Bob Bradley's status as U.S. national team soccer coach remains unchanged, according to U.S. Soccer officials, who were forced to react to reports late this week that they called inaccurate.
One report from a small U.S.-based internet soccer website and one radio report out of England on talkSPORT said or insinuated that Bradley had resigned to become manager at England's Aston Villa, where Martin O'Neill resigned abruptly earlier this week.
U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe issued a short statement Friday morning contradicting those reports.
"The reports that Bob Bradley has resigned are not true," Buethe said in the statement. "U.S. Soccer officials plan to continue discussions with Bob in the near future."
Reached by phone Friday morning, U.S. Soccer officials reiterated the official statement and said that talks between Bradley and U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati remain on schedule for the "near future," but said they were unable to be more specific.
The inaccurate reports of Bradley's resignation were magnified Wednesday evening when MSG mentioned them without verification during the New York Red Bulls broadcast.
As for the links to Aston Villa, Yahoo reported Friday that a source close to the Villa board insisted that any ongoing discussions between Bradley and U.S. Soccer would have no bearing on its search for a new coach. Yahoo's source said that Bradley was put forward initially as a candidate and considered by Villa's American owner Randy Lerner, but upon review by the Villa board, it was decided that the team would prefer to look elsewhere.