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Quote Sheet: Bob Bradley Comments on Being Named Interim Head Coach of the U.S. MNT

U.S. MNT Interim Head Coach BOB BRADLEY
On if he has been given the best conditions in which to succeed:
“I really can’t worry about the conditions. As the coach, you have your opportunity with your players to create a good team, to create a good environment. You let the work speak for itself. I am excited to get going with the group in January. I’ve been part of January camps with Bruce in the past, so I know the challenges because U.S.-based players in some cases have been off for a few months and the idea of getting them fit quickly, playing a game against Denmark (January 20) and February 7 against Mexico. Those are great challenges, and we are all looking forward to getting started again.”

On what it means to work for U.S. Soccer:
“As a coach you want to win a championship every year, and we didn’t. There is always the challenge of the next game. I loved the work in MLS. Our league has come so far in 11 years, and I am proud of the part that I played in that with the teams that I have been involved with. For this next period of time I look forward to working with our National Team and our Olympic Team.”

On being the interim coach and also a candidate for the head coach job:
“I will be very driven to lead our team the right way. I am confident in my work. The way the call has gone so far it comes across a little bit as a forgone conclusion that someone new will be coming in. I don’t feel that way. I understand that I have had really good, honest conversations with Sunil and I know some of the people that he is referring to. But I also feel that there are things, having been in this country and having coached so many of our players over the years, having been part of MLS and part of our youth programs, that I have advantages that others don’t have. I want to make sure that those things count, that in the next six months they show in the play of the team and then we see where that takes us.”

On if he would stay on the staff if a head coach is hired:
“I’ve told Sunil in our discussions – and this is the part that I don’t mind sharing - if indeed someone is brought in, that person is going to still choose who they want to have as, say, a right hand man. From my end, I feel like I know the kind of people that I can work successfully with. Those things would need to be right on both sides. If those things are right, this is not an ego thing, this is about pushing our game forward, and if I could play that role with the right person, I would be proud of that.”

On the Gold Cup and Copa America:
“I think the discussions about those two tournaments is such that it gives us the opportunity to look at many of our players in really tough environments. Certainly as we begin this next cycle, it’s truly important that we give as many of our players tough experiences, real games, tough environments and from that we begin to narrow down the group that we feel can help us in this transition period. We know that some key members of the team have retired from international competition and I think that the events this summer are important events in terms of the transition. As far as the period of time between now and then, there are friendlies. If we look to the Feb. 7 match against Mexico, we know that those games always count for more Moreover, I believe that in this period, in the environment that you create in the camps that you have an opportunity to show the kind of work that I think we all know is important in order to continue to be successful.”

On whether this is a risky career move:
“For me, again, I think I always say to the players that I coach, when certain moments come, you take advantage, you can’t look back, you can’t be afraid, that’s what life is all about. If that’s a risk, so be it. I’ve said many times on this call, I’m looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”

On advice he has gotten from Bruce Arena:
“Bruce and I have always had the kind of friendship where we talk honestly and openly. In those few minutes, if I spoke to a couple of people, Bruce certainly would have been one. I know I can continue always to count on his advice. Whether I listen to him or not is another question. He’s been a great friend and there is no getting around the fact that when someone has been in it the way he has, his experiences, his insights are very important for everything that we are doing. I will continue to look toward him. After we spoke about the whole thing, Bruce said to me ‘You’re the right man, you should take the job.’”

On his friendship with Bruce Arena:
“That’s a question that I’ve heard so many times, but I still don’t have a great answer. I think that there are areas that I think are very similar. I do know that the two of us along with so many others care so much about the game in this country, and it’s been something that we have all enjoyed working together to move the game forward. Differences, yes there are differences in terms of how we look at certain things. We don’t always think that the same players are as good or as bad or fit the right way. When you’re involved in the game there will always be these little details and whenever I’ve worked with Bruce we’ve enjoyed the part that we challenge each other and that is important. I’ve been fortunate that when I moved out on my own I’ve worked with others that challenged me and kept me on my toes.”

On how the job description of U.S. National Team coach might be different for the Latin American or European model for a national team coach:
“I think we all know that the main job of the national team coach is to win games, to qualify for the World Cup. In some cases the pressure to play a certain type of soccer is important, but, clearly, number one is winning games. There are many people who play roles in terms of the development of our game and I feel that I’ve been fortunate to be part of that process for a lot of years. I feel like I’m always part of that in terms of looking at young players, having opinions in terms of what we need to do better in order to develop our young players so that eventually they can move up the ladder and help our national team win games. In my case, I know I will always be part of that process, so for the next six months, yes, I will help in those ways, probably more than someone that would come here and would not have the knowledge that I have of those lowers levels. But it always goes back to the fact that the national team coach is responsible for the top team and winning and being in the World Cup, and doing well in the World Cup.”

On the decision to leave Chivas USA:
“Things happened quickly in the last few days, that’s true, but I think I spoke earlier about what the national team means. It’s difficult to step away from Chivas at this time, because I feel very good about the work we were all doing there, but when certain moments come, you have to be ready, and in this situation, I am excited and I am ready to go.”

On how he has left Chivas USA for their next coach:
“I think that the situation at Chivas USA is excellent. Players like Ante Razov and Jesse Marsh were really proud to be a part of Chivas USA, and I have no doubt that after some discussions, Amado can already see what the organization is all about. I know the leadership of certain guys – Claudio Suarez, for example. The young talent - Sacha Kljestan, Jonathan Bornstein and Pancho Mendoza - I think that the team improved this year and I think that it will continue to improve in the coming years.”