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15 September, 2011

Bob Bradley is the new Egypt NT Coach

Bob was a finalist with three other coaches, Francisco Maturana of Colombia, Zoran Belosevic of Yugoslavia and Milovan Rajevac of Serbia although only former Ghanaian NT coach, Rajevac was considered a real contender. Reportedly, Bradley was the 1st choice and the lone holdup being the salary demands of Bradley. As USMNT coach, Bradley was earning ~$600,000/yr and he was negotiating for close to $1mil to take over for Egypt. Now, forgive me if I'm overstating the obvious here, but you don't give a coach who lacks tactical awareness and who was just fired a $400K raise to take over a strong team that should have several other good options.

During his tenure with the USMNT, Bradley went 43-25-12 with such pitiful wins as barely beating Cuba and Barbados 1-0, and playing up wins such as the 3-2 win over a 3rd string Sweden squad. Bradley did manage to get a shocking 3-0 against Egypt during Confederation's Cup and upsetting Spain during the same tourney. Those 'surprise' wins, though, are few and far between and not indicative of coaching or tactics.

Recently, during a CNN interview, Bradley was quoted as saying, "The Egyptian team is well qualified to be a dangerous opponent, but it only lacks some organisation on the field. The Egyptian player is a talented one unlike the American who depends mainly on his fitness,” he added.

This statement is being denied by Bradley and his agent, although, he was fired, so I'm not sure why he was denying something that was a focus of his strengths to winning. We do have some of the most fit players, and he has stated as much going into tough matches that the US goal was to wear the opponent down.

While I wish the best for Egypt and their NT, I have to say I apologize now for him. The few wins you will get, you should have won anyways. You may get an upset or two, but you have a strong team and you will be doing it despite Bradley. I may be wrong, but having watched him at the club level with Chicago Fire and at the NT level with the US, he just doesn't have what it takes to coach internationally and win consistently against top level opponents. That said, it is our understanding that he has already scouted several of the Egyptian club teams which seems to float well with Egyptian fans tired of seeing only two major clubs (Al-Ahly and Zamalek) representing 90% of the NT player makeup. Whether this will help push the struggling NT team to new heights, we will see.

Bradley put himself in the running as coach for Santos Laguna, presumably to press the issue with Egypt, but when that failed to materialize, he took the Egypt position for somewhere in the region of $750K/year. As for seeing Bradley in action, you'll have to wait until Oct. 7, an international fixture date, when Egypt takes on Niger.

*And the other shoe drops. After denying the earlier report about the USMNT being reliant on their fitness only, Bradley had this to say to CNN Arabic,
“I know that there’s a big difference between Egyptian and American players,” Bradley said in a recent interview with CNN Arabic. “The Americans are more professional than their Egyptian counterparts, but the Egyptians are more talented."

We have only one thing here to say about this, Good luck, enjoy being fired and coming back stateside because you won't be hired back anywhere at the club level after that comment.

Photo: TSI/Eurosport

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