[U.S. SOCCER] U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said Bob Bradley's experience and record outweigh the danger of "things getting stale." For his part, during the press conference announcing his four-year contract extension, Bradley explained his "vision" for the next cycle.
“The most decisive factors were experience, the record over the last four years, in games that mattered, especially,” said Gulati. “And frankly we had weigh that against something Bob and I spent a lot of time talking about, which is this issue of eight years and whether things might get stale. …
“In the end, I came to the conclusion that the experience and the record and the work over the last four years overcame any issues about staleness.”
Bradley guided the USA to the round of 16 at the 2010 World Cup, better than its winless first-round exit in 2006 but short of the 2002 run to the quarterfinals during the two World Cups with Bruce Arena at the helm during his eight-year tenure.
“We’ve had more stability and that’s a positive,” said Gulati. “We’ve had a lot of discussion about the positives and some of the freshness issues that have been discussed. And all of the positives greatly outweigh all of our other concerns.
“We have a coach who’s coached 80 some games internationally and that’s experience Bob didn’t have four years ago. That’s clearly a plus.”
Said Bradley, “Keeping an environment fresh and sharp is what coaching is about. You can be on the job for a short time and if you lose your concentration or you get caught up in other things – credibility is put to the test everyday as a coach regardless if you’ve been on the job for four years or four days.”
Bradley, 52, has compiled a record of 38-20-8 (win-loss-tie) record, won the 2007 Gold Cup, finished runner-up at the 2009 Confederations Cup, and finished first in Concacaf qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
“I’m very, very excitied to continue in role,” Bradley said. "I certainly believe the work we’ve done in the last four years, the experiences we’ve had, will really work for us as we put one cycle behind us and begin the process of the next four years.
“It’s a good thing to look hard at what’s taken place. Really do inventory. The things we did along the way we that we did well. The things that we can continue to improve upon.
“And now put all of those different experiences into a good plan and a vision that I believe will take us further in the next four years.”
Asked to the describe the vision, Bradley said:
“A vision means as a team we take the qualities that we have, our mobility, our athleticism, and we combine them with continued attempts to improve in terms of our understanding the way we create chances, the way we move. …
“Technically, while we’re not yet at the level of the top teams, we continue to be a team that is improving technically and that shows in our ability to pass the ball well to create chances. And to combine those things in an overall team concept.”
For U.S. Soccer's transcripts of the Gulati-Bradley press conference click HERE.