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Soccer Report Extra Podcast: Episode 23 – At The Copa, Copa America

Written by on July 5, 2011 | 7 Comments »
Posted in Soccer Report Extra Podcast

On this week’s edition of the Soccer Report Extra podcast Eoin and Bobby look at the opening games of the Copa America, what you need to do to have a penalty called for hand-ball at the Women’s World Cup, and finally dip into the mail bag to answer questions about Bob Bradley and whether he should remain in charge of the USA national side.

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7 responses to “Soccer Report Extra Podcast: Episode 23 – At The Copa, Copa America”

  1. Mark says:

    Bobby & Eoin: Thank you very much for directly addressing my numerous questions and enlightening me and perhaps others who’ve had similar questions/thoughts on their minds. I daily read from many soccer websites and you discussed a few topics that I think are not often brought up. To you it must be obvious that a national Coach doesn’t teach skills, and perhaps that was my naivete, but thanks for explaining their proper role and limitations. The call for a foreign coach is another topic that you covered well, that alot of U.S. fans needed to hear addressed (IMHO).
    I am not one of those fans who believe (unrealistically) that the U.S. should be challenging for top spot in the World Cup anytime soon, and I realize that it is going to take quite a few years of contiunual improvement to move up the ranks. I did, however, think that another coach could help bring a fresh perspective to the team’s tactics and strategies. I am now reassessing my opinion. I guess I thought that there was nothing new Mr. Bradley could bring to the future U.S. teams and that something new was needed. But as you point out, his familiarity is a strength that should not be left behind. Just for the record, I am a supporter of the women’s team as well, and have atteneded several matches of each team at the Meadowlands in NJ (including both friendlies with Argentina, for the men and a win against Brazil a few years back for the women). Ok this reply is too long, but there was just one point that I think you didn’t address (sorry to nitpick), but is there anything specific you think that can/should be done, to help us move along, besides just being patient and getting more players involved in better leagues? Thanks again guys for showing us that you are in touch with your readers/listeners. And thanks for indulging this reader/listener in particular. I won’t call them the USMNT anymore Bobby.

  2. paul says:

    if the US had beaten panama in the group stage do you think people would still say that it was poor coaching/players in the final against mexico or that mexico was just really really good?

    i’m not sure i can think of a coach who’d do better than bradley if we replaced him now, but that does make me wonder what we will do in 2014 when bradley’s contract runs out. who are some of the candidates for then?

    do you think they’d look at piotr nowak? he’s foreign, he ended his playing career in the US (under bradley at chicago), he’s been pretty good as a coach here, and i think he was also a US youth national team coach for a few years too.

    i know klinnsman will always be mentioned since he lives in california but i don’t know any other names that seem logical outside the two i’ve mentioned.

  3. Mark – thank you for the above. There is a potential weakness in our “solution” that we can’t necessarily overlook. It is fine to preach the “hold-steady and onwards” philosophy but it is predicated on the right plan being in place and the right feedback and measurements of progress being in place as well.

    That is the job of the USSF as it is with any national governing body. The canary in the mine is the progress or lack thereof being made by the national under-age teams and the increase in the number of players actually being able to turn soccer into a professional career.

  4. Mr McMahon, then what is Argentina’s answer. MAybe 2 team setups. 1 team built for all the other stars minus Messi. And one team built for Messi?
    Do they have the time after the copa america to make that possible, or is that too foolish an idea for Argentina?

    I think the French German game was interesting in that both teams started slow, and not with all their starters.
    Second, it is interesting that France’s run happened after the second half with Thomis and Necib sitting. I still say they will win the tournament. Fully loaded they are the best with that Lyon clubcore like Spain’s men’s national side with Barcelona. To continue the officiating argument, that red card to the French goalie is strictly right, but questionable in my mind for a red card.

    As someone who was a kid in the States, I agree wholeheartedly that Bradley is not to blame for the quality of players in the States.
    The problem is that youth development is poor, anyone who has wanted to play soccer professionally as a kid in the States know that.
    Now they have some structure, but in truth, the MLS is a poor league for talent development.
    The French womens team has jumped above Canada in the women’s soccer game when they had a program far below Canada and definitely the States womens program.
    But, show great quality today in the Woman’s World Cup.

    Many countries go through the infatuation with foreign coaches. Look at CAF sides, like Ivory Coast as you said, look at AFC sides.
    The States isnt alone. The question is, should national sides be forced to use domestic coaches?
    I disagree with the idea that the States are above all others with youth development now. Yes, development is better than ever but not as expansive in the States as Eoin states.

  5. LA says:

    Dear Bobby and Eoin,

    Bobby, I love your insight most of the time. You are one of the most thoughtful and incisive commentators on the game and you are very consistent. Eoin, I appreciate your frank, experienced and observant views as well.

    I am a new listener of the podcast from WFD, and I love what you guys do.

    That being said, I disagree with the premise of your response to Mark’s question about Bob. No one is asking Bob to teach the players soccer. However, an effective coach with this group of players must get in their head to help them tactically figure out what they are doing well and what they are not doing well.

    Bob impassively watches this team as if he is coaching Brazil, and expects his instructions to be followed through. The fact is that the US players get easily lost on the field, and they need an active coach that connects with them that helps them tactically adjust, pick up their game if they need to, and help them see the vision on the field that they lack.

    You both are absolutely belittling the fans by disparaging them as mindlessly upset asking for a complete restart every time we lose in my opinion. That is far from the truth for many of Bob’s critics.

    The fact is working for any manager for two cycles is not a light decision. It does get stale working for any manager in any environment for this time period. And I don’t think many of the senior players are that intellectually engaged with Bob anymore.

    As far as a foreign manager, the point is not foreign for foreign sake. It is a desire for an introduction to a different tactical approach. For example, Bob has consistently shied away from possession, creative players like Adu and Torres, while showing great loyalty to certain athletic, defensively complete players like Bornstein, Edu, Jones, Clark. He only now gets to Adu because he runs out of ideas and is not performing in the gold cup. Many US managers are cut from the same cloth (Arena, Zigi) tactically which is why the foreign manager wants to be tried by many. Bora was quite the effective coach in 1994, and a very different coach to the mold of the Bobs. There are many, important foreign managers that are really man managers such as Scolari, Ancelloti, Capello which I don’t think are what the team need. People are looking for a tactician really such as a Bielsa, or other proven coaches from South America, Central AMerica, or perhaps Eastern Europe. Sven, despite Lazio, is a step backward in many ways. I know that the US can’t afford the “best”, and I am not sure the “best” are required.

    At least give people the benefit of the doubt that they may want a tactical change in the approach to the game. You did not even discuss Bob’s tactical approach in your analysis.

    I hope you do not take this as anything more than constructive and feedback, but your whole segment on Bob today was critically and intellectually lazy in my opinion and full of assumptions and stereotypes about US fan reactions.

    I have heard enough good things from you (my third podcast) that I am going to keep listening (and you are both brilliant on FSR and when you come on WFD), but this easy dismissal of critics of Bob rings of nothing more than a lack of consideration for their views IMHO.

    Thankfully, others, including other podcasts, and players like Eric Wynalda are weighing the arguments involved more carefully in my opinion and even agreeing, to different degrees, with the view that ridding the program of Bob (after serving a great, first cycle) is the best thing as we embark on the next cycle for the team on the field. I think, which you also do not address, there are other check boxes in regards to arrangements with the federation that Bob will not ruffle that makes him a compelling candidate for insiders.

    Anyway, I thought that was a shallow treatment of that subject given your standards.

    I look forward to the analytical quality I have heard on other matters on future podcasts.

    I realize many may disagree with my view completely; and I hope I have not been disagreeable in my disagreement. I hope I have not carelessly transgressed the House Rules.

  6. Soccerlogicaql says:

    LA – I think you listened to one too many of neurotic Cohen’s WFD podcasts.

    There is a reason why Adu is currently playing for a Turkish DIV 2 and why the likes of Edu and Jones are starters for top European clubs and played well in both EL and CL play.

    Bradley used this tournie to give the likes of Ream, Goodson, Jones, Adu, Agudelo a look and we got a good idea of our capabilities going into WC qualifiers. Bradley knows he still has a promising fullback who plays in Bundesliga (T Chandler) an injured Holden and recovering C Davies to integrate into the squad. Reaching the GC final with a different look and trying a few different things was NOT THE END OF THE WORLD!

    Other than Bielsa or Rijkaard who have both been tied up, I can’t think of any other coach who would take the job (based on pay and how the USSF operates) OR whose coaching style and personality meshes well with the current status of US soccer.

  7. LA says:

    Intersting take SOCCERLOGICAQL.

    Trust me, Cohen was not the reason I listened to WFD. There is another guy on that show, Kenny Hassan, does a good job. And the guests are worth it. I don’t think Cohen even played the game.

    Yeah, I saw the Rijkaard signing for Saudi Arabia. Bielsa is free and has expressed interest in the job. The USSF is the gorilla in the room. We all know the big name managers, but if the USSF was a great organization it would spend the resources and time to find interesting candidates they can afford.

    I would not be so quick to write-off Adu. Styles of soccer come and go. Soccer had definitely leaned toward athletic, big and fast, but Spanish soccer and Barca are starting a different game.

    If Bob showed 1/2 the loyalty he has shown to Sasha, Ricardo Clark, Bornstein, and some of the defensive mids to players like Adu and Torres, things could be quite interesting and different for the team.

    Anyway, I don’t rate Bob as a manager for this team; the guy has a basic philosophy of soccer which is okay at best, and I am ready for a shift, whether it works or not; understand others disagree.

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