For U.S. Men's Soccer Team Coach Bob Bradley, The Pressure is Now Officially On - Page 2
And Bradley – like a lot of coaches- has had his favorite players – some of whom for one reason for another have played terribly in games that mattered.
Such was the case vs. Panama Saturday. The team showed zero energy in the first half. And a couple of horrible miscues on the backline by Bradley ‘guys’, Clarence Goodson, and young Tim Ream, put the Americans in a 2-0 hole that they just could not escape.
Bradley detractors have often pointed to his seeming lack of emotion and robotic like press interviews as a reason for disliking him. Too often – the sentiment goes-- his teams mirror that personality for large stretches of games regardless of the quality of opponent.
And that certainly seemed to be the case for about 60 minutes of the game Saturday as the Panamanians, though decent, aren’t exactly Argentina when it comes to soccer.
It’s safe to say that the Bradley II era hasn’t exactly gotten off to a rousing start, though there’s still time to right the ship. But getting embarrassed by Spain in front of 65,000 fans and a national TV audience wasn’t a good idea and getting beat on U.S. soil by Panama sure as heck doesn’t help the cause.
So the symbolic rope around Bradley’s neck is tightening…and I’d wager to bet that he’ll be fired by the end of this week if he loses to Guadeloupe on Tuesday.
But even if his team wins Tuesday, the coach isn’t out of the woods yet. Expectations for the national team remain high. People are finally watching. And for a coach who may have been rehired mainly because no one perceived as better was immediately available post-World Cup, it may well be ‘win or else’ time with some legitimately tough Gold Cup matches ahead.