10 January, 2011

Bradley, Crusher of Olympic Dreams

In case you missed this revelation, and a great article, over at Match Fit USA earlier last week, here's the synopsis:

Bob Bradley feels that he should be the US Olympic Men's Soccer Coach for the 2012 team.

So here are the positives:
1) He gets to see more youth talent without being allowed to play all his regular favorites (whether they are good or bad).
2) He can try out a few new formations.
3) He can get a good look at several players and see where they might fit into the senior squad without really "wasting" qualification games in fitting them into the USMNT.

The downside:
1) Bradley in charge pretty much writes off any chance for the USA to medal in soccer.
2) Will he really use a new formation? Really?
3) Will this be a chance for young talent to shine or does this just effectively eliminate some promising young talent once he identifies his favorites, just like he did with the senior squad?

I'm in the "scared as hell" camp. The Olympics should be a springboard for upcoming talent and coaches, not a pre-training camp for the national team. Those that have an off qualification might as well write off USMNT aspirations for how Bradley seems to hold good practice players up to be great game players when rarely in his experience have they been.

What is stopping him from just observing and suggesting practice ideas to a would-be Olympic coach? It would be a cheaper option to prime the pipeline, so to speak, with a future replacement for Bradley. And what happens when/if Bradley flames out in qualification or early in the group stages? That's not really garnering support from the regular fans, or possible future USMNT players. Add to the fact that Bradley has a long, very long history of game mismanagement such as poor or outright lack of substitutions and frequently fails to see the progression of the game. Not good.

And just when my New Year's Resolution was to support our youth players and the US Olympic Soccer Team. Is it too late to change my resolution?

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