- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On June 18, 2009
- 16 Comments
- Bob Bradley
First of all let me just say that today’s result for the US national team was depressing but not to a new low. I know for a fact that I’ve seen worse out of the national team but it sounds like today will be a day that a lot of people will scream even louder for the dismissal or resignation of Bob Bradley as our national team coach.
For me its a bad move to can him or have him resign (unless that is something he wants). I still think the direction of the national team is going where it needs to be but a lot of folks have some serious unreal expectations surrounding this group.
Today just wasn’t a good day. Its hard to play so tough for 90 minutes a couple days prior against the defending World Cup champions in Italty and then face a side that is just as tough if not better in Brazil. Mentally and physically it is just tough. If anyone had thoughts or hopes that the US would even be on an even playing field with either of those two should be kidding themselves because we are still miles away from their quality.
Sure Bradley didn’t make the best of moves in his roster selection today but to be honest would we really have seen a difference in some of the other guys that are on the ConFed roster? I really and truly doubt it folks.
Let’s be real here, its not that we are ready to get rid of Bradley, it is a matter that we just can’t come to admitting as US soccer fans. We just aren’t were we thought we’d be by now with this bunch. The level of play continues to get tougher against the likes of Brazil, Italy, Spain, Germany and other countries that we continue to struggle against.
Its hard for us as a country to admit when we are not the best since we are typically the best at nearly every sport. But I know deep down that we are still miles away as a country from being a soccer powerhouse. The athletes just aren’t there as much for us as they are in other countries. Talent wins and compared to countries were soccer is king we just don’t compete the way we think we should.
I’ll give you a couple things this bunch is missing in a big way:
Leadership: Think back to that 2002 side, they had a bunch of young underdogs and a few gritty veterans that lead them to the quarterfinals of that Cup. Fast forward to today and look at the roster. Name one quality leader, not caption, leader of this group. Frankie Hejduk comes to mind but when he isn’t playing with the national team the leadership is visibly gone.
Size: Look at the other countries in Europe. Their size is killing our side anytime we go head-to-head. Sure Brazil and Argentina aren’t as big as we are in physical size but their talent is far better. A little more size and strength could go a long way for us. Tough part is all the good sized athletes in the US pick soccer 4th or 5th after football, baseball, and basketball.
Development System: Say what you will about Bradley he at least knows our funky system in the US. Be honest about the US system right now. Its far better than it use to be and will continue to get better with youth academies getting bigger and stronger. Thing is those things take time.
I’m sure there are other things that could be mentioned but let’s take a step back and cool off here. Its a busy summer for the boys and if things continue to get worse (lose early in the Gold Cup, lose in more qualifers, etc.) then maybe letting Bradley go is the right thing. I just believe changing coaches in the middle of qualifying season can be really tough on a national team.