NEW YORK - The future of United States coach Bob Bradley and his squad remained in limbo Wednesday after a 2-0 friendly defeat to Brazil and the failure of anyone to give a firm clue as to which direction the national team will be heading.
Bradley’s contract runs out at the end of the year and should he see out his term he will be in charge for two friendlies in October.
But the 52-year-old coach was unable to say whether he would be around for those games.
“My contract is through (to) the end of the year so it’s no problem for me,” Bradley said.
“I’ll be thinking later about those games and like I have said there will be discussions,” he added.
Outclassed by a young Brazil team Tuesday, the U.S played with little of the fire and determination they have shown throughout Bradley’s reign.
Prior to the game Bradley said that discussions with U.S Soccer chief Sunil Gulati over his future had been put on hold until after the Brazil game.
But the coach, who guided the U.S to the final of the Confederations Cup and the second round of the World Cup in South Africa, also confirmed that a representative had spoken to English Premier League team Fulham on his behalf last month when there was a vacancy at the team.
When asked directly about reports linking him with the manager’s role at another Premier League team, Aston Villa, Bradley said he would “love to coach in Europe” - words which further fuelled speculation of his departure.
No American has ever coached in England’s top flight but Bradley was an early bookmaker’s favourite and Villa are owned by American Randy Lerner.
For his part, Gulati hinted after the World Cup that it might be time for an experienced foreign coach to take the U.S, World Cup quarter-finalists under Bruce Arena in 2002, to the next level in their progress.
Once again German Juergen Klinsmann, who was linked with the job before Bradley was appointed in 2006, has been put forward by the media as a front-runner although neither he nor Gulati have confirmed any talks.
The two games in October should, under normal circumstances, be ideal testing ground for a new side to begin the build-up to next year’s Gold Cup and then the qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup.
It remains to be seen whether those games mark Bradley beginning a new four-year cycle or the debut of a new face in charge of the Stars and Stripes.