With news that Bob Bradley has been fired as the coach of the United States men's national team hitting the soccer-watching public like a ton of bricks, speculation as to his replacement as started in earnest. Among the popular suggestions are a host of current MLS coaches. Taking just a small step back, though, there seems to be very little reason to believe this is the case.
For one, the timing simply does not make sense for the USSF to hire someone currently managing a MLS team. Along with the announcement, it was also revealed that Bradley's replacement would be named on Friday. If a MLS coach was really in line to be the next U.S. manager, why do it in the middle of the season?
Beyond the timing, some of the obvious MLS candidates have already made it clear they aren't the guy. Real Salt Lake's Jason Kreis might be the best young MLS candidate, but he is said to be wondering who the next coach is. Sigi Schmid, the Seattle Sounders current coach who just signed a five-year extension, told reporters that he had not been contacted:
(Are you interested in the job?) "That's something that I really don't need to answer because nobody's talked to me. I think any coach in this country, especially someone who's coached in America for a long time, would have an interest in coaching the national team. I think that's going to be a 'yes' answer from any American coach that you ask, but at the end of the day is it the right thing? Is it the right time? Where are you coming from? Where are you at? All that affects that ultimate decision. What I can tell you is I'm very happy where I'm at. I love the Sounders, I love Seattle and I really like our team."
Other current MLS coaches don't make much sense either. Bruce Arena has already had his chance and he is currently in the midst of a highly successful season. Schellas Hyndman would be an interesting choice, but the 60-year-old has only coached above the college level for less than three season. Peter Nowak was once an assistant with the USMNT, but it would be odd to replace Bradley with one of his former assistants.
The one current MLS coach who might make some sense is the Houston Dynamo's Dominic Kinnear. He is a former USMNT player and has enjoyed a fair amount of success in MLS, having one two MLS Cups and a Supporters' Shield. Even Kinnear has some obvious red-flags, not the least of which being that his teams have been awful in each of the past two season.
Once you get beyond that group, the pickings get pretty thin as no one really seems to have the pedigree or experience to justify being handed the keys to the national team.
The one name that continues to be floated with MLS connections is Jurgen Klinsmann. The former Germany star player and coach was reportedly offered the job prior to Bradley receiving an extension, but issues of control could not be sorted out. Klinsmann's SoccerSolutions has been hired by Toronto FC as consultants, but his day-to-day role with the team is minimal.