This will be one of the few times you ever see me write about soccer. It’s not my game. Other than the World Cup, it does not spark my interest. I do however feel the need to comment on the contract extension of USA head coach Bob Bradley, and the circumstances surrounding it. The man has done an amazing job and he deserves the chance to continue to build on his work.
The USA has rehired the right man for the job, despite all their attempts to replace him. It’s absurd to think USA Soccer thought they could do better, and it’s appalling how they treated this man after he accomplished such an improbable feat this Summer. Perhaps I’m sympathetic of coaches because of my background as a head coach, but this really gets my blood boiling. The man has taken USA soccer to a place it never dreamed it could go, but his bosses are reluctant to say, “thank you,” “well done,” “great job!” Soccer has never and will never be a relevant sport in our nation, and yet we were there for every minute this summer as Bradley and his boys kept motoring on through the World Cup. He has worked hard to keep his team playing together, playing well, and playing at a level we’ve never seen before. He has been professional throughout and he hasn’t done anything to disgrace himself, his family, his team, or USA Soccer (notice how I haven’t even mentioned he’s the first coach who’s USA team won a World Cup Group).
The USA’s performance in the World Cup should have warranted an immediate contract extension and possibly Joe Paterno-like tenure (ok the Paterno comparison is going too far but you get the point) and it did not call for him to be left in limbo as USA Soccer interviews other coaches for his job while he was under contract. Now that I think about it, Bradley probably should have just taken a buyout and rode off into the sunset as USA Soccer’s most successful coach of All-Time. In four years, we would’ve been begging for his presence as we watch USA Soccer come crashing back down to Earth as another coach tries to recreate the magic experienced in 2010. Although, I guess that would’ve been the easy thing to do, and then again a real coach never gives up on his team and he continually reminds us why he is qualified to be a leader of men. That is why he accepted the extension despite all the drama, and that is why he is the right man for the job.