U-23/Olympics: Bradley's Moxie

While it's nice to finally know when qualifying for CONCACAF's Olympic slots takes place - March of 2008 - and swell as it is that the U-23s beat an MLS club (Chivas USA), the most interesting item in the Los Angeles Times' report on the Olympic team "taking shape" involves head coach Bob Bradley's state of mind.

What to make of this:

"Assisting Bradley in this week's camp were Thomas Rongen, who has coached the U.S. under-20 national team into this summer's Under-20 World Cup in Canada, and John Hackworth, coach of the U.S. under-17 national team, which in May will try to qualify for the Under-17 World Cup in South Korea."

"It is probable that Bradley will eventually draw players from Rongen's team and, possibly, even from Hackworth's side, by 2008."

"'It's important that we share ideas,' he said of working alongside the two coaches. 'It's important that those programs understand how important they are and that they … are the building blocks. Any time we're all together and we can look at our players and discuss the things we see, discuss the things that need to be better, it helps.'"

Whatever one thinks of Bradley - love him, hate him, think he's the future of the U.S. Soccer program, or someone the USSF is chasing down blind alley - it's hard not to admire the way he continues to behave as if he's already got the top job. I could be alone in reading that into his comments, but I don't think I am.

Bradley may not work out in the end, but it won't be for lack of trying.



B_Washington said...

Like you're blog and perspective on things. Been reading you off-and-on for about a month or so.

I like Bradly he seems to have the right approach. He did the right thing in the Mexico game, and I guess Earl Hickey would be happy because Karma gave him the win too.

I love how much playing time he's giving Ricardo Clark, who seems to be the real deal. Yeah he's young and makes some mistakes, but he has no fear and is a good compliment to Mastroeni. Bradly's work with the other young guys is to be praised too.

The Manly Ferry said...

Thanks for popping by - and more than once.

As for Bradley, I'm certainly hoping he's an answer. I don't doubt the possibility that there's someone out there more capable of advancing the U.S. program. But I'm also so crabby about how the USSF hired Bradley, and I'm sufficiently confident in his abilities, that I'm willing to give him the job through the summer at least; and his work with the younger players is a big part of that.

L.B. said...


Hey man, not commenting directly on this thread but I've had problems leaving comments here on this blog before. Could you e-mail me at lbueno99@hotmail.com so i can send you my reply to your previous question?

Luis Bueno