Choosing between Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley for greatest Men’s National Team coach is hard. It’s like picking who is a better actor: Adam Sandler or Rob Schneider. Neither has a real impressive canon of work. Both sometimes put out product that makes me want to vomit. But, a decision had to be made, so I am going with Bruce as #1 and Bob as his assistant at #2.
Bruce did have a good run. In the eight years he led the team, he amassed an impressive record of 72-30-29. He, more than any other coach, built the squad into a competitor at the highest level, as evidenced by his leadership during the 2002 World Cup. Sure, he made some questionable tactical decisions during the 2006 World Cup, but he’s still the most successful US MNT coach in history in my opinion.
At least for now. A good result for Bradley in 2010 (say, round of 16?) could pass Bob into the top spot all-time. His record right now (21-8-3) may trump Arena’s, but he hasn’t faced the same kind of competition. Plus, while his son Michael can play, I think he may favor him too much. Until he has success at a World Cup, I am simply not going to move him ahead of Arena in the all-time rankings.
I know what many diehards out there are thinking. Didn’t Bruce lead the 2006 World Cup Team with Bob as his assistant? Yes. Didn’t that team fail miserably? Yes. But, I have to work with what I got here, and there is no denying that these two men are the most successful MNT coaches ever. So, there you have it STO readers, your starting 11 and coaches for the MNT Best XI. Come back tomorrow for the subs!