Following an embarrassing loss to Mexico in the Gold Cup final and five frustrating years with just enough success to keep his job as long as he did, Bob Bradley has officially been sacked as coach of the U.S. national team. And in case your teary eyes are deceiving you, here's the announcement from the USSF's official website:
"We want to thank Bob Bradley for his service and dedication to U.S. Soccer during the past five years," said [U.S. Soccer president Sunil] Gulati. "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.
So with Bradley, his wolf stare and his collection of sweatpants likely heading back to MLS, that leaves this question: Who takes his job with the U.S. team? Here's the shortlist of candidates Carter and I swiped from Sunil Gulati's office, along with our comments on each one...
Jurgen Klinsmann -- The former German national team coach, who has been meeting with U.S. officials off and on for years now and scaring them with his ideas of a total systematic overhaul. Will this be his chance to put his grandiose ideas into practice or will he stick to consulting Toronto FC into the ground?
Any MLS coach -- Jason Kreis, Sigi Schmid, Steve Nicol, Dominic Kinnear, Bruce Arena for the comeback? They are all successful MLS coaches. Just like Bob was.
Marcello Lippi -- He won a World Cup for Italy. And, more recently, he was a part of the abomination that was Italy in the 2010 World Cup.
Carlo Ancelotti -- Seriously, I want this. The magic eyebrow would dominate CONCACAF with its press conference gymnastics alone.
Michael Bradley -- Just to make it extra awkward at the Bradleys' holiday dinner table this year, why not Bradley's son Michael as player/coach?
Freddy Adu -- Staying with the player/coach theme, now that The Adu is back, just put him in charge of everything. He has a good 45 years of experience in the game at this point.
Abby Wambach -- Maybe it's time someone from the more successful women's side shows the U.S. men how it's done. She's already been named player/coach for her WPS team. Natural progression.
Chicharito -- Just to make some heads explode. Also because he can score more from the touchline than most USMNT players can from inside the box.
Rafa Benitez -- He's been unemployed for a while now, so someone has to take pity on him. Plus, not having to go against Alex Ferguson will make him 87 percent more sane. FACT.
Timber Joey -- Hey, he has a chainsaw.
Maradona -- You know you want it.