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Bradley, Like Sampson, Has Everything to Prove

Don't believe Bob Bradley if he says that he doesn't feel he has anything to prove. The guy's track record is great-in fact, it might be the best among U.S.-based candidates for the national team post-but he has absolutely everything to prove. He even has a predecessor: Steve Sampson took over on an interim basis after the end of the Bora Milutinovic years in 1995. The question is whether or not to look up to him. Sampson, of course, eventually got the full-time job, and kept it through the U.S.'s dismal showing in the 1998 World Cup. Frank Dell'Apa says that if Bradley is still in charge this summer and the USA does well in the Gold Cup and the Copa America, anything's possible for Bradley. Sampson, by the way, was in the exact same position in 1995, leading the USA to the U.S. Cup title and the semifinals of the Copa America. Dell'Apa says that Bradley will most likely be replaced-if not this year, then next, because he will be thoroughly occupied with U.S. Olympic team duty in 2008, just when World Cup qualifying starts getting serious. "By then, Klinsmann could come back into the picture." Even so, "this is not a shining moment for the U.S., and Gulati is going to be subjected to criticism." Well, he's certainly already receiving a fair amount of criticism-it's now on Bradley to prove him, and everyone else, wrong.

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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