Without much in the way of warning, preamble or explanation, US Soccer today issued this terse statement, attributed to USSF President Sunil Gulati:
“We want to thank Bob Bradley for his service and dedication to U.S. Soccer during the past five years”
“During his time as the head coach of our men’s national team, he led the team to a number of accomplishments, but we felt now was the right time for us to make a change. It is always hard to make these decisions, especially when it involves someone we respect as much as Bob. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
"This announcement comes after a meeting at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., between Gulati, Bradley and U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn."
"U.S. Soccer will have a further announcement on Friday."
Sigi Schmid, our nation turns it's lonely eyes to you, woo, woo, woo.
Of course, first we'll have to go through the obligatory pas de duex with California Klinnsy, the script to which we all know by heart:
GULATI: So, Juergen, how'd you like to coach the USMNT?
KLINNSMANN: Sure Sunil, I'd love to, as long as I get total control over every facet of the program
GULATI: I'm afraid I can't do that, but...
Look, I don't know if Sigi is the right guy for the job - although if he's hired I think the USSF ought to include a Nutrisystem membership in the package; I love the guy but, let's be honest here, he looks disgusting - but nobody on Earth wants it more and, all things being equal, it's his turn.
I (and, of course a lot of other guys) noted a few weeks back that Gulati had given a somewhat peculiar response a few weeks back to a question about Bradleys' future and wondered if that was the end.
However, since nothing happened, everybody figured that was just a misunderstanding, and Gulati currently leads the league in the "Cryptic Comments That Mean Anything You Want Them To" category.
Perhaps Sunil has been preoccupied with all this CONCACAF garbage; as an ExCo member, he's up to his ass in fighting off Lisle Austin, Horace Burrell an the rest of the lowlife bastards who desperately want to be The Next Jack Warner, so maybe he just hasn't had the time to deal with this.
On the other hand, perhaps he's been surveying the field, figuring out who's available and, more importantly, who might be an upgrade.
After all, Curt Onalfo is "available". So is Greg Andrulis, Preki and your next door neighbor (who might in fact be an improvement over Andrulis, AKA "Zippy the Pinhead" but I digress)
It'll be interesting to see if a candidate surfaces in the short term, but my guess is that Gulati already knows who he wants.