Like it or not, Bob Bradley will be the man leading the U.S. for the foreseeable future. That's it. It's a done deal, so get used to it. That being said, let's not completely forget some of the magic that happened on the pitch with the Yanks since Bob took over in 2007. Robert Burns counts down Bob Bradley's five greatest triumphs as manager of the U.S. national team.
On the Casey
It wasn't long ago that winning World Cup qualifiers in Central America was an impenetrable barrier for the U.S., but the Americans did just that with a massive 3-2 victory over Honduras in San Pedro Sula as Conor Casey delivered two important goals to help pace the U.S. back on top of the CONCACAF hexagonal with one qualifier left to play in 2009.
Heating up the Cold War
The tradition of playing Mexico in the USA's home World Cup qualifier in Columbus, Ohio began back in 2001, when Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart earned the U.S. a famous 2-0 'Cold War' victory in the freezing temperatures. The same happened in 2005, so it was only fitting last year that Michael Bradley's two goals handed the U.S. yet another 2-0 win against its most hated rivals, and vital qualifying points to kick off its march to South Africa.
In front of a packed house at Soldier Field in Chicago, the U.S. squared off with fierce rivals Mexico in the 2007 Gold Cup final. After a Landon Donovan penalty kick evened the match up at 1-1 in the second half, Benny Feilhaber put the Americans ahead for good with one of the most glorious volleys you'll ever see. With the victory, the U.S. secured its place at the 2009 Confederations Cup where another bit of magic was destined to happen.
Call off the Fox hunt
Bottom line in a World Cup? There are no easy games, and the same proved to be true against group rivals Algeria at the 2010 World Cup. The Desert Foxes held their nerve (despite a perfectly legitimate disallowed goal from Clint Dempsey) until the dying seconds when Landon Donovan's tap-in off a long breakaway sent U.S. fans into rapture. With the win, the U.S. took first in its group (which included England) for the first time since 1930.
Ending the reign of Spain
The Spaniards entered the FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal in 2009 with a record 15-match winning streak (and a 35-match unbeaten streak) and were fresh off their Euro 2008 triumph over Germany. Against such world stars as Xavi, Fernando Torres and Iker Casillas, few gave the U.S. any chance at all, but the Americans outmuscled and outworked Spain for a devastating 2-0 victory that put them into their first-ever FIFA international final. It also proved to the world that the U.S. would never be considered a pushover ever again.