Bob Bradley led the U.S. men’s soccer team to plenty of exciting moments since becoming the coach of the national team in 2006. There was the 2007 Gold Cup victory by beating rival Mexico. Then came the unforgettable win over Spain in 2009, which ended a 35 game unbeaten streak for the country and helped lead the U.S. to the Confederations Cup finals. And there was last year’s thrilling win over Honduras in the World Cup to help the team win its group for the first time ever in the tournament.
However Bradley was fired as coach of the U.S. men’s team this week, after a disappointing Gold Cup loss to Mexico. The U.S. was the favorites against a young Mexico team but came up short in the finals matchup, falling 4-2 to its neighbors to the south.
Bradley was given a contract extension last summer to coach the team through 2014 but the team began to stall under Bradley and some believe it had already reached its ceiling, which was really only because of a miracle goal by Landon Donovan that helped the U.S move on in the World Cup.
''We want to thank Bob Bradley for his service and dedication to U.S. Soccer during the past five years,'' Gulati said in a statement. ''During his time as the head coach of our Men's National Team he led the team to a number of accomplishments, but we felt now was the right time for us to make a change. It is always hard to make these decisions, especially when it involves someone we respect as much as Bob. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.''
Thanks to a friendly rematch with Mexico coming up on August 10 in Philadelphia, the U.S. must move quickly to decide exactly who will become Bradley’s replacement. The federation did say it will have a “further announcement” on Friday but failed to provide any specific details.
So where will the team turn for a new coach?
Many suspect former German coach and player, Juergen Klinsmann might be a candidate. Klinsmann has been linked to the U.S. team for quite some time. Before Bradley was hired in 2006 and re-signed last year, the federation spoke with Klinsmann.
The U.S. certainly doesn’t have too much time to break in a new coach as it begins World Cup qualifying in June. It is not yet certain who its opponent will be as it will be chosen at random on Friday but they will have a coach by the time the matches begin to count.
Photo courtesy of The Associated Press.