Tomorrow’s match against Brazil and Martin O’Neill’s departure could have a significant import on the future of Bob Bradley.
A good performance and US Soccer could be tempted into offering a contract extension set to expire this December. So far, the organization have held back and left Bradley’s career in limbo because the World Cup performance although exhilarating in many ways ended in an unsatisfactory loss to Ghana in the group of 16.
The vacany created by Martin O’ Neill’s unexpected departure has created another option. Bradley himself has mentioned that he is excited by the challenge of coaching in Europe should such an opportunity arise. British bookies are already promoting him as the leading contender for the Villa job. He is listed at 4:1 odds.
Bradley was mentioned as one of the possible candidates for the Fulham job before Mark Hughes was brought on board. Martin Jol, the favoured candidate recommitted to Ajax but has not been counted out of the Villa job (4:1).
The other possibilities are Sven Goran Eriksson (11:2) and Alan Curbishley (11:2). The Swede is not exactly the type who lets moss gather which maybe quite unappealing to Lerner’s sense of stability and Curbishley has not looked desirous of landing another job since his West Ham spell ended in 2008. Both of course boast far more European experience than Bradley but there are a few factors in the US coach’s favour:
Randy Lerner might like having a fellow American at the helm. Bradley’s low key, no frills persona, and personal terms could find favour in these financially strapped times. Plus, the arrival of the first US coach to head a club in a major European league could create a whole host of new followers over here. That could if parlayed correctly, translate into tangible financial gain. US goalie Brad Guzan is already looking forward to Bradley arriving at Villa Park.