Tuesday’s column: Bradley’s standard certainly not Gold

i-5b63224cc5fcfe6cd1cbc64e09c51f84-adureturns.jpgIs Freddy ready this time? One-time prodigy Freddy Adu returns to the national team for the Gold Cup ((AFP/Getty Images).

The pool of international class American players is small.

The nation’s best players often get lost in the mix at foreign clubs and their skills stagnate to the detriment of the national team.

Bob Bradley’s job at the helm of the national team is a constant and delicate compromise.

And yet, there’s a nagging doubt that Bradley does himself no favors.

If his best quality is persevering with talented players who have yet to consistently demonstrate them, his worst is persisting with players of limited skills who consistently play their part in giving up early goals, make elementary errors or are just not good enough.

Now there’s a suspicion that some players may be turning down the opportunity to play for Bradley, sensing perhaps a lack of vision and leadership both on the field and off it.

And it appears Bradley is running out of ideas on how to maximize his limited resources.

My take on the Gold Cup roster and the state of the national team under Bradley is here.

What say you?

Noted: Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was called into Jamaica’s Gold Cup squad.

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    It sounds like Bob was scrambling last minute to fill the roster after a bunch of dual nationals decided not to lock themselves into the US. Namely Mix Diskeruud, Tim Chandler, and Teal Brunby. I guess that comes with courting these kids. You can get mad and force them to choose, but that just means they will choose someone else.

    I found this statement interesting: “Now there’s a suspicion that some players may be turning down the opportunity to play for Bradley, sensing perhaps a lack of vision and leadership both on the field and off it.”

    Is that your suspicion or have you heard it from others?

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/soccer Nick Green

    Let me clarify: It’s my suspicion.

  • Inigo Montoya

    Stagnation, even back-sliding since the improvements of the 1990s and the early part of the last decade.

    The 2002 Gold Cup/World Cup team would beat the 2011 Gold Cup team. Given the huge changes and broad improvement in world soccer in the last decade, how can this be happening?

    The 2011 squad matches up on a few positions, but not overall. Agudelo maybe now with Donovan then, Dempsey now with Reyna then, Howard now with Keller/Friedel then, Bradley now with Armas then, and the central defending now vs Agoos. But nowhere are they better, and in so many positions they compare badly.

    And that’s saying nothing about the coaching. I’d certainly take Arena 2002 over Bradley 2011. How can this be happening? Like England, we’re being left in the dust.

  • Vahak Tcharkhutian

    Bradley reminds me of Sampson, wrongfully chosen to be the US National team coach. He has no experience, knowledge and decision making skills to be and act like an International football coach. He continues to make the same mistakes over and over, the best example is calling the same 3 mediocre, loser and UNEFFECTIVE players that he PERSONALLY likes (Bornstein, Klejsten and Rogers) over the better players like Badoya, Brad Davis and Todd Dunivant. Not sure what and how much longer will it take to replace him, I hope will be before the next World Cup or losing to Mexico in the upcoming Gold Cup might do justice.