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Bradley's Appointment Nothing to Shout About
ESPN Soccernet, May 17th, 2007 3:31PM
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ESPN Soccernet columnist Jeff Carlisle takes the contrarian view in the permanent appointment of Bob Bradley as U.S. national team coach. Nothing to celebrate here, he says: "While this development will be praised in many quarters, the only good news I can make out of it is that this sad, tortured process has now reached its fitful conclusion."

It was an ugly process made worse by the fact that U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati was forced to settle on "a coach who was probably his fourth or fifth choice." Carlisle isn't sold on Bradley as U.S. coach. Carlisle would have preferred a coach with international experience to get the job done at the World Cup when it counts. Getting it done against South American and European opposition at a World Cup is different than winning a few friendlies at home (which the U.S. has been doing consistently for nearly a decade). Bradley is an American coach in and out, which could either be to the team's advantage or disadvantage. The first real test is this summer.

Like most pundits, Carlisle says the big loser here is U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, who made a firm statement of his "ineptitude" through the "complete mishandling of the process." Gulati bet the ranch on Juergen Klinsmann and lost. Our take: Perhaps Gulati should have offered the Klinsmann the concessions he wanted instead of being the micro-manager and "super-fan" Bruce Arena accused him of after his departure from the post last July.

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