Bradley to Be Permanent U.S. Coach

By Steven Goff
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 16, 2007

After five months as the interim coach of the U.S. men's national soccer team, Bob Bradley has been given the job full time.

The U.S. Soccer Federation has scheduled a news conference today in New York to announce the decision, which was first reported by last week.

Bradley -- a former University of Virginia and D.C. United assistant who has been a head coach for three MLS teams -- accepted the temporary role after the USSF failed to reach a deal with top candidate Juergen Klinsmann, Germany's World Cup coach last summer. Bradley, 49, has guided the U.S. team to a 3-0-1 record, including a 2-0 victory over arch rival Mexico, and has been preparing the squad for this summer's Gold Cup and Copa America tournaments.

Neither Bradley's agent, Ron Waxman, nor USSF President Sunil Gulati would comment, but sources close to the situation, who did not want to be identified because of the impending formal announcement, said Bradley had been told of the decision in recent days.

The U.S. team has not had a permanent coach since Bruce Arena was dismissed following the Americans' winless performance in the 2006 World Cup.

In December, upon appointing Bradley the interim coach, Gulati said he wanted to interview international candidates this spring before making a decision. Among those believed to be on Gulati's short list were former Argentina coach Jose Pekerman; Gerard Houllier, who coaches French club Lyon; and Manchester United assistant Carlos Queiroz. It is unclear, though, whether Gulati entered into serious talks with anyone other than Bradley.

If he had not been chosen, Bradley would have remained on the USSF payroll as coach of the under-23 national team, which will attempt to qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Now, that responsibility might fall to his assistant, former D.C. coach Peter Nowak.

Fred, Simms Available

D.C. United midfielders Fred and Clyde Simms have participated in regular workouts this week and will be available for Saturday's match at Toronto, Coach Tom Soehn said yesterday. Fred was out because of a groin injury, and Simms had an ankle injury.

"It's good, I'm ready," said Fred, who was United's most influential player against New England on May 3 before suffering the injury. He sat out the 2-1 victory over Chivas USA three days later.

Defender Devon McTavish, however, continues to recover from a hip flexor and is doubtful for this weekend.

Meantime, Soehn declined to discuss his trip to Poland last week to scout defender Bartosz Bosacki, who scored two goals in the World Cup last year. "Right now, we have no Polish players," he said.

News reports in Poland over the weekend implied that United's chances of signing Bosacki were slim, but a U.S.-based source said he remains very interested in coming to MLS. United would have to purchase his contract or negotiate a loan with his club, Lech Poznan.

Okoh Named Howard Coach

Joseph Okoh, the head coach at Shepherd University in West Virginia, has been selected as the Howard men's coach, according to sources familiar with the selection process. He succeeds Keith Tucker, whose contract was not renewed after 26 seasons and a trip to the 1988 NCAA final four. The Bison won just 17 games combined the past five years.

Before going to Shepherd, Okoh coached at several Washington area high schools. He is a native of Nigeria who played at Metropolitan State in Denver.

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