For U.S. Men's Soccer Team Coach Bob Bradley, The Pressure is Now Officially On
The U.S. Men’s’ National team laid a big time egg in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Saturday night, losing 2-1 to Panama.
Needless to say the Americans first Group loss in Gold Cup history couldn’t have come at a worse time for Coach Bob Bradley – given that the game took place a week to the day after a terrible 4-0 loss to world Champion Spain in a ‘meaningless’ friendly in Foxboro, MA.
As far as the Gold Cup is concerned, losing to Panama isn’t quite as devastating as it looks on paper because the game was part of the Group Stage – which to the uninitiated is the first round of a soccer tournament where every team plays each member of its Group once. Because the US beat Canada in its opening match, Landon Donovan, Client Dempsey & co. can (and should) still advance to the 2nd Round by beating CONCACAF minnow Guadeloupe on Tuesday night.
But the Panama loss was a bad one for Coach Bob Bradley…and one that inches him all the closer to an early dismissal as National Team coach.
You see, Bradley being brought back for a 2nd World Cup cycle wasn’t exactly met with enthusiasm by the majority of national team supporters. In fact, it was a bit of a surprise given U.S. courting of German legend Jurgen Klinsmann immediately following the South Africa World Cup.
There is a general feeling among many that after 12 years of the Bruce Arena/Bradley ‘system’ of coaching (both have similar approaches) it might be time for a fresh (i.e. top level European) approach.
Sure Bradley won some big games in the Confederations Cup – Spain being one of them. And he got the US past the Group stage at the World Cup. But his teams have had this nasty habit of starting games slowly, falling behind more often than they should with periods of listless play, then coming on strong in the 2nd half of games and pulling out results.Continued on the next page