Four members of the New York MetroStars coaching fraternity could have jobs heading various national teams at next summer's World Cup. Bob Bradley, in charge at the Meadowlands from 2003-05, led the U.S. national team to first place in its CONCACAF qualifying group. Bradley was the MetroStars' seventh head coach; the third was Carlos Alberto Parreira.
Last week, the South African soccer federation reappointed the Brazilian Parreira as its national team coach. Bafana Bafana supporters hope Parreira can duplicate some of his 1994 magic, when he led Brazil to World Cup glory in the USA, rather than his 1997 mediocrity, when he led the MetroStars to a 13-19 MLS record. Parreira's predecessor on the MetroStars hot seat was Carlos Queiroz. The former Real Madrid boss took over from Eddie Firmani during MLS's inaugural 1996 season and posted a 13-14 record in East Rutherford, including a first-round playoff loss. Now Queiroz finds himself in the playoffs for a World Cup place with Portugal, who need to make an unscheduled stopover in Bosnia-Herzegovina on route to South Africa.
Lastly, Bora Milutinovic, who led the MetroStars for one game in 1998 and all of 1999, will likely lead a team in South Africa. Milutinovic, who has coached in five World Cups with five different teams, is a man for hire. After coaching Iraq in this past summer's Confederations Cup -- his latest short-term assignment -- Milutinovic has said that he wants to return to South Africa next June. Published reports out of China last week suggest that his new home might be North Korea, which recently qualified for its first World Cup in 44 years. Despite a successful qualifying campaign, the current head coach, Kim Jong-Hun, is on the hot seat. North Korean leadership does not want to be embarrassed on the world's biggest stage next year and has been head-hunting for help.