Tag:Gold Cup
Posted on: July 29, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 1:00 pm
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U.S. Soccer names Klinsmann new USMNT coach

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's not an exaggeration: the dreams of thousands of U.S. Soccer fans have finally come true.

After years of flirtation on both sides, the U.S. Soccer Federation has named Jurgen Klinsmann head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team. Klinsmann replaces the largely-unpopular Bob Bradley, fired yesterday after five up-and-down years at the helm.

Ask most fans of the USMNT and they'll tell you going from Bradley to "Klinsi" represents the biggest coaching upgrade since Lou Holtz replaced Gerry Faust at Notre Dame. That might seem like an overreaction for a coach with only two meaningful stints on his resume, one as the manager of his native Germany's national team for the 2006 World Cup cycle and another at the helm of Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. 

But Klinsmann's relative inexperience does nothing to outweigh the perfect combination of credibility and familiarity his hire represents for the USA. Many internationally-recognized managers might have listened to the USSF's offers, but thanks to Klinsmann having moved with his family to the Los Angeles area more than a decade ago, none of them have anything resembling his knowledge of the U.S. player pool and American mindset. 

The prospect of hiring any coach with the immediate credibility that comes with being a national hero for one of the globe's great soccer nations -- not to mention guiding that nation to a stirring, surprising World Cup semifinal berth in 2006 -- would be enough to get U.S. fans salivating. Combine that with Klinsmann's understanding of the position and the U.S. roster, and it's not possible to draw up a more appealing candidate.

Which is why USSF head honcho Sunil Gulati and Klinsmann have had on-and-off back-table discussions regarding the USMNT job for years. Klinsmann has reportedly had serious reservations in the past about his level of control regarding U.S. player development and roster construction, with Gulati allegedly balking about some of Klinsmann's demands.

But with Bradley looking more and more unfit to coach another four-year World Cup cycle following the recent 4-2 capitulation to Mexico in the Gold Cup final (not to mention the inexplicabe 2-1 defeat to Panama in the tournament's group stage), Gulati and the USSF may have felt the time had come to meet Klinsmann's conditions.

Given Bradley's documented flaws and the rarity of national team coaches anywhere lasting through two World Cups, it's worth asking what took the USSF so long. But it's also worth applauding them for making the neccessary move now. For U.S. Soccer, it's hard to imagine that Klinnsmann's arrival won't be the very definition of "better late than never."

Posted on: July 28, 2011 3:15 pm
 

Bob Bradley out as U.S. Men's National Team coach

Posted by Tom Fornelli

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Galati made a rather unexpected announcement on Thursday that Bob Bradley has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the United States Men's National team.

“We want to thank Bob Bradley for his service and dedication to U.S. Soccer during the past five years,” said Gulati 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.” 

Bradley took the job after the United States' poor showing in the 2006 World Cup, and while he had some success with the team, his tenure was most memorable for the near-misses and for coming up just short. While Bradley was able to lead the men's team out of group play in the 2010 World Cup, a 2-1 loss to Ghana in the elimination round. Which served as a harsh reminder of when the U.S. team lost 2-1 to Ghana in the 2006 World Cup, a loss that kept the team from advancing to the knockout stage.

A loss that led to Bradley getting the job in the first place.

Bradley's latest teams struggled to advance in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which included a 1-0 loss to Panama, the first time the U.S. had lost in group play in the Gold Cup. The team would make it to the finals, but lose to Mexico 4-2 after taking a 2-0 lead.

No replacement has been named, but U.S. Soccer does have another announcement set for Friday, in which an interim manager may be announced. 
 
 
 
 
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