The U.S. Soccer Federation announced this evening that men's national team head coach Bob Bradley has been given a four-year contract extension. This means that Bradley will, at least as of now, lead the team through the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
More details are available from the Associated Press here, the Washington Post here, SI.com's Grant Wahl here and AOL FanHouse's Brian Straus here. U.S. Soccer's official press release is here. Bradley and U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati will discuss the news with reporters on a conference call tomorrow afternoon.
I am sure you all will have plenty to say about the news, and I hope you'll share your thoughts in the comments. My view is that there were not many, if any, other potential candidates who were both definitely available and more qualified for the position.
Bradley's closest competition was former Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann, who knows a lot about American soccer having lived in California for many years. But do you think he would have signed up for a full four-year World Cup qualifying cycle? I am not so sure.
Having said that, I would think that by 2014 there will be a new generation of candidates avaiable. Chief among them should be current Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis, a former U.S. national team player who led RSL to last season's MLS Cup championship.
I also hope that former U.S. national team captain Claudio Reyna, who now works as U.S. Soccer's youth technical director, will be able to step up to coach the senior national team in coming years. He knows the game so well, and could have a significant impact on American soccer at both the youth and senior national team levels.
There were a few other U.S. Soccer-related announcements today, especially regarding the upcoming national team games at PPL Park:
- There will be a presale for Philadelphia Union season-ticket holders for both the women's game October 7 and the men's game October 12. It will start tomorrow, September 1. Details will be sent out by email to people who are eligible.
- There will be a separate presale just for the men's game for owners of Visa credit cards, from September 2 at 12 p.m. to September 3 at 10 a.m.
- Tickets for the women's game will go on sale to the general public September 3 at 10 a.m. Click here for prices and more information. Most ticket prices range from $18 to $45.
I am sure that the men's game will sell out, but I will be interested to see what kind of crowd the women's game gets. Hopefully it will also be substantial.
- U.S. Soccer's World Cup bid organizing committee would like to get a total of 1 million signatures on its bid petition by the time FIFA's inspection delegation comes to New York on September 6. As of now, the petition has over 980,000 signatures. Click here to add your name.