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US Soccer Coach 'Interim' No Longer

The U.S. Soccer Federation has named interim coach Bob Bradley as the men's national team coach. As VOA's David Byrd reports, Bradley got the job after leading the U.S. men to three wins and one draw since last December.

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced Bradley's appointment in New York City on Wednesday. The 49-year-old Bradley has led the team on an interim basis for six months, and has posted three wins, one draw and no losses.

He replaces Bruce Arena, whose contract was not renewed after the Americans were winless and eliminated in the first round of last year's World Cup in Germany. U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said that he has known for a long time that Bradley would eventually lead the men's national team.

"Long before I was an officer of the [U.S. Soccer] Federation, and in the early days of MLS [Major League Soccer], I had a pretty good idea that Bob could, should, and would be the national team coach at some point in the future," said Sunil Gulati. "And so it was just a question of when. I think we are absolutely in the right place with him leading our program."

Bradley was the most successful coach in U.S. Major League Soccer with 124 career victories. He won one MLS Cup and two U.S. Open Cup titles with the Chicago Fire. He also coached the New York-New Jersey MetroStars and Chivas USA in Los Angeles. He was twice voted MLS Coach-of-the-Year.

Bradley has a contract to lead the U.S. men through the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He says fans can count on him continuing the style and the game plan that has been successful while he was interim coach.

"The focus has been on doing the right thing for the national team, doing what makes sense for the moment, doing what makes sense for the future," said Bob Bradley. "We have been able throughout this period to establish a good way of doing things and I am excited to continue with that work."

Bob Bradley takes over as the U.S. soccer team prepares to play two major tournaments in the next two months - the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Gold Cup here in the United States and the Copa America in Venezuela. The Americans play China in a friendly match June second before opening the Gold Cup against Guatemala in Los Angeles.