(Tuesday, May 15,, 2007) -- Bob Bradley, who has served as the interim coach of the United States men since December, will be appointed to the job on a full-time basis at a Wednesday press conference in New York, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Since the United States Soccer Federation chose not to renew the contract of Bruce Arena following a disappointing 2006 World Cup in Germany, Bradley, 49, has led the Americans to a 3-0-1 record, defeating Denmark, Mexico and Ecuador, and tying Guatemala.
The U.S plays in two major tournaments this summer -- the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the regional championship, and then Copa America, the South American championship event - then heads into the two-year process of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The U.S. won the Gold Cup in 2002 and 2005 under Arena.
Jürgen Klinsmann was courted to replace Arena, but the USSF was not able to reach a contract agreement with the 2006 Germany World Cup coach and California resident. He was one of a half-dozen candidates to be seriously considered for the job, the Times reported.
Arena was 71-30-29 (.658) as national-team coach and led the U.S. to the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals in South Korea. However, four years later in Germany, the U.S. failed to advance from group play in a generally lacking performance.
Bradley and Arena are close friends. Bradley was an assistant to Arena at University of Virginia, on the U.S. Olympic team in the 1996 Summer Games and for D.C. United when it won the first two Major League Soccer championships in 1996 and 1997.
Bradley then became head coach of the expansion Chicago Fire, which won the MLS and U.S. Open Cup titles in 1998 and the Open Cup again in 2000. In 2002, he became coach of the MetroStars, who fired him with three games left in the 2005 season.
He served as coach of Chivas USA in 2006, but resigned after one season to become coach of the U.S. men and the American Olympic team. The Times reported Bradley would retain the Olympic responsibilities, which include qualifying for the 2008 Games in Beijing."
Bradley is popular with the U.S players. Captain Landon Donovan told the Times he would be a good choice to be the permanent coach. "He hasn't lost yet, right?" he asked.
"He's done a good job with us," Donovan continued. "It was hard when he first came in because I'd had eight years with Bruce and things changed a little bit. Bob kind of tightened the strings, made things a little stricter, but every time I've been out there I've been motivated to play. So from my standpoint, he deserves it."
Bradley was the coach at Princeton for 12 years before joining Arena at D.C. United and has a 138-107-57 (.551) record in MLS with the most coaching victories in league history. He was the only two-time MLS "Coach of the Year."