Bob Bradley isn’t the type to give the media a sound byte to obsess over and analyze, so when he says something hard-hitting about the man who replaced him as U.S. national team manager, people are going to notice.
That’s exactly what he did in his introductory press conference at Swansea City. When asked about current USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann praising his appointment as manager, Bradley responded with this eye-opening jab into the direction of U.S. Soccer and it’s manager.
From the day I got fired by the U.S., I have not said one thing publicly about their team, alright? I don't appreciate the way it was done - I think they made a mistake. I'm glad that Jurgen says some nice things now. When he did commentary on the 2010 World Cup, he was already jockeying for the job. So I’ve shut my mouth, and continue to support the team. Because I of course want to see the team do well. Michael’s the captain. So if he has said something in a nice way, I appreciate it. And if at some point he chooses to try to work again outside the U.S., I wish him the best.
Bradley is referring to Klinsmann’s post-match rant over why the USMNT lost to Ghana in the Round of 16. The legendary Germany striker was working for ESPN as an analyst at the time. You can see the rant in question here:
It’s no secret that U.S. Soccer has coveted Klinsmann for a long time. They really wanted him to take charge back in 2007 when Bradley held the interim coaching tag. Klinsmann ultimately declined citing not being given enough control over the program. Bradley was handed the full job and led the team to that World Cup.
After narrowly escaping what should’ve been an easy World Cup group, the U.S. lost to Ghana in Extra Time and Klinsmann’s rant went viral around the American soccer community.
A year later, after the U.S. were embarrassed in the 2011 Gold Cup final by bitter rivals Mexico, Bradley was fired and Klinsmann hired not too long after.
Does Bradley have a point about Jurgen jockeying for his job? Maybe. But, it’s not like anything said in that rant wasn’t true. It’s still true today with Klinsmann as manager. The technical level in American soccer still isn’t up to par. That rant on TV wasn’t breaking news. He simply was stating the obvious.
It’s pretty easy to see that there are still some hard feelings between Bradley and Klinsmann/U.S. Soccer.