Just when you thought it was safe to start thinking about the USMNT and their new coach with some serious pedigree. BOOM. It all goes to pieces. I could add to the echo chamber of people saying ‘HUH?’, but instead direct you to An American’s View On Soccer. What Brian Says:

The USMNT lays down worse than a girl on prom night at the World Cup, after all the hype and build up. The USSF then fires Bruce Arena, the guy who took the USMNT from a state of wholly hell and turned it into a credible CONCACAF power, one that could beat anyone in our region on any given day. Instead of having a guy waiting in the wings, Sunil Gulati waits until December to announce that Bob Bradley is the head coach?

Jurgen Klinsmann was the best thing that could have ever happened to the USSF. He would have given instant swagger and made our boys into men. Gulati claimed that the search for the next coach was not being rushed because he wanted to be sure that it was done right. Doing the right thing would have been giving Klinsmann whatever the hell he wanted. If he demanded he be carried around the training grounds like a Roman Emperor, then you hire guys to carry his chariot.

Read the whole thing. I’m not sure you can fault Jamie Trecker too much (his readers are smacking him around pretty hard). I expect his sources were telling the truth and that things had gotten as far as ‘the deal is pretty much done’. Once you agree to the rough arrangement (salary, work out the sponsorship conflict), you start talking details and control. Is it really a stretch that think Gulati wanted to keep more control after giving The Bruce carte blanche? I bet USSF and Klinsmann had reached an acceptable ‘outline’ agreement. Maybe not ‘signed’ as Jamie put it, but too many people were saying "It’ll be Klinsmann" for it to have ended in ‘discussions’. Rampant speculation on my part – I don’t have sources 🙂

All around a sad day for US Soccer. Not because they’re expected to name Bradley interim coach, but for letting such a prestigious coach slip away over the amount of control they wanted. Only the Yankees regularly succeed under a micromanaging owner. Nobody else does.