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U.S.A. Fire Bob Bradley

Shocked to hear that the U.S. men’s team have fired Bob Bradley. A statement from U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said Bradley had been relieved of his duties.

“We want to thank Bob Bradley for his service and dedication to U.S. Soccer during the past five years,” Gulati said in a statement. “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.”

Bradley leaves as posting a 43-25-12 record in his four years in charge. He helped lead the U.S. to the Round of 16 of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after which he was given a four-year contract extension.

So why fire Bradley now, and not last summer? The only reason I can think of is the team’s performance in the Gold Cup. Yes the team lost for the first time ever in the group stages when Panama stunned the U.S. 201. And they blew a two goal lead in the Gold Cup final eventually losing 4-2 to Mexico.

In the last three years Bradley has taken the U.S. to the final of the Confederations Cup, the last 16 of the World Cup and the final of the Gold Cup. And that isn’t good enough for Gulati? What does the next coach need to do? Reach at least the quarter-finals of the World Cup?