U.S. Men's National Team

Should Bradley stay or should he go?

BobBradley (Getty)

Just days after the U.S. men's national team's Gold Cup Final loss to Mexico, there is tangible unhappiness in some American fan circles about head coach Bob Bradley and whether he should stay on as head coach.

Bradley did guide the United States to the Gold Cup Final, but fell short in the quest to lift the trophy. That loss has put Bradley squarely on the hot seat, at least as far as some U.S. fans are concerned.

While U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati hasn't addressed Bradley's future yet, it seems unlikely a change will be made one year into Bradley's new four-year contract, not for falling short in the Gold Cup Final.

Here is the question for U.S. national team fans. What do you think should happen with Bradley? Think he's doing a good job and should stay on, or think he's been terrible and must be replaced immediately?

Cast your vote here:

How did you vote, and why? Do you think Bradley should stay in charge, or should a change be made?

Share your thoughts below (and please keep comments brief. Any absurdly long comments will be removed).

  • Warren

    There’s always plenty of quality candidates available, that’s the whole point.

    Stale coaches – even if generally quality – get canned every day.

    In spite of occasional clever move, Bob makes other bonehead ones coming partially from his lack of experience and feel for game at highest level

    Since highest he has ever known – is level US is at now, which clearly ain’t that high given coincidental 4-0 spankings of USMNT and U-17 squad; coupled with U-20 wash-out, tells you what we all already knew: t

    hat USSF was stale and whole program needs a Klinsmannian shake-up, whether administered by Klinsmann or someone else.


  • PD

    play hard is all he advocates… what do you base that on? al the early goals? the flat performances against Panama and the Gwads in the opening round? Or the countless hours of BB training camps you’ve watched?

    Truth is there is a lot about how BB coaches that we just don’t know.


  • PD

    wait! the u-17’s just lost a match to Germany 4-0
    Coaches that lose games are awful, right?


  • PD

    What is your basis for believing that Klinsi is a no brainer?

    he was a great player and can talk nice on TV, but what else?

    His success in Germany? That was with Joachim Lowe, who is still with Germany and getting better results — when you consider the fact that the team was playing on non-german soil and was considerably younger. I know Klinsmann claims that it was all his ideas and innovations that Lowe is now reaping the benefit of, but no one else seems to be saying that other than him.

    What has done since then, (on his own mind you)
    Bayern Munich? DUD… gone after less than a season.
    Technical Assitant to TFC…. do I even need to say it?

    LA made the mistake when they hired Ruud Gullit in thinking a former superstart was a lock for a great coach. Not everyone is Pep Guardiola. I pray USSF doesn’t fall for the “big name” trap.


  • Mat

    Anybody would have been better than Bornstein, who shouldn’t have been on the roster. Look, I agree that whomever we sent out would have been abused, but I’d rather get some players we can use later (Ream/Edu/Spector) some big-game experience than to trot out a guy that’s just out of his depth. The same can be said for including Wondo on the roster over a guys like Bunbury/Davies.

    Also, where was Brek Shea? Is he just not on the radar anymore?


  • Mat

    We may not have better talent to choose from, but that doesn’t mean we should keep picking a guy like Bornstein, who we know for a fact doesn’t have international-level talent. At least give someone else a shot. That’s how you uncover gems, like Adu. What happened to Jose Torres? Edgar Castillo? Brek Shea? Why did he bury Ream? At least give a guy like Ream a chance to redeem himself — we’re going to need him later in the cycle.


  • Vic

    This is not about one game but about where we’re heading. He has had more than enough time to build a program and instead we’re slipping in FIFA ratings and struggling to beat minnows in our region.

    It is well past time that US Soccer admitted that it’s made a big mistake and send him packing


  • gabe


    You’ve mentioned a couple times now that you don’t think he should be fired for failing to win the gold cup. However, I think most fans think he should be fired for an overall disappointing performance at the gold cup and the need for a coach who can improve this team. If we had walked into the final, or at least played WELL in those groups games, and lost a hard-fought match, that is one thing.


  • Erik

    C’mon. national team coaches can make a world of difference: look no further than recent successful coaching changes at MEX, ARG, BRA. Now, I’m not saying there are Chicharitos, Messis, Neymars in the US player pool, the point is to maximize the talent on hand to provide better play (and results). I’m not sure BB is now getting the best out of our players: LD, Dempsey, Howard, and Holden have all played at a v high level in England. And this squad has shown that (on its best day) it can go toe-to-toe with the best. They should realistically be a Top 15 team, below the top tier, but capable of challenging them occasionally. it’s ok to lose to a promising MEX in the final, but it seemed like we could barely even get there. US should have no problem beating the other concacaf teams. Hanging onto 1-0 leads to scrape through- not encouraging.

    I think US soccer has gotten the best of BB, and after 1 WC cycle, it’s diminishing returns (we saw the same with Arena in ’06, and of course France & Italy in ’10). Perhaps a different coach might be able to continue to improve the team, inspire the players, and inject fresh energy. Surely the frequent slow/lethargic starts to games (requiring furious comebacks or late heroics) are at least partly down to the coach. What about losing 2-0 1st half leads? If we are supposed to be a scrappy defensive team, then park the bus if you have to! Why wasn’t either Jones/Bradley dropped in front of the back four to provide more cover when it became clear they were getting torched? Why can’t they hold a straight defensive line?

    Some Q’s to consider…
    Do you think BB is a good coach (not just for the US)?
    Where would he be coaching in club soccer?
    Is he is a good talent evaluator?


  • skyman

    As I’ve read on here before, Brek Shea has absolutely 0 soccer IQ. Please leave him out of the pool. . .


  • TheDon

    It is on the players but what if the players have issues with their coach? Who wants to risk speaking up and getting on coach’s bad side? There must be players who are as concerned about Bradleys next Clark or Bornstein move but have no voice in the matter. WE fans have to be the voice of reason that hopefully catches the ear or eye of our USSF president. WE DON”T LIKE LOSING! Damm even Guatemala held Mexico scoreless for a half and only lost by a goal. Honduras held them scoreless for a whole 90+ minutes.


  • Dennis

    In pro sports, when the team’s results are not what the owners/fans expect, the answer is clear, replace the coach. It is too hard and too disruptive to replace all the players. OF course, it seldom has a positive impact and the new coach is usually canned even faster when he can’t do any better.

    One could argue that the teams in MLS who have had the greatest turnover in coaching have the poorest records. (Anyone with good statistics to prove me wrong?)


  • NoMillionaire

    If the USSF is all about saving money how about hiring an Argentinian? I hear River Plate’s coach is looking for a new gig?


  • Tyler

    If you bring in a replacement for Gulati won’t they theoretically want their own man running the show?


  • biff

    First, want to repeat that I am not a Klinssmann fanatic who thinks he is the only coach in the world to replace Bob Bradley. I think there are a lot of good world-class coaches who would love to have the USMNT job. But after watching the team against Spain and the Gold Cup, where they did not play well or with much fire and most of them looked bummed out, I gradually came to the conclusion that Klinssmann at this time is the best choice because…

    1) He loves the USA and he lives in the USA, would not take the job just for money.

    2) He closely follows USA soccer and has a deep knowledge of the players.

    3) He is smart and one of Germany’s top players ever and coached the team to the semi-final of WC2006–he would have the respect of all USA players.

    4) Klinnsmann is not a hot-headed loudmouth who alienates sensitive soccer players with huge egos. He is a unifier, tough when he has to be, but nurturing at the same time.

    5) He is not too insecure to have top assistants, such as, as you mentioned, Jogi Loew. Have you ever looked closely at Bob Bradley’s assistants? How can our players take some of these guys seriously?

    6) In that vein, Klinnsmann could bring in top soccer people from Europe and Latin America as assistants, people who would never work under BB. He also could bring in a couple of young guys from the MLS, start grooming Americans to take over.

    7) Because of his German background and huge experience, Klinnsmann has the feel for soccer required by top world-class coaches.

    8) Klinnsmann has a true vision of what he would like to see the USA accomplish. Maybe he would fail at the group stage of WC2014, but in three years he would at least have the USA pointed in the right direction.

    9) He is media friendly, good on TV and in interviews. He can be a great spokesman and draw attention not only in the USA for soccer, but around the world.

    10) I have no doubt that if Klinnsmann led the USNMT against Germany, we could trust him 100% to do his best to kick the German teams bu–s. I guarantee you there are some coaches from soccer-loving countries that would, internally, have a very hard time trying to beat their home-country team. Klinnsmann, I think, would want to prove he can do it, especially against Jogi Loew.

    I am sure I have forgotten some points. Anyone want to help?

    As for FC Bayern Munich, they are difficult to live with and have fired a lot of coaches, the latest being Van Gaal who took them to the Champions League final last year and got a contact extension last autumn a few months later gone.

    So, yeah, I think Klinnsmann is a no-brainer. That said, if we can’t get him, I still think Bob Bradley has taken us as far as he can go and needs to step down. I think it would be wise for him to do it now, rather than try to hang on with a team that stayed loyal and kept their mouths shut for a long time but now is moving toward open revolt. It could get messy and embarrassing and lead to WC2014 qualification disaster if Bob stays on. Klinnsmann is ready, could take over next week.


  • bob

    The nats have a pattern of starting sluggishly and falling behind at the start of the game, even with inferior competition. When they start well we have blown solid leads in important competitions. Even with all that we’ve done “pretty well”. To me this means the players as a group are capable but are suffering from inferior coaching – the players drive the result but the coach sets the framework and motivation.
    Bradley has done well in many ways but this pattern has to stop. It won’t be long before it gets tiresome enough for fans to start losing interest.
    It is time for a change.


  • DC Josh

    How many American soccer players can he name? You can’t just bring in any international coach and expect better things. They have to understand our players and MLS.


  • DC Josh

    The Kick Off is all about speculation. Don’t read too much into it. A lot of the headlines on that feature are hyperbole.


  • DC Josh

    Firing Bob Bradley and bringing in a European coach won’t make us any better. The REAL problem is much deeper.

    1- The talent level of the players is not as high as the expectations of American soccer fanatics. I would guess that Bob Bradley is currently getting about 80% of full potential out of this squad. At the time of the Confederations Cup, he got 100% at times, such as leading Italy in the 1st half, destroying Egypt, beating one of the best teams ever 2-0, and then leading Brazil 2-0 at halftime. We’ve fallen ever since.

    2- Our core players in Bocanegra, Cherundolo, Donovan and Dempsey are over the hill, then there is a huge gap in experience. We need to groom the next generation: Bradley, Lichaj, Holden, Jozy, Adu, Ream, etc. and prepare them for 2014 and beyond.

    3- Where is the next group of youngsters? The U-20 squad is loaded with players in top European club academies, but until they break into the first team, we will be stuck with the current pool of USMNTeamers.

    The bottom line is, you can’t just put a band-aid on the mortal wound that is the USSF by changing the coach. So many other decisions need to be made, and it will take years for the quality of the player to catch up to the rapidly rising expectations of the fans.


  • DC Josh

    EVERY coach has favorites. It is a fact. Walk into any locker room at any level in any sport, and the coach will have his favorites.


  • Doug

    I believe Gulati should go as well. U.S. soccer needs a new philosophy and new plan of attack. The only progress shown since the country hosted the World Cup is Major League Soccer. The national team hasn’t significantly improved. It could be argued it’s actually gone backward.
    U.S. soccer needs a new scouting network for talent at the youth level and someone who carries enough cache that they can get these players to European academies (I know that there are visa issues with that, but this is pie in the sky thinking).
    U.S.-based players do well until they reach the 16-year-old stage. That’s when those in Europe began training as pros while our players go to college. The stagnation in skills from that point forward can’t be overcome.


  • Keith G.

    I would only like to see Bradley go if we can get a coach like Klinsmann or Hiddink. Other whise I dont know of another American coach that has what it takes to lead this team farther then where Bradley has taken them.


  • PD

    Without knowing a lot about how it actually happens in the USSF system, it seems like there are “developmental” coaches that focus on building and shaping the skill set of the players competing in the pool and there are “tactical/executional” coaches who focus on utilizing the player pool they have to the greatest effect though tactical decisions.

    While every coach deals with both of these elements to a degree, it seems to me that in an ideal world the closer you get to a Senior Men’s team the more a coach should be focused on the tactical, not the developmental side. In that case a coach like a Mourinho or Ancellotti (not saying these are appropriate candidates for USMNT, just using them because they fill the archetype) would be ideal.

    HOWEVER, when your senior team is still riddled with players that have a wooden first touch, suspect passing skills and positional awareness, you have to consider that a master tactician might not be the greatest choice for your pool, but rather someone that will continue to emphasize development. I think that is why coaches like Arena and Bradley have been effective thus far, because they are 50/50 coaches–even though that has had it’s limitations. That’s not their fault, it’s what the player pool needed/needs. You can have the greatest strategist in the world, but if your players don’t or can’t execute then you’re not gonna get far (look at Real Madrid v Barcelona at the beginning of last season).

    I don’t know enough about Hiddink to know which side he gravitates toward, but it seems like a van Basten or Pereria might be good models to pursue. Or David Moyes. :0)

    Ding Dong is on to something: The USSF is committed to growing the entire sport–not just players, but refs, infrastructure, profitability AND coaches. In sports, we tend to not tolerate a learning curve for coaches, especially while they are on the job, but if US coaching is to improve (and our coaching pool is not getting calls from major clubs to serve as assistants) what is our alternative?Bradley has learned a lot on the job and his growth has been of immense help to the US coaching pool.

    Growth is not easy (they don’t call them “growing pains” for nothing). While big victories help, growth is so much more than just winning big games and let’s be honest, the USMNT has won some big games over the past three years. But up or down, the trend is moving steadily upwards. I say this only in my own opinion in having been a follower of US Soccer since 1994. I think everyone would agree that USSF is in a very different place; it is not “same as it ever was”.


  • jb11

    I honestly don’t understand how people can say that the US Player Pool is the reason BB failed!! This has to be a joke, as the US has many, many good young players…especially abroad! It boggles my mind how BB left Zak Whitbred out? He started for Norwich at central defender, and led them to premiership promotion! Then he leaves out Diskeruud, Simek, Davies, Bunbury, Torres, Starikov, etc….There are many other good young Americans playing throughout the world that BB could have chosen from. The fact is USSF, BB, Sunil need to open there eyes focus on improving the quality of player and style of play before real gains can be made! A fresh new pair of eyes is needed, one with the tactical accumen and scouting prowess to take the USMNT to the next level!


  • Wicked_1

    He’s done ok, but their has been no progress under him. He doesn’t pick players he should be picking. He always calls in the same players, even when he shouldn’t . I felt he shouldn’t have been rehired after the World Cup. Losing 2-0 leads, in Finals, has to say & show something. I also think we need a foreigner, someone with a different football mentality


  • ThaDeuce

    I voted the top choice, but I’m a realist. Our team isn’t as talented as Mexico, but under Bob, we often outperform better teams.


  • Luis

    I think its time for a change… I personally follow Mexico soccer more, because its what I have always been following since a kid… Anyway, Mexico had the same problem in the past, having a coach that always picked the same players. They brought in a new coach that was willing to give new young talent a try and the team has roared up in FIFA world rankings. I think its time for the bradly’s to go. Just my thoughts. That said, I think Bradly did a good job in the previous years with what he had. US soccer now has much more talent, and its time to push it up a notch.


  • caerbannogfc

    well… The two attacking outside backs finally seemed to be clicking with Bradley and Jones dropping back and Dolo / Lichaj capable of making runs out wide. That was truly impressive, even if we couldn’t finish our chances. It was a proper system, almost, some type of plan going forward.

    He did cut clark (eventually) and (eventually) realized Onyewu wasn’t in form or likely to ever be in form again. He (eventually) got Bedoya on the field and even starting. He allowed diskerud to play in some friendlies that hopefully have paved the way for future inclusion. He’s kept rightfully faithful to Altidore and Adu when all of Europe seems to think little of them. He (eventually) got Lichaj in the starting xi.

    I like the guy. There are many things he has done well. but the Bornstein inclusion and substitution was simply delusional. really, it was that bad. it was. it was that bad. My exact words were, “this is a nightmare scenario.” If we can get a signed statement that legally prohibits Bradley from including Borstein in any future lineup I say let him have another wc run.


  • Jmarsfauxbel

    Dempsey and Chicharito are different kinds of players. But with the opportunities that Chicharito gets playing solo for man u, i really wonder how many goals Dempsey may have scored wearing red. Furthermore, there is very good chance this caparson will be easier to determine if Dempsey gets transfered.


  • Joamiq

    Chicharito is 5 years younger than Dempsey. He’s scored 21 goals in 29 games for Mexico when he mostly wasn’t playing solo. There’s no comparison. I love Clint, but at age 23 Chicharito is already a more impactful player than him. There’s really not much of a comparison.


  • Wicked_1

    Most of the midfield will be there: Lando, Dempssey, Bradley, Jones, Edu, Bedoya. But some other selections were suspect. Bedoya should have been in the initial squad, I like Diskeruud too. The Defense is what needs a revamp, Boca & Cherundolo are old, and the other positions are up for grabs, with it looking like Onyewu is on a downward spiral,hahaha. Omar Gonzalez should have been called in instead of Ream, Sean Franklin needs to get a look at RB and we NEED a LB, Boca isn’t a LB and Bornstein is trash.


  • tricorythides@gmail.com

    Bob Bradley’s time has come and gone. He has show repeatedly that he is more concerned about his loyalty to sub-par players (e.g., Jonathan Bornstein) that he coached in MLS than in winning soccer matches. At this level, there is no room for shamelessly and thoughtlessly maintaining loyalty to players that are simply not good enough. We need a coach who is a true professional and whose intent is to play the best players that the US can field with an eye on winning, every single game. The choice for a new head coach for the US Men’s National Team should be either Jurgen Klinsmann or Hans Backe. Either would make wonderful coaches.


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