I know this topic is going to seem old, but really the Italy game showed us a lot fire why we made a change. But what it really boils down to is that he didn’t know where to play Clint Dempsey.
Usa soccer doesn’t have the best players individually in the world. We haven’t yet developed our Messi. Not saying that day isn’t coming with an emphasis on the youth game and player development in MLS schools, but until it does we have to use what we have. And what we have is a very strong collection of very underrated players, but the key to being the coach and getting results is fitting those pieces together to make a strong team. With our pieces we can compete with anyone even though we don’t have that superstar.
Bradley was a good coach, but he had one system, if you didnt fit in his system you didn’t work on the team. At times the pieces fit for him and he could get big wins, but if someone went out he couldn’t adapt. Klinsmann on the other hand has already shown that he will play people where they help the team the most despite their flaws. Instead of sticking Dempsey on the wing cause that’s where there was space for him, he put him where he is most affective and was rewarded with a goal. He put Shea and Johnson on the same wing so they could do overlaps and cover for each others mistakes and they showed a strong tandem although Brek had moments where his decision making wasn’t the best. Maybe he can develop into someone who like Deuce works best behind the forwards, but while that improves he has found the spot where he does help the team now. Putting two center defensive midfielders together is just another way Klinsmann has improved the usa. Defensive players isn’t our deepest position but midfielders who stop the ball are. So play to your strengths and get them on the field. (I know this is the opposite of what I said in my last post but whatever)
Bradley was a good coach for the time, but a coach who now has shown lineup flexibility that is working was needed to step in to win now. We will have to see how his player development works as we move to this next world cup and beyond.