Lots of complaints, whining, discussion, hand-wringing, etc. over the latest US World Cup qualifier, another 1-0 win away, this time in Cuba. I have some problems with some of the player selection (hello, Mr. Cooper; goodbye, Mr. Johnson), but have been overall satisfied with the job Bob Bradley has done.
The issue that has bugged me the most about the discussion of how the US has done is that Bradley hasn't developed the team well enough since he took over. Is that really his job? I think his hands are tied in the player development, that's the responsibility of the clubs. It's not like Bradley really has his hands on these players for very long at a time. The time of months long national team camps is way in the past.
There have been strides at the youth level in recent years, and that will begin paying off with the full national team in the near future. I can understand why he left Freddy and Jozy off the roster for these games, they need to get settled with their new clubs in Europe. I think Jozy's hat trick in a friendly over there will do more to get him minutes with the Yellow Submarine than anything he would have done in Cuba. We need those guys in their best shape for the Hex next year.
Bradley's used the veterans in the first three games of the semifinal round, and they've gotten the job done (barring a choke job against Trinidad, let's keep the Revs players off the field for that one). I hope he starts blooding some new guys in the final 3 games to see if they can be of service for the Hex next year.
The grade is a definite incomplete at this stage, let's talk more after the semifinal round is over...