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Stand By Your Man

Sept. 13, 2010
Sept. 13, 2010

Table of Contents
Sept. 13, 2010

LEADING OFF
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
FRESH FACES
  • Tim Tebow is a pro, and so is a Texan named McCoy. The college football season kicked off last week minus many familiar names, but in their place emerged several fresh faces who are ready for their close-ups

  • For the first time, JoePa started the season with a true freshman at QB. Will his decision pay off?

99 YARDS
  • How does a team pull off a length-of-the-field, game-winning touchdown drive in the final two minutes? With snap decisions, sharp execution and a healthy dose of luck

SURFING
  • When violent storms send giant swells rolling across the Pacific, the world's most daring surfers will drop everything and travel anywhere to risk their lives riding a wall of water as high as 100 feet

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Stand By Your Man

Bob Bradley got four years. Now what?

U.S. men's soccer coach Bob Bradley last week received a contract extension through 2014, allowing him the chance to build on his team's round-of-16 run at the recent World Cup. Bradley has done an adequate job over the past four years, but second acts are rare for coaches in international soccer—and are rarely successful. Here are three changes he must seriously consider over the next four years:

This is an article from the Sept. 13, 2010 issue

Don't rely too much on veterans.

One big factor in the recent second-act letdowns of coaches like Marcello Lippi (Italy) and Bruce Arena (U.S.) was an overreliance on old vets. Bradley will have to be ruthless in dropping some players who have helped him over the years.

Know when to ease off.

Bradley is a famously hard-driving coach, but he can't grind too much on his players, who need some pressure-release valves in the day-to-day training environment.

Be more flexible with his starting lineups.

Bradley made five substitutions at halftime or earlier in the U.S.'s four World Cup games—admissions of mistakes in his original lineups—yet he opted not to give midfielder Benny Feilhaber (+3 during his time on the field) a single start. Tactical flexibility will be a key to improving on the U.S.'s performance at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

PHOTOKEVORK DJANSEZIAN/GETTY IMAGES (BRADLEY)BOB THE BUILDER The American taskmaster must ease off a bit in order to move forward.