Peso for your thoughts?

After spending the day reading up on the aftermath of the American collapse in Mexico, I figured I would chime in with some thoughts on various talking points from across the American soccer world.

On Charlie Davies

Davies’ emergence as the top American striker should come as no surprise to people (of which I am one) that have been calling for him to get playing time since he burst on the scene with Hammarby in 2008.

His combination of pace and finishing ability has been evident since his time at Boston College, and while he didn’t immediately catch on with Ajax after his trial in 2007, Hammarby was thrilled to get him to Sweden shortly thereafter.

While the rest of the US team was largely ineffective against Mexico, Davies was a bright point that illuminated Azteca throughout the game. It was clear from the whistle that the US plan, or what little of one there was, was to capitalize on the speed difference between Davies and the Mexican defenders. He was a full step faster than any player on the pitch, but it wasn’t only his speed that made him so effective – it’s his innate understanding of offensive runs.

One of the big things I harp on with offensive players (think Robbie Rogers circa Gold Cup in June\July) is that too often the faster ones are too predictable in their runs. Davies, however, never seems to make the same run twice, darting in short and long angles both behind and in front of the defenders. For a player so young and relatively green on the big stage, Davies’ abilities as a striker are pretty remarkable.

That’s not to say that Davies still doesn’t have quite a load of potential in him, as there are numerous areas where he can improve. As good as his finishing and run-making abilities are, he struggles when forced into a 1v1 or 1v2 situation. He hasn’t yet figured out how to make his decisions quicker than he moves his feet, causing him to trip up and lose his momentum when attacking a defender. A couple of times in the Mexico game he got ahead of his midfielders on a run but was faced with 1-2 defenders to beat for a shot, which he caused him to slow significantly and lose his footing with the ball. With time, coaching, and an extended run of form at the top levels, this will improve. He’s got the requisite imagination in his feet, with stepover and cut abilities – it’s just a matter of him learning to speed up his decisions and getting put in more situations like these.

————

On Stuart Holden

Maybe it’s only me, but I’m not sure what the hype is about with this kid right now. He’s clearly talented and a good athlete, but I’ve yet to see much reason to think he’ll ever be more than an above-average midfielder in MLS or with the USMNT.

He’s got a penchant for high-quality passes, both long and short, but he doesn’t seem to have outstanding vision (like Feilhaber and Bradley do) from the middle of the field. Unfortunately, he’s not a particularly strong winger in that he hasn’t shown the ability to keep wide and make runs past defenders. He has a pretty strong tendency to drift inward on the pitch, leaving quite a bit of space open on the wing and subsequently cluttering the area that our strikers typically operate in.

If we were a team that played with a traditional #10, or even a Milan-like formation with 2 playmakers behind a striker, I think Holden’s place would be clearer and his value higher. But, I’m just not sure I see his value in a 4-4-2, 4-3-3, or any variation of those that we run out.

Yes, I understand he plays some in the middle for Houston, but it’s often as a support to the striker and not as a traditional central player. For the US, he has problems with possession and has too loose of a touch to be a viable option ahead of stronger players like Bradley, Feilhaber, Jones, or Edu.

For now, I’m not buying the Stu Holden stock. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if his career mirrors Sacha Kljestan’s, as right now they’ve got similar issues (turnovers) when playing for the Nats.

————-

On Carlos Bocanegra

I will agree with almost everyone that he struggled against the pace of Dos Santos, Vela, Castillo, Sabah, and Guardado, but at some point we have to stop our search for a left back and stick with someone.

Given that Bocanegra is the most fundamentally sound of our choices (and also most likely to start a boatload of games between now and the world cup), I’d hope that we would work on him at left back from here on out. He plays there for Rennes and should stay there until he retires for the US.

Why not move Bocanegra back to the middle? Jay DeMerit. DeMerit’s upturn in form over the past year and his fantastic play in the Gold Cup mean we now have a truly intimidating spine to our defense with him and Onyewu. While Bocanegra is a gifted and savvy center-half, he’s not a physically dominating presence like DeMerit. On the international stage, World Cup teams often have physical strikers and physical midfielders that can overpower smaller teams. Moving Bocanegra permanently to left back makes us “bigger” because DeMerit gets to play in the middle.

For those of you that will counter with “But that makes our backline incredibly slow”, just remember that we’ll also have the “empty bucket” midfielders sitting in front of our defenders.  While that doesn’t make us inherently faster, it helps limits the effectiveness of a team relying heavily on speedy forwards (see Spain with Torres and Villa) by giving the center-halves extra protection.

At the end of the day, too, Bocanegra is simply our best option. Jonathan Bornstein isn’t an international quality defender and Heath Pearce needs to find a club and get himself into form.
————-

On Brian Ching

I’m wondering how many people came away saying “See, that’s what we’re trying to say about Ching – he’s simply ineffective” and how many came away saying “No, he lacked service”?

Against a reasonably weak Mexican backline, one missing its best defender (Marquez), Ching was entirely unable to make himself useful. With a ref unwilling to call fouls on the Mexicans for Ching’s flops, he was relegated to some weak efforts at turning toward defenders – none of which worked.

Did he receive the best service ever? Nope, but we’re not exactly a squad full of Xabi Alonsos and Andrea Pirlos either. The service is never going to be world class, so why is that excuse a good one?

At some point, the US setup needs to jettison Ching in favor of players that can make themselves effective in more than one way. Guys like Davies, Cooper, and Altidore can do some of the hold up work, but they can also make themselves useful in runs on and off the ball – something Ching is unable to provide. While it’s great to say “Ching is our best’ ‘hold up’ player” and “he does a lot of little things", he’s also incredibly one-dimensional on a team that often lacks firepower.

There is also an issue with Ching’s usefulness as a sub. He’s not a game-changing forward in any way, and his introduction to the squad as a sub typically has a negative effect on the team’s play. If we’re heading to the world cup with Jozy and Charlie as our top strike partnership, how prudent is it to bring Ching as a bench player? With Kenny Cooper off to a good start in Germany and his penchant for scoring as a sub with the national team, it might end up being for the better for Bradley to bring Cooper ahead of Ching in 2010. There will be plenty that balk at that, but from a tactical standpoint, Ching doesn’t make sense in this squad if he’s not a starting forward.

Unfortunately, it’s highly doubtful that anything I just said makes any impact whatsoever. But, it feels good to write it anyways. We can only hope Ching gets a few more matches and continues to be useless…

————

On Bob Bradley

There are quite a few people praising Bradley for making the subs in the Mexico game, but why are we giving him credit for fixing mistakes he made in the starting lineup?

It’s one thing if Bradley starts a top-notch lineup and then makes subs to try to impact the game, but it’s another when he’s doing damage control on a lineup that was largely dominated in its time on the field.

With his main decisions backfiring throughout the game, Bradley was forced into his decisions – not something we should be praising him for.

While I am undeniably hard on the US coach, not all of it is without cause. I’m underwhelmed with his ability to impact the game from the sidelines, namely through making good use of subs. Too often I get the impression he makes subs for the sake of change, and not because he’s trying to change up the flow of his team and get the most out of his players.

Also, it has to be said that Bradley has yet to make great use of his best players. I get the feeling that we’re jamming square pegs into round holes by somewhat forcing this group into a defensive, conservative “empty bucket” formation. With plenty of speed and skill to burn up top, it’s counterproductive to slow this group down by playing a lumbering target striker up top, whether alone or paired with another striker. Bradley insistence on playing this formation and using certain types of players (Ching as a “target”, Clark as a “defensive mid”, etc) has hindered our development as a team.

I would much rather see a coach open to moving players around on the field a bit more, rather than sticking ardently to specific “roles” on the field and trying to fit the personnel to those roles. With a national side, it should be the opposite – the coach should be fitting the formation and tactics to his personnel. If the US were a country with a vast talent pool to choose from, being married to a certain style and formation would be less of an issue, but with a limited pool of quality players it becomes a significant hindrance to success.

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8 Responses

  1. Has Bob Bradley ever watched his son play for his club side? Micahel Bradley goes forward with well timed runs, yet on the national team he never crosses the half way line.

  2. Any update on the EPL games on ESPN? I’m not sure if a deal is done since the Hull City-Chelsea game isn’t on my program guide?

  3. I am in concurrence with you about Bob Bradley (and happy to say that the Fire Bob Bradley Now! blog is back up and running!). He is just an idiot. He doesn’t recognize when a system doesn’t work, and needs to be changed. And he doesn’t recognize when a NEW system (e.g. the counterattacking, Davies/Altidore combination up top kind of system that we found in SA) works better than the old, and continuously failing system. Now, I hate to bring politics into the system, but Bradley reminds me of the ultra-conservatives who, last fall, wouldn’t admit we were in a recession until the recession enveloped the country. He just refuses to recognize that there is a flaw with the current system, and that something needs to be changed. To him, it’s all about playing experienced and possibly over-the-hill players (Ching, Mastro, Klejstan, Beasley, Bornstein, even Dolo to an extent), and letting the youngsters (Davies until necessity in the Confed Cup brought him off the bench, Torres, Spector) rot away on the bench. He expects them to develop on their own, but the only thing that can help them develop is PT on the International stage. Fortunately, we’ve been blessed with Davies, who seemed to come out of nowhere this summer (yes, I WAS one of the people who were pleasantly surprised at his performance), but otherwise, younger guys just look scared and timid when they get their first minutes, and as a result, Bradley decides not to play them in the future (with the exception of his son, who has grown into a great player when he is on his game).

    I am, quite frankly, sick and tired of him. We need some change (cue the Obama puns), and soon. We can’t just employ this tired style of “target strikers” and the prevent defense forever; we’ve got to move forward and use our speedy players to the best of their abilities in the attack. If we have any sort of success next summer, it will be because of the raw talents and abilities of guys like Jozy, Davies, Donovan, Bradley Jr., Gooch, Tim Howard, and Dempsey; not because of Bradley Sr.’s coaching abilities (or lack thereof). He has done nothing but slow our progress for quite some time. I have to think that if we had a different coach in the Confed Cup, we would have at least drawn with Italy (because Feilhaber would have been on the pitch instead of Rico), and still probably would have beaten Egypt and given Spain a dogfight (I still like our chances there; the style we played that game was a perfect counter to their own and we executed brilliantly; I imagine it would have been the same with a competent coach on the sidelines).

    It is nice to ponder about these things, but the cruel, hard reality is, we are probably stuck with Bobo for at least one more year- if Gulati doesn’t decide to give him an extension like he did with Arena. We are certainly poised to make a decent run in SA next year, if all the right pieces fall into place (Ching being injured again, playing the same style, Edu and Jones being available, Donovan, Dempsey, and Davies being in form, Howard coming up big as always, and the back four remaining solid and being thoroughly dominant in the air). As I said before, regardless of Bob Bradley’s ineptitude, this team has the talent to be successful. And I would expect them to be somewhat successful next summer, unless we wind up in a group with Holland, Brazil, and Germany.

    • Kevin,

      “And he doesn’t recognize when a NEW system (e.g. the counterattacking, Davies/Altidore combination up top kind of system that we found in SA) works better than the old, and continuously failing system. ”

      He is the coach that brought in this “new system”. I am aware that Ching’s injury influenced this but, unless you tell me you are privy to the inner workings of the US team, you don’t know if they were going to go with Davies – Altidore anyway.

      As head coach, Bradley gets the credit or the blame for what happens with this team. The notion that everything bad is his fault but everything good is down to the players or someone else is what I call a fantasy league kind of notion, i.e. concentrated, and processed horse manure. Want proof? Look at England under McClaren and then under Capello. Same player pool, slight variation in tactics, England under McClaren CRAP, England under Capello, maybe WORLD championship contenders.

      ” Now, I hate to bring politics into the system, but Bradley reminds me of the ultra-conservatives who, last fall, wouldn’t admit we were in a recession until the recession enveloped the country. He just refuses to recognize that there is a flaw with the current system, and that something needs to be changed.”

      Do you talk to Bradley on a regular basis? Otherwise that’s just your opinion based on your outsider’s observation of the team. No pro coach is candid with the media about a team’s failings. He isn’t going to tell the truth to the media, which is that, in MY OPINION, there are more talented players available to the US giving us more depth. However, the nature of that depth is a mile wide but an inch deep. US players are getting better all the time but SO IS THE COMPETITION. Howard is the equivalent of Freidel, Gooch may be as good as Pope but the midfield (including Dempsey and Donovan) have not replaced Reyna or JOB and the strikers have not replaced McBride. The current cast has potential and have shown flashes but consistency remains a problem. Whether the team can achieve and maintain that consistency when it matters and on a regular basis is what Bradley should be judged on.

      ” To him, it’s all about playing experienced and possibly over-the-hill players (Ching, Mastro, Klejstan, Beasley, Bornstein, even Dolo to an extent), and letting the youngsters (Davies until necessity in the Confed Cup brought him off the bench, Torres, Spector) rot away on the bench. He expects them to develop on their own, but the only thing that can help them develop is PT on the International stage. Fortunately, we’ve been blessed with Davies, who seemed to come out of nowhere this summer (yes, I WAS one of the people who were pleasantly surprised at his performance), but otherwise, younger guys just look scared and timid when they get their first minutes, and as a result, Bradley decides not to play them in the future (with the exception of his son, who has grown into a great player when he is on his game).”

      Take a little time and research the history of national teams around the world. National teams do not develop players. The US will have played 15 or so games this year, in a wide variety of circumstances. And this is an unusual year because the 2 Tournaments are mixed in with World Cup qualifiers. And we the fact that those are games you need to try to win usually cuts down on your experimentation. So national teams are not together long enough nor do they play often enough for player development as most people would see it. Players have to develop for the most part at their respective clubs. Davies’ showing for the US is concomitant with his improvement at Hammarby. Would you care to name me debutants who looked scared and timid on their debuts? I remember Davies, Cooper, Jozy, Feilhaber, Simek, Torres, Demerit, Holden, and Perkins looking okay. Casey looked shaky but he may have had the least amount of orientation time of any of them and it was a high pressure situation. And all of these guys look like they may have a shot at being regulars. The young players who do not look good when they play for the US, like Adu, get no playing time at their clubs. I would criticize Bradley for wasting a roster spot on the soccer equivalent of Ryan Leaf. I would have told Freddy to get a regular spot on a club then we’ll talk. But Bradley has a history of trying to help along our “out of club favor” players (Adu, Pearce, Jozy, DMB and EJ) and they aren’t even blood relatives (as far as I know). By the way Bradley junior was, and remains, a regular at his club when Bradley senior started working him into the US setup. And, Bradley junior is a very good player with potential. He is not, by any means, a great player. Jozy seems to be the one exception but he better hurry up and change his PT situation.

      ‘I am, quite frankly, sick and tired of him. We need some change (cue the Obama puns), and soon. We can’t just employ this tired style of “target strikers” and the prevent defense forever; we’ve got to move forward and use our speedy players to the best of their abilities in the attack. If we have any sort of success next summer, it will be because of the raw talents and abilities of guys like Jozy, Davies, Donovan, Bradley Jr., Gooch, Tim Howard, and Dempsey; not because of Bradley Sr.’s coaching abilities (or lack thereof). He has done nothing but slow our progress for quite some time. I have to think that if we had a different coach in the Confed Cup, we would have at least drawn with Italy (because Feilhaber would have been on the pitch instead of Rico), and still probably would have beaten Egypt and given Spain a dogfight (I still like our chances there; the style we played that game was a perfect counter to their own and we executed brilliantly; I imagine it would have been the same with a competent coach on the sidelines).
      It is nice to ponder about these things, but the cruel, hard reality is, we are probably stuck with Bobo for at least one more year- if Gulati doesn’t decide to give him an extension like he did with Arena. We are certainly poised to make a decent run in SA next year, if all the right pieces fall into place (Ching being injured again, playing the same style, Edu and Jones being available, Donovan, Dempsey, and Davies being in form, Howard coming up big as always, and the back four remaining solid and being thoroughly dominant in the air). As I said before, regardless of Bob Bradley’s ineptitude, this team has the talent to be successful. And I would expect them to be somewhat successful next summer, unless we wind up in a group with Holland, Brazil, and Germany.”

      If pigs had wings they might be able to fly. In terms of reality, the US reached the final in the Confed Cup and the Gold Cup, has seen the rise of some new players, some of whom could be a solution to long standing problems and is still likely to qualify for the World Cup. Bradley has done about as much as anyone could reasonably expect especially given the negative condition of the team when he took over after a bad 2006 World Cup. If we get to South Africa our first choice lineup may feature only 4 holdovers (Howard, Gooch, Los, and Donovan).

      Would I replace Bradley senior with Fabio Capello, Guus Hiddink, Jose Mourinho or someone just as good? Absolutely. Klinsmann? Don’t make me laugh. So unless you’ve got one of those top guys lined up, I see no reason to change the coach. The US is a real team not a fantasy league team. It doesn’t run on would and could and should.

      • “Do you talk to Bradley on a regular basis? Otherwise that’s just your opinion based on your outsider’s observation of the team.”

        Really? No shit, Einstein. What do you think blogs like this are for? To vent our OPINIONS based on OBSERVATIONS. None of what we say matters. It feels nice to get our thoughts out there, but of course what we say has no influence on Bob whatsoever.

        “Take a little time and research the history of national teams around the world. National teams do not develop players.”

        This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get them International experience whenever possible. They did a decent job in the Gold Cup, but there are a few more guys who should have gotten callups.

        “Would I replace Bradley senior with Fabio Capello, Guus Hiddink, Jose Mourinho or someone just as good? Absolutely. Klinsmann? Don’t make me laugh.”

        Did I once mention the name Klinsmann in my post? I don’t recall doing so. To be truthful, I would rather have Dominic Kinnear as our coach right now, because of the way he turns struggling Americans into stars and the way that he gives new faces a chance while still giving his vets enough PT to keep them happy- unlike Bob Bradley. You are 100% wrong that National Teams aren’t supposed to develop players; what would be the point of the Gold Cups that don’t mean anything with regard to Confederatiosn Cup qualification then?

        Defend Bradley all you want; I will never rest until the man is gone (or takes us to new lengths in the World Cup BECAUSE of his coaching, not just because of luck or the will of the players overcoming his inadequacy). He is holding us back at a time when we need to move forward with guns ablazing to help the sport grow to new levels in this country.

  4. Kevin,

    I’m not defending Bradley per se. I’m defending the position. I didn’t want him named as coach in the first place and, if you couldn’t get one of the big boys, Kinnear or Yallop would have been preferable. But you should give Bradley credit because given the circumstances, he has done about as well as can be expected. Of course with Kinnear you probably would still have everyone’s favorite whipping boy, Ching, around.

    Kinnear has high level of control and time to work with his players in Houston. Would that he have the same power if he were the USMNT coach? I doubt it. National team coaches seem to fall into two categories, the company guy like BB or the super stars, like Hiddink. Only the superstars seem to be powerful enough to transcend the policies and politics that seem to be characteristic of all national team federations. As for the National team having as much time to develop players as for example the Houston Dynamo are you serious? The USMNT will play maybe 18-20 games in 2009. The Dynamo will play about 43 games and not to mention all that practice time. DO THE MATH. That US schedule features more competitive games than normal because the team did so well in getting to two finals. However, the competitive games also mean you can’t tinker as much with the lineup. And who says Bradley doesn’t try to develop players as much as possible? Look at that list of new players in my previous post since he got the job that are now more or less regulars in the squad. I suppose Bradley had nothing to do with the roster of younger players mixed with possible older, candidates for the WC squad in the Gold Cup? Didn’t you notice that he even wasted a valuable roster spot on much- Adu- about- nothing in South Africa and the Gold Cup in an attempt to keep him sharp and maybe showcase him for some teams? That spot could have been used on someone who cares.

    If you want to make it your holy crusade to bring down Bradley, feel free knock yourself out, only while you are at it do the real fans of the US a favor and try to bring down the bloated bureaucracy that is the USSF with him while you are at it. They are the real villains. If you should be successful in getting rid of Bradley, they will just bring in another suit. The system is flawed and what someone like you should really hope for ( and I know you are hoping ) is that we lose every single qualifying and exhibition game from here on out, and look bad doing so because that is what it will take to discredit the USSF enough to where, like England was, they will be forced to bring in a super star like Capello or Hiddink and concede some real power to him. Then we might see some useful changes. Until that happens, feel free to waste everyone’s time. However, I wouldn’t count on it happening. Your hatred of Bradley ( did he steal your wife/girlfriend or something?) is blinding you.

    • Hmm. Good point about the level of control, but I feel as though Bradley started out great, giving new guys a shot and tinkering with his lineup so it would work best. However, until the Confed Cup, you could see he already had his favorites (i.e. Sacha, Beasley) hand picked. It was only after both players were given ample opportunities to succeed, and didn’t that he decided to move on. In my mind, a better system would be to give them one shot, and if they don’t do well, call someone else in and then bring them back later to see if they’ve improved. Unless it’s one of your guaranteed starters like Landon or Howard having an off-game, more should be done to mix up the lineup to not only find the most effective players, but the best chemistry. At this point, we should have a rock solid starting eleven, all set for next summer. But we don’t. There is still tinkering to be done, and inserting guys who have only failed in their ample opportunities (Ching, for example) is not the solution. It’s not as though I hate Bradley as a person; having never met him, I couldn’t testify to his personality and whether or not I would enjoy his company. But as a coach, he has only showed me (mostly recently) that he is incapable of being successful on this stage (the Confederations Cup was a fluke because we were incredibly lucky to even advance in the first place, and the necessary changes were made only when Bradley had his back up against the wall). I am just not confident with Bob Bradley at the helm of the USMNT, and I won’t feel good about our chances at success until we have a coach who can succeed. He started out well, and I had faith in him, but sometime either late last year or early this year, I just starting losing confidence in Bradley’s decision-making abilities and he has not showed me any reason to believe he will recover and return to his old form.

  5. Kevin,

    “However, until the Confed Cup, you could see he already had his favorites (i.e. Sacha, Beasley) hand picked. It was only after both players were given ample opportunities to succeed, and didn’t that he decided to move on.”

    Sascha was a player who Bradley knew very well and obviously had faith in ( though I never understood why) . Then he had that 3 goal game against Sweden and that seemed to buy him a couple of starts. It seems as if when the transfer to Celtic failed to go through (which would have given him a new challenge and probably made him a lot richer) he lost his confidence . Then he had a bummer of a Confed Cup. So feel free kick him when he is probably as down as he has ever been in his life. After all, you really need to make sure he never sees the US team again because playing badly for the US is on par with being a murderer or a child molester.

    Beasely who, in my mind had only a good 2002 World Cup and then a purple patch with PSV (under Hiddink) as shining lights on his resume, has always flattered to deceive. I never felt comfortable with him because his only asset is speed, which is now gone. He treats a ball coming at him like a live grenade. That Hiddink made DMB popular for a few more years is testament to the Dutchman’s coaching genius. Still, a lot of people believe (falsely) that he has made many contributions to the US team; and he is versatile.
    So Bradley gave two guys a chance; that is what good coaches are supposed to do with potentially good, proven players. Despite my dislike of both players, they deserved a chance; just maybe not as extended as they got. If they were to get back on top of their game however, they would deserve to go to South Africa. This is different from a rookie you don’t know if their ceiling is high enough or if they can even get there. Basically, the question is, do you want to try and fix a has been or promote a never was and maybe never will be. Most coaches make the conservative choice and besides, it’s not as if the US is drowning in potential superstars.

    “In my mind, a better system would be to give them one shot, and if they don’t do well, call someone else in and then bring them back later to see if they’ve improved.
    Unless it’s one of your guaranteed starters like Landon or Howard having an off-game, more should be done to mix up the lineup to not only find the most effective players, but the best chemistry. ”

    Wow. Harsh. I thought you wanted Bradley to develop new guys? One bad game and you yank them and then yo-yo them? Ask any good coach you know and see if they think that is the way to develop chemistry or to see if they fit into a team. Don’t take it personal if they laugh at you. One luxury of being the US coach is that only World Cup and the qualifiers REALLY matter. You can lose every other game and, if they help you develop your WC squad it’s okay. So Bradely can afford to be a bit more patient that for example, Capello or Lippi. The reason they tried hard more or less to go far in the Gold Cup was that it meant more meaningful games in which to evaluate the Holdens and Beckermans of the world. It’s also good to get a feel for pressure and quick turnaround times of these World Cup like tournaments.

    “At this point, we should have a rock solid starting eleven, all set for next summer. But we don’t. There is still tinkering to be done, and inserting guys who have only failed in their ample opportunities (Ching, for example) is not the solution. It’s not as though I hate Bradley as a person; having never met him, I couldn’t testify to his personality and whether or not I would enjoy his company. But as a coach, he has only showed me (mostly recently) that he is incapable of being successful on this stage (the Confederations Cup was a fluke because we were incredibly lucky to even advance in the first place, and the necessary changes were made only when Bradley had his back up against the wall). I am just not confident with Bob Bradley at the helm of the USMNT, and I won’t feel good about our chances at success until we have a coach who can succeed. He started out well, and I had faith in him, but sometime either late last year or early this year, I just starting losing confidence in Bradley’s decision-making abilities and he has not showed me any reason to believe he will recover and return to his old form.”

    Did you see Germany before the 2006 World Cup? They nearly fired Klinsmann shortly before the World Cup because they looked so bad. Did you swee how Germany looked in the World Cup.

    Rather than your starting 11 it’s more like your 14 who will play. It’s ten months until the World Cup and it’s pretty clear that these guys will be in that 14: Howard, Donovan, Gooch, Dempsey, Bocanegra, Bradley, Benny, Spector, Davies, Jozy, Dolo, Clark. And that does not even include Jones and Castillo, who will proably go if they are as advertised. So you are inaccurate on that score.

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