116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Status Quo

Out of the fog of the Klinsmann debacle/Bradley appointment, comes the most pertinent question facing the National Team; how much of an overhaul does USA Soccer really need? We spent most of the past four-and-a-half months believing that this entire program needed rebuilding from the ground up, beginning with Bruce Arena but ultimately filtering down to even the grassroots levels of the game. American players need to learn a new style, we said. Natural evolution was no longer enough, we needed a Jurgen Klinsmann to inject a whole new outlook on the way we play the game. The cautious counterattack of Bruce Arena's era would give way to a Jose-Pekerman-esque style of flowing, attractive football, and a new generation of talent, divorced from Arena's steady, low-risk/low-reward system, would lead the new frontier of American soccer.
Now we have Bob Bradley, quite the competent individual, but in the minds of fans, sponsors and everyone who has some kind of stake in the U.S. game, not the man who will overhaul the game. We look to Sunil Gulati, the "superfan" seemingly most actively advocating this new version of USA Soccer, to provide answers as to how so much of the status quo has been reestablished. When one is talking about radically changing the landscape and culture of the game in this country, how much meaning does a word like "control" hold in the conversation? Without clear knowledge of the issues at stake, we fans cannot justify how such a deal does not come to be. How do I wish I could talk to Sunil Gulati over the next few weeks and find out what exactly went wrong with the Klinsmann hiring; of course, that will never happen (or will it?)...


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