Soccer  > General Soccer  > Gulati calls Bradley "best choice" for U.S.
August 31, 2010, 05:20 PM
A Gold Cup title, a trip to the final of the Confederations Cup and a second-round berth in the World Cup were enough for Sunil Gulati to give Bob Bradley another four years as manager of the United States.

"Bob is the best choice for us going forward," the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday, a day after the federation announced Bradley had been given a contract extension through the end of 2014.

"I came to the conclusion that the experience and the record, the work over the last four years, overcame any issues about staleness, that we could overcome that. Bob and I talked about that a lot and we're in agreement on that."

The announcement comes just over two months after the United States was eliminated in the second round of the World Cup by Ghana in extra time, a loss which Gulati expressed "disappointment" that the team had not gone farther nor met expectations.

Gulati reportedly also spoke to former German national team captain and manager Juergen Klinsmann, who rejected the idea of running the U.S. team four years ago over disagreement on his amount of control.

The U.S. federation president on Tuesday refused to discuss any conversations or interviews "he may or may not have had" with other candidates.

For his part, Bradley acknowledged he received interest for managerial positions at English clubs Fulham and Aston Villa and was interested in the "challenge" of coaching in Europe.

"For sure, the opportunity to coach in Europe at some point is something that I would really enjoy, but at the same time the honor of coaching our national team and continuing the work of the last four years, was and will always be the most important work. In that regard, I think it took time on both sides," Bradley said.

"I was always quite clear, when people would ask me if there was interest [in those jobs], that there was, but I did not have definitive discussions."

Bradley's record after four years (38-8-20) is just behind his predecessor and mentor Bruce Arena (71-29-30) in terms of winning percentage. Arena, who managed the United States from 1998 to 2006, had Bradley as his assistant at the University of Virginia, the 1996 U.S. Olympic team and D.C. United.

Arena did not have his contract renewed as U.S. manager after the United States failed to get past the first round of the 2006 World Cup, enduring criticism that the team grew stale in his second stint.

Gulati said he was satisfied the United States would not go stale under Bradley in his second term.

"Teams do well and teams go down, it's not just the coach," he said. "Italy and France would attest to that after having been in the final. And the progress that we're going to have is not going to be from every World Cup. We recognize all that but I think we put ourselves in the best possible position to continue the growth we've had in reappointing Bob."

Bradley said he and his coaching staff have been vigilant against complacency and will continue to be.

"I think that around the coaching world, not only in soccer, the ability as a coach to continue every day, every year, to continue to challenge your players the right way, to know how in some moments to re-energize yourselves, refocus yourself and in some ways, re-invent yourself," he said.

"Your credibility is put to the test every day as a coach, regardless of whether you've been on the job four years or four days. I understand that. That's part of the profession. When you continue to assess where we are with the work we've done, with our staff, with the environment that we've created, we rely a great deal on getting a sense from players where they are with things, so we'll continue in that regard because that's the work necessary to continue to be successful."

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