Tuesday’s column: It’s time for U.S. to dump Bradley

i-c96234c2aae3c871a56b1fc2c4a1872b-bradleystands.jpgThe U.S. is a team with obvious limitations on the field, does the team need a coach like Bob Bradley, above, who clearly has limitations of his own? (AP Photo)

Question: who had more to do with the U.S. run to the round of 16 in the World Cup, Coach Bob Bradley or playmaker Landon Donovan, scorer of three goals in four games?

If you believe it’s the latter rather than the former where does the U.S. national team program go from here?

Here’s my argument for one potential solution in today’s column.

In World Cup news today:

*FIFA President Sepp Blatter today apologized to England and Mexico for bad calls that cost the two nations goals – and possibly games – and announced soccer’s world governing body will look anew at goal line technology. More here.

*Japan’s World Cup dreams evaporated today by the slimmest of margins: penalty kicks.

Next: 11:30 a.m. today ESPN Spain-Portugal, the final game of the round of 16.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • The Wolf

    Great column this week Nick! I think you definitely convey what most regular supporters of the USMNT are feeling after that Ghana defeat.

  • http://www.ericpz.com EricPZ

    Notice how Blatter apologizes to England & Mexico for bad calls which went against them (yet wouldn’t have chanced the outcome of the matches) but hasn’t said (that I’ve seen) anything about the two bad calls which cost the US points.

  • Studs Up

    Bradley choked at the wrong time with his game plan for the Ghana game. Given the overt euphoria created after the dramatic win over Algeria and the short recovery time, he should have packed it in and gone conservative to start off the game. Player selection is an easy target for all the day-after coaches.

    Big boys Donovan, Dempsey and Howard could not deliver over the course of the game. Blaming poor Clark for all of our problems gives way too much credit to the other players un-deservedly. Bradley’s poor pass set Clark up for failure and Howard’s poor positioning was the reason the goal was scored. These errors happen on each team but only resourceful teams can overcome them. When they are repeated then the ineffective coaching is to blame and Bradley should pay the price for that failure to correct. I have yet to hear any US player or coach use the word “I” in accepting blame except poor Ricardo Clark. I respect him more than the rest of them combined.

    Replace Bradley for a fresh start but don’t expect any miracles with any replacement given the technical limitations of the US players.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    EricPZ, Blatter will never apologize regarding the calls affecting the U.S. Doing so would hurt his standing w/his cronies…not that his standing is all that great to begin with, but his cronies are the type of people who “hate” the U.S. for any reason, no matter how flimsy.

    Studs Up, you raise a great point. The fundamental problem lies not with Bradley but with player development in this country, and that problem will take quite a while to sort itself out to the point where the U.S. can field the kind of players that Spain, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, etc. field on a regular basis.

    Nick, here’s the pivotal question for me: Is Bradley willing and able to grow as a coach on the international level, and has he shown any tendency to do so during his tenure? That’s key because the federation has pretty much exhausted its domestic options; Sigi Schmid and Peter Nowak haven’t coached beyond U-23 level, and Steve Sampson and Fernando Clavijo — the only two U.S. coaches to coach outside the country — aren’t serious candidates to replace Bradley. Also, whom can the federation get from outside? Queiroz? Scolari? These people don’t grow on trees, to coin a cliche.

    Sure, Klinsmann might (and I emphasize “might”) be available. But if Gulati is still the federation’s president, why would he bother…unless Gulati has radically changed his position on control, which someone like Klinsmann would need to make the changes in player development that the national program needs.