down. Bob could have moved some guys around, maybe moved Carlos Bocanegra out to the left, and brought in Oguchi Onyewu or Tim Ream to the middle. No. He brings in Jonathan Bornstein, who lost his starting spot with Tigres UANL in the Mexican Primera Division and amassed an astounding 274 minutes of play this past Apertura 2011 season.

You think it was a coincidence that Mexico went on a tear after Bob subbed in Johnny B.?

Hey, just saying.

Somewhere, out there in this vast nation of ours, the future superstars of the US National Team are waiting to be discovered. They are flamboyant. They have tons of skill. They have the confidence to take on two or three defenders when needed.

However, you will not find them playing on some fancy club team or high-profile high school team. They are sons of Mexican and Central and South American parents and can be found playing in parks, parking lots and street corners.

But, the way the current system is set up under Gulati and Bob, the only US jersey these kids will ever put on will be the one they buy in a store. In fact, don't be surprised if they end up playing elsewhere.

As it is now, with Mexico absolutely destroying the US (in what has been a mostly dismal Gold Cup), CONCACAF teams can all smell the blood in the water and will come out with more confidence, knowing they can beat a wounded Team USA.

You think that losses like this don't have lingering psychological effects? After being up 2-0 in their second international final and losing miserably, this one will hurt for a long time. For US supporters, especially the newer generation that had grown up with the US handling Mexico on American soil, it will feel rather uncomfortable to deal with the verbal abuse from Mexican fans (and you will hear it).

For Team USA, it is a fall from what was already a shaky pedestal.

But, try as he may, Bob doesn't have what it takes to get the job done.

Sorry, but getting to the World Cup isn't even a guarantee anymore.

Bob is at the end of his rope and it's time to cut him loose.
Wednesday July 13, 2011 4:07 am
Nice article mostly but I do not agree with blaming bob on creativity, American kids are not taught to build individual skills from ground up, that is why u mentioned, a Mexican or south American heritage in the mix, because you think their talents are natural, no, they train from the age @ which they can control a football n never give up on that determination, to become the next Pele, maradona, messi etc. But this style of play is frown @ here in the US, kids study football as a subject. Watch a college football game n see how boring it is. We must open the doors for all to enter, not just a selected few, I watched the U-17 play n was impress with a few individual performances, but wat happens from here, do we encourage those talents or introduce this static playing style. Bob, must go, infact, the Ussf must be revamp n we have people in ere who can open the door fall everybody, not just a selected few
Saturday July 9, 2011 2:41 am
yes, please fire bradley. did the usa forget how we normal beat mexico (defense, counterattack and set plays)? leading 2-0 we get beat over the top!! why didnt the usa drop into a defensive shell? then we get caught on a counter attack?!! bad clear by lichaj. finally another bad clearance by boca like in 06. any other coach would have won that game. the usa is a poor mans germany or england. we are never going to out skill mexico. embrace power soccer for the near future.

we need skillfull and athletic defenders, stop picking the biggest and slowest. in attack the usa is without ideas. get rid of altidore, because he breaks up to many attacks(ballhog). bench bradley.

up top should be agadelo . in support dempsey and donovan. jones, edu and holden in the midfield. castillo ream demerit and chandler in defence. 4 3 2 1 and play counterattack!
Tuesday July 5, 2011 8:17 pm
Easy to fire Rongen. Why cant we get rid of Bradley?? ussoccer has failed to to capitalize on great american talent. Rossi,Subotic,Hoyos-3 starters that could have easily filled gaps in South Africa.... Can u only imagine Howard, Dolo, Gooch, Subotic, Boca, Demps, Bradley,Edu,Landy, Davies, and Rossi. USSF sux.. and develpoment is to blame.
Tuesday July 5, 2011 11:16 am
I agree Bob needs to move on, but it is not due to a lack of talent. He has enjoyed the largest talent pool of any US coach with more people playing in Europe than ever before.

Flair and individuality are not what will improve our team. Dribbling through 2 or 3 defenders may look slick, but it does nothing to foster possession and understanding between the players.

What we need is a football brain at the head of the team and the USSF. Bradley has a limited one, and it's better than what the USSF dished out in the past. Gulati has none. He is a business man looking to squeeze every dollar and ounce of fame from his position of power. He's in bed with the MLS, and it is compromising the interests of the national team, as well as the sport as a whole in this country.

Klinsman publicly stated he did not want the job due to a lack of control, and I fear inclusions like Rogers, Feilhaber, and Wondolowski were more marketing ploys than carefully measured selections. It's incompetence or meddling, and neither are acceptable.
Saturday July 2, 2011 6:16 pm
This is in no way to defend Bradley:

But last I checked, all any coach can do is manage and coach the talent he has on hand. And flat out, without question: US talent remains limited across the board.

So while Bradley deserves significant criticism for his player selection, certain player loyalties and tactics, no coach - none, zero, nada - can win consistently at the highest level with limited talent. THAT is the story here, folks, and that has little to do with who the US coach is. It could be Ferguson, Klinnsman, whoever - the results would improve only so much.

How many US players would start for any true soccer power in the world? Right, perhaps one (Tim Howard), two max.

You want to direct your venom at someone or some thing - direct at the right place: the US system of finding and developing talent. Thank god it seems more and more young Americans are heading straight to Europe and Mexico to develop in the youth programs of professional clubs.

Getting increasing numbers of young American talent to develop and compete at the highest professional levels, is far and away the key to US national team success. Last I checked the world's top national sides are virtual all-star teams of professionals plying their trades Europe.

So while I agree Bradley needs to go, I think the emphasis should be on the ROOT issue: our continued lack of top-flight talent.
Paul Sanders
Thursday June 30, 2011 3:55 pm
Bravo! Finally an excellent article that is right on the money! Bradley must go...not in a few years, but immediately and replaced by a coach like Klinsmann. I fear that if we continue this way, there is no guarantee that we will qualify for the next world cup. As for the players, we need to find and bring in more young promising players in the mix. The U.S. team needs to go to the barrios to find playmakers like Adu.....not in the Ivy League colleges. The college system doesn't work in soccer, and coaching there is iffy. Bradley seems to have something against short creative players. But when you look at teams like Barcelona, it's not the big and athletic guys who carry the team...it's the smaller skilled playmakers.
Thursday June 30, 2011 3:29 pm
Yanks abroad has the best writers in U.S soccer the only writers that get it. they tell it like it is, a way brent latham did when he was here, now at espn he tows the ussoccer line like every writer there.

It is nice to see us journalists tell the truth rather than just fans. Sunil Gulati has no balls nor do he know anything about soccer. USsoccer has no imagination, as any mid table la liga, serie A, Bunedsliga, or EPL manager (David Moyes would be a hell of a coach for USsoccer, no manager in the world does more with less). I'd take any top manager in Argentina or Brazil, but USsoccer has no one who knows anything about the international game, and live in a small minded bubble, the managers of estudiantes la plata, velez sarzfield, santos I would all throw the boat, but USsoccer refuses to look at any other international coaches than just klinnsman is a joke.
Wednesday June 29, 2011 7:51 pm
There was an interesting article a while ago summarizing a book that analyzed the success of managers in the EPL based on the transfer fees and salaries of their squads. What the book did was to predict how teams should performed based on the finances behind the squad and then rating managers based on that. Applying that formula to US vs. Mexico and right now Mexico should be dominating the US on a regular basis; there is really no comparison between the US and Mexico right now. The transfer fee that Chicharito alone right now would command, lets say $50 million, would just about cover the transfer fee that our starting 11 would command. Throw in Dos Santos, Marquez, Barrera and Guardado and it becomes clear that the talent gap is massive. Players command big salaries and transfer fees because the best scouts and managers in the world rate those players as being top dollar. Bradley continues to be the most successful manager the US has had; give Bradley a world class player like Chicharito and a supporting cast of seriously skilled players and he would start looking like a genius too. And in conclusion compare Bradley's results with any US manager since 1990 when we started qualifying for World Cups again, and it is clear that he is the cream of the crop - throw out the friendlies when the US and the other team might be experimenting - just look at the World Cup, World Cup Qualifying, Gold Cup and Confederations Cup, and Bradley is ahead of all of his predecessors.
Rob in MLB
Tuesday June 28, 2011 6:16 pm
While I don't completely agree with this article, as I think we have for the most part scored goals pretty well under Bradley's tenure, I certainly agree with its main point, which is that Bradley must go. My main issues with Bradley are:

(1) tactically unsophisticated- while we score a decent amount of goals, it seems to me that we do this almost in spite of our tactics. I chalk our relative offensive success up to having a great generation of American attacking talent (basically, Donovan and Dempsey).

(2) Our back line, other than RB, has gotten progressively worse and worse over his tenure and is now just absolutely atrocious, especially when you consider how much Tim Howard covers up for them. I can't believe American soccer has evolved to the point where our back line is the glaring weak link on the team. Much of it seems to be the repeated inability to handle basic offensive tactics, like diagonal balls, which absolutely comes down to coaching.

(3) We consistently start slow. If it only occurs once or twice, it is a player issue, if it continues over and over again, it is a coaching issue.

(4) Bad player decisions. His allegiance to Bornstein is reason enough to can him. It has been completely obvious for the last 4 years that Bornstein cannot compete at this level, and that he effectively spots the other team at least one goal, and in the case of good teams, 2 goals (which he did against Mexico). Bradley' repeated insistence on using him is absolutely inexcusable. There are others as well (using Ricardo Clark for as long as he did comes to mind), but Bornstein is the worst.
Jimmy Jim
Tuesday June 28, 2011 12:33 am
EXCELLENT article. It's about time someone has a pair to write the truth! So many other sites are scared to write about it??? Bradley is putting US Soccer back years each month. What other country would keep this joker after the Panama game??? (BTW, what other country would give Borenstien 38 caps???) What a joke! It's like a broken record begging for Jurgs, but I'll keep playing it until they do so you all keep fighting the good fight too!
Page 1 of 6
1 2 3 4 5 6  Next »

Email (will not appear on the site)


Join the YA Email Alert?

Comments are moderated and will be posted if they are on-topic and free of profanity, abuse and spam. HTML and links are not allowed.


Pellegrino Matarazzo and VfB Stuttgart got their Bundesliga campaign off the ground on Saturday with a win over Mainz.
Marsch Wins Coaching Honor
American Trio Wins 3. Liga Title
Konrad Commits To Barcelona
Matarazzo, Stuttgart Eye Promotion