Bob Bradley, the new US MNT coach
I think Marcelo Balboa and Dave O’Brien had a lot to do with Klinsmann not coming on board as coach for the US MNT. Hearing their commentary during the World Cup must have scared the bejesus out of him. He must have thought that the US soccer world is peopled with ignoramuses like them.
This hurts. It means the one great coach who had all the credentials of achieving success has turned us down. Klinsmann was a California resident married to an American, so there would be no problems with his living here for extended periods of time. A fitness fanatic with a penchant for hiring US fitness gurus and techniques that are readily available here. A fantastic striker for Germany with a killer instinct for goals and a knack for diving when things weren’t going his way. Imagine teaching all those tricks to the likes of Clint Dempsey and Brian Ching. And of course, his phenomenal success as Germany’s coach in which he made it downright cool to watch German soccer, unbridled and creative, after years of boring precision and possession. Klinsmann was a highly personable coach who was not afraid to show his emotion on the sidelines. A refreshing change from Bruce Arena’s usual dyspeptic look and aversion for the media.
I can’t even imagine how this plays out in the real world. Here we are beckoning frantically at David Beckham to come and spend his last few years left as a player, in the MLS, as we relax our salary cap for that one exceptional player. This we hope will be the precursor to many other big name players signing on who are slightly past their peak. The Glazers want to build Manchester United West around Beckham. Toronto is the latest MLS addition with its own stadium. Things are moving along, assuming a life of its own on the domestic front.
Meanwhile, we can’t attract a single big name coach to coach the national soccer team. Ultimately, the answer distills down to what these changes mean in the context of national success. The turning down of the US job by Klinsmann means one thing. For all the good things happening in the MLS; in the rest of the world US soccer still means squat. It won’t be long before foreign players look at us and say, ” Enough with the wooing, but tell me why you can’t beat Jamaica? ”
Bob Bradley, I am sure you will be a fine coach for the US national team. No offense meant.