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Bob Bradley Named Interim Head Coach for US Men's Soccer

Bob Bradley has been named interim head coach of the U.S. men's soccer team and head coach of the U.S. under-23 team that will aim to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati announced Bradley's appointment on Friday.

Juergen Klinsmann had been the overwhelming favorite for the job, but after lengthy discussions with U.S. soccer officials he decided to take himself out of the running. Gulati would not give any details of those discussions.

Klinsmann led Germany to a surprise third place finish at the World Cup in his home country in July, then stepped down, saying he needed time off. He is married to an American and lives with his family in California.

The 48-year-old Bradley was named Major League Soccer Coach of the Year this past season for turning around Chivas USA. Chivas had the worst record in the league last year, but under Bradley this past season the team reached the playoffs by finishing third in the Western Conference.

With 124 victories, Bradley is the winningest coach in MLS history. He won one MLS Cup championship and two U.S. Open Cups with the Chicago Fire.

Bradley has previously been on the U.S. National Team coaching staff as an assistant with the 1996 Olympic team and as an assistant at several winter training camps and games during Bruce Arena's eight-year tenure as head coach of the national team. U.S. Soccer decided not renew Arena's contract after the team failed to reach the second round of this year's World Cup. The Americans had reached the quarterfinals under Arena at the 2002 World Cup.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.