Is the endgame of the stay-or-go saga involving U.S. coach
Bradley is set to discuss his future with U.S. Soccer president
Yet Bradley's departure is by no means guaranteed, especially if Gulati can't find a better option to replace him. The most frequently mentioned candidate is
Other than Klinsmann, few candidates to replace Bradley have come up. And while it's clear that Gulati isn't "sprinting to Bradley's house to give him a new contract," as
While there has been talk about Bradley being a candidate to fill the open job at Aston Villa, I still think he'd be more likely to get an offer from a Scandinavian club or an MLS team like D.C. United or Vancouver.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind regarding the Bradley-Gulati talks:
• Just because U.S. Soccer is talking with Bradley does not mean that it plans to offer him a new contract.
• While Gulati refused to comment when I contacted him this week, his most revealing statement came in South Africa, soon after the U.S.'s 2-1 second-round loss to Ghana, when he was asked if the Americans had performed up to their capabilities in the World Cup. "No," Gulati said. "I think the team's capable of more. I think the players know it. I think Bob knows it. And so at that level we're disappointed we didn't get to play another 90 minutes at least."
• The history of coaches who have led the same country in successive World Cups is not particularly good, especially in recent years. The two "second acts" in World Cup 2010 -- Italy's
I went back and checked to see how many times a coach has led the same country in back-to-back World Cups. It has happened 48 times, with 25 faring worse the second time around, 13 faring better and 10 going out in the same round. Granted, the results have a few caveats. Coaches who exceed expectations the first time are more likely to keep their jobs for a second World Cup (and thus more likely to fall back toward original expectations). Also, these examples only include coaches who kept their jobs and then managed to qualify for the next World Cup. (No doubt there are instances of holdover coaches who failed to qualify.)
Still, it does provide for some useful reading that taught me a few things about the history of World Cup coaches and their "second acts."