The man entrusted with leading the US national team to the next level of global soccer has been given another four years to continue the job.
The U.S. Soccer Federation announced Tuesday that it has agreed to a contract extension with head coach Bob Bradley through 2014, ending months of speculation after Bradley led the team to the Round of 16 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Bradley – who was rumored to be linked with openings at English sides Fulham and Aston Villa after the Americans’ loss to Ghana in the Round of 16 – has compiled a record of 38-20-8 in four years since taking over for former national team boss Bruce Arena. [inline_node:315622]
Unlike Arena, however, Bradley guided the US to a rare first-place group finish in the World Cup, the country’s first such success in 80 years. He sparkled in South Africa in 2009 as well, as the US reached their first-ever final of a major FIFA tournament by topping eventual World Cup champions Spain en route to a berth in the final of the Confederations Cup.
Bradley’s resume also boats a 2007 Gold Cup crown and a runner-up finish in the regional tournament to Mexico in 2009. The Americans also finished first in CONCACAF qualifying for this summer’s World Cup, where they tied England and Slovenia before earning a dramatic last-second win over Algeria to win Group C.
ESPN.com reported Sunday that the USSF had met with former German national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann about the position last week. Klinsmann was reportedly offered the job after Arena’s tenure ended in 2006, but the former Bayern Munich striker turned down the position before Bradley took the post for good in May 2007.
Bradley first coached in the professional ranks with the Chicago Fire in 1998, when he led the expansion franchise to its only MLS Cup and a US Open Cup title. He spent five seasons in Chicago before joining the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, where he spent three seasons coaching the likes of current US goalkeeper Tim Howard and son Michael Bradley, both fixtures on the US national team and with Everton and Borussia Mönchengladbach, respectively.
Bradley joined Chivas USA in 2005, where he led the Goats to a third-place finish in the Western Conference during his lone season on the job in 2006.