US Soccer signs Bradley to four-year extension

Bob Bradley has agreed to a contract extension Monday that will
see him remain coach of the U.S. football team until after the 2014
World Cup.

U.S. Soccer announced the four-year contract extension late
Monday, ending speculation Bradley was seeking a job in Europe and
that the federation wanted to start anew in the lead-up to the 2014
World Cup in Brazil. Financial terms were not disclosed.

”Bob is honored to be the U.S. coach,” said Ron Waxman,
Bradley’s agent. ”It’s a job he enjoys very much, and he’s very
happy.”

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati and Bradley will address the
extension Tuesday.

The United States won its group at the World Cup in South Africa
before being eliminated in a 2-1 extra time loss to Ghana.

Though many countries addressed their coaching situations soon
after the World Cup, Gulati felt no pressure to move quickly
because Bradley’s current deal didn’t expire until December. The
Americans also had a friendly against Brazil earlier this month and
will play two more in October.

As the weeks passed, however, it seemed less likely Bradley
would be retained. Despite reaching the second round, Gulati has
said he thought the Americans were capable of more in South Africa.
Bradley also expressed interest in jobs overseas, including Fulham
and Aston Villa in the English Premier League.

It’s often tough for coaches to replicate success over to a
second cycle, too. Bradley replaced Bruce Arena, who led the
Americans to the quarterfinals in 2002 only to see them crash out
in the first round in 2006.

But in the end, Bradley and U.S. Soccer decided to stay the
course. Bradley is well-respected tactically, and players
appreciate his even keel and open-mindedness. He selected both
Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez for South Africa despite the fact
neither was even on the depth chart at the beginning of the
year.

Gulati and Bradley met last Thursday, and negotiations on a new
deal were finalized Sunday night.