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.