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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.
Coach Francisco
Sunday June 26, 2011 12:17 pm
Well, Paul, I've done what you asked and slept on it, and I still cannot bring myself to take back my words, though I must admit that as someone who's been around this huge soccer block that this wonderful country is, it is difficult to find a solution, other than to suggest that the entire US Soccer MNT system needs a complete overhaul, and not just a tune up. I read in another article that perhaps the next coach ought to be Wilmer Cabrera, but I do not agree as he is still learning the ropes of that which is the good old boy network within US Soccer. So, until that inevitable change happens, well, it will be a case of "same-old-same-old!" Buena suerte, USA!
Sunday June 26, 2011 11:59 am
I really am ashamed of my team today...

How do you go from 2-0 (basically won the game) to 4-2 in the end?
It really is a disgrace and I can't even make excuses...

subbing in Bornstein was the biggest mistake and it definitely was no coincidence that we went down 4-2 after that sub...

I blame us losing on B Bradley, Bornstein and Eric Lichaj...bottom line.

One thing that is impossible not to notice is our defenders and midfielders lack of doing ANYTHING they can to kick the ball away when it's in our half or even more important our box...

they just stand there and watch the Mehecans run right past us....
I watched the copa del liberantes (Brasil) Santos FC vs Panerol or whatever the teams name is and I can tell you I wish we played like Santos Fc's defense.. everytime the uraguayan team had possesion of the ball Santos defenders would do ANYTHING to get the ball out of play..
we lack that and it's all due to Bob Bradley and his stale style of play.

please please please hire a European coach.... I hope to see in the headlines of espn tomorrow that bradley has been let go and we are on the search for a real coach who knows what he is doing..

I am truely embarressed to be a USMNT supporter today, I hope that can change by 2014 as I will be in Brasil with my brasilian girl friend and I'd rather not be shamed yet again in her home country...
Sunday June 26, 2011 11:55 am
Well, I have slept on it.... We all knew that disaster was abound when Bornstein was selected to be on the team for the Gold Cup in the first place. ... When he was subsituted on in the final match, then most of us who read Yanks Abroad knew the victory margin would diminish. I did not realize it would go so quickly. The first two goals rest squarely on the shoulders of Bornstein but how Bradley does not know what we all know just baffles me. So, ultimately the decision of fielding such a player is the responsibility of Bradley. Changes do need to be made on many levels.
Sunday June 26, 2011 11:50 am
I've wanted him gone for a while. The American team needs someone who has a track record of winning the big games. The world is full of football managers who can get the job done.
Sunday June 26, 2011 11:46 am
We have been talking about this for a while, Edgar. And I agree that Bob remained at the helm of our team because the Federation did not have either the 'huevos' or desire to look for a replacement. The question now is, "whom WILL take control and make the necessary changes to make the U.S. Competitive again?"
Lawndale FC
Sunday June 26, 2011 11:18 am
Well, here we are again. A buildup of emotions is being poured out onto the blank slate that is the Internet. I love the passion I am reading in everyone's posts and in the article. It is elementary to the growth of the sport in our country.

As for coach sweats, he has to go. We would all love to see Klinsmann at the helm (definitely myself). The reality is, it won't work with the current crop of senior players. Instead, we need an American like Sigi (my personal favorite choice) or Jason Kris who applauds individuality and flare in a players game.

It is time for an awakening in our country. Too much talent is being underdeveloped or simply overlooked. USA USA USA!
Sunday June 26, 2011 10:04 am
I could not agree more. Bradley must go. We expect our players to serve on foreign teams in foreign lands to hone their skills, why do we not expect our coaches to do the same.

We need a coach with an international pedigree, with imagination, with creativity, and with the understand, knowledge, and insight that comes from competing day in and day out in overseas, to be able to know what to do in a wide variety of situations to win games and tournaments.

Kudos to Bradly for all he has done, but he needs to step aside and make room for someone else who can take the US to the next level. Bradly does not even seem to be able to keep the US at THIS level.

All the best Bob. Sayonara.
Sunday June 26, 2011 9:34 am
GET TO THAT POINT?? The USA beat Mexico in WC 2002...and a number of times including the famous 4-0. To say the USA would finally be good enough....actually this is REGRESSION...many people have pointed out Bornstein was a rediculous sub....I even cried out at the pub when he was brought in....is this BRADLEYS vision.....no spector..no boca to ream shift...no edu....Mexico was already showing signs of running all over the US defense.....I believe the USA has much stronger players and depth now...but it needs to be sorted out the right way on the field....if you cant beat the big teams you need to find someone who can do that for you....the Bradley era MUST end...in time to prep the next WC......and all respect to Mexico who played very well and looked like winning from the start despite 2-0 down....best to their COPA run....Mexico now gives the USA respect in other regions of the world.....those US fans that hate Mexico and want to see them "suck" are missing the fact that the US will be dependent on Mexican American talent in the future.....lets embrace! Viva USA!
Sunday June 26, 2011 9:15 am
Edgar- thank you for so eloquently saying what was exactly on my mind. I completely agree with every word. Thank you!

Coach Francisco- You are also correct and thank you for your help with US soccer at every level. We finally have the creative talent in this country and their legs are tied up. Mr. Gulati has done some amazing things for the development of US Soccer but I am telling you that we are missing out on a huge amount of talented and creative players because we are not looking in the right places…
Sunday June 26, 2011 9:09 am
the ineptitude is staggering.
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