Friday, July 07, 2006

US Soccer President talks about Klinsmann, Adu and the future

US Soccer President Sunil Gulati talked with Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl about all things related to the US game. Gulati did not come out with anything major, however, when you are talking about the future national team coach, even minor statements can be seen as major.

The big question to Gulati was the future of Bruce Arena. To this one, Gulati has said the same thing he has been saying, we will make a decision after the World Cup. He also defended the coach against the harsher criticism that has come his way. However, he did not say anything along the lines of 'the decision is up to Bruce.'

When asked about a The Daily Telegraph report that cited an unnamed US Soccer source as saying the job had already been offered to Germany coach Jürgen Klinsmann, Gulati gave a non-answer, answer.

I got asked that question yesterday, and my response was this: The timetable I announced two weeks ago is the one we're sticking to. So I think that answers the question. We haven't made any decisions, judgments or anything else and won't do that until next week.

If you put out a feeler to see if a coach is willing to accept the job, does that equal a judgment or anything else? He could have said, 'no, we have not done that,' but instead he uses a round about answer to suggest that nothing has moved forward. If the future of the Bruce has not been decided, I find it hard to believe that the federation has not approached other coaches to see if they are open to the idea of coaching the team.

Gulati also has a very strong opinion on Freddy Adu's future as a US or Ghana star saying that he thinks Adu will decide to play for the red, white and blue. I agree with his take. Adu turned down the offer to play with Ghana this year, when he was promised a starting spot on the line-up, so I find it hard to believe that he would decide to go now, especially with his play at DC proving that he is ready for senior duty.

Finally, the president talks about the Copa América and other issues facing soccer in the US. He wants to do the Copa, but the problem, as always, is scheduling. As far as other issues, he has enjoyed his time in Germany and thinks that, even though our team didn't do so great, the amount of interest showed the World Cup by the media and spectators shows that soccer is heading in the right direction in the US of A.



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