The US men’s national team made a real mess of the recent Gold Cup, despite making it to the final, and at one point, being up 2-0 on the eventual winners, Mexico. That result flatters a team that lost to Panama and scraped past Guadeloupe 1-0, and merely illustrates that the US can still be awful and be one of the two best teams in the CONCACAF region. To be fair, I can remember a day when that wasn’t the case, and the US qualifying for the World Cup wasn’t a given. But the team’s performance has hit a plateau, and shows no signs of picking up.
There are two basic schools of thought on what’s wrong: the pool of available players sucks, or the manager, Bob Bradley, sucks. Despite the way this argument is playing out online, it’s not an either/or situation. Both are true. (more…)