How Bradley's exit could change team 

July, 28, 2011

With Bob Bradley fired as coach of the U.S. national team and his successor not yet officially named, we'll have plenty of time to review the Bradley era and ponder Sunil Gulati's decision in the coming weeks. While the decision surprised us, as it did everyone in the soccer world, perhaps it shouldn't have.

After all, we cited several reasons Bradley's job was in trouble after the Panama loss in group play at the Gold Cup. As we pointed out then, "Bradley was never Gulati's first choice to begin with -- not in 2006, when he was hired on an interim basis, and not last summer, when U.S. Soccer again flirted with Jurgen Klinsmann after being eliminated by Ghana from the World Cup. Even since renewing Bradley in August 2010, Gulati has reportedly spoken with former Chile and Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa, purportedly for a newly created position as technical director.

"The fact U.S. Soccer is in no rush to hire a coach for the U.S. U-20 team could also be telling. Is Gulati waiting to see how this summer shakes out in case a new senior team boss wants to bring in his own man?"

In any case, change is coming, and for now, we'll take a quick look at how the move affects U.S. players. For every member of the pool, and for many others not yet in it, life will be different. But like any coach, Bradley relied on a core group of players during his tenure, and many of them will undoubtedly feel ripple effects from the coaching change. Here's a quick list of "Bob guys," and how a new regime affects them:

Luke Cyphers is a former senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.