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Bob Bradley Gets Fired at Bad Time

Written by Cody Steger

With all the talks of the NFL free agency week and the MLB trade deadline being Sunday, soccer has been kicked to the side burner as soon the women’s World Cup was finished.  The latest FIFA world rankings were announced on Wednesday with Spain holding the number one spot, while the United States dropped all the way to 30.

This sparked a huge debate in the clubhouse of the United States soccer Federation, and head coach Bob Bradley was consequently fired.  It comes after a disappointing finish in last month’s Gold Cup when a more-talented Mexico squad smoked the USMNT by the score of 4-2.  Bradley took the reigns of head coach in December of 2006, almost four years before the World Cup in South Africa.

The Americans were feasting for a new identity, especially with a lot of talent sprouting all around the team.  His son, Michael, blossomed into a strong midfielder quickly and became a catalyst on a team that included Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey.  Now that the United States seem to have a believable motto and squad, it was all torn apart with the firing of Bradley.

While Bradley hasn’t been a perfect coach during his stay for the USA, it doesn’t warrant a change especially with about a year until qualifying begins for the next World Cup and the Olympics next summer.  The stability in the midfield is as firm as it may ever be, the goalie situation is brilliant, and the chemistry was steady.

There are a handful of young players who are looking for a chance to make a difference.  Juan Agudelo, the young striker who has made his mark this season for New York, and Jozy Altidore are the two strikers that the US has relied on the past few years.  Freddy Adu seems to be a player on the rise once again, and Stuart Holden is still conditioning back from his injury.  The defense is in shambles with a bunch of young prospects littered across the board.

Bradley was able to combine the veterans and the new blood together with some ease.  His record was 42-25-12 at the helm of the USA.  His best coaching came in 2009 in the Confederation’s Cup when the Americans took down favored Spain and almost did the same with Brazil.

The search has already begun for the United States to find a new head coach.  There were a lot of talks last summer with Juergen Klinsmann, the former manager of Germany, but Bradley was instead given a contract extension.  Another name out there is up-and-coming MLS coach, Jason Kreis.  Things will have to move quick as the next game is scheduled for August 10th in Philadelphia with a rematch against Mexico.

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