Bob Bradley’s out, and tomorrow, in all likelihood, we learn the replacement1.
I’m not a Bradley hater or apologist. I think he’s a fine coach, even if he’s tactically limited/cautious, too attached to “trusted” players”2, and lacks the appropriate personality for the grandest stage3. He’ll probably pop up somewhere in MLS next year and have a fine career to follow, maybe even fine enough that he gets a second chance at the adult table someday.
The refrain I’ve always fallen back on in the face of the Bob Out! brigade is “who else have you got?” True, Bradley always seemed a stopgap, a safe choice though hardly an ideal one. But that made it all the more frustrating when you started to look at options for his replacement.
I guess the bottom line for me is that Bradley would have qualified the US for Brazil 2014 in unspectacular style and then presided over the inevitable meek bow-out. By rolling the dice you take the risk of complete implosion in the qualifiers for a chance at doing something special at the big dance.
Worth the risk? Probably. Depends on the cards you’re holding. Your pardon if I’m not convinced that Gulati, et al have a winning hand.
All the smart birdies are atwitter over Klinsmann. That smells like disaster to me. Just a hunch. ↩
Even if I’m not entirely confident a replacement will work wonders, if it means we never see the likes of Bornstein and Kljestan again, I’ll be a happy fan. ↩
I’ll grant you the poor starting lineup choices as well, but please don’t rely too heavily on the nepotism card. Michael Bradley is one of the best we’ve got in central midfield, though I’ll grant you that his form after riding pine for Villa should have put him on the US bench for a spell. ↩