WASHINGTON – The quiet war of words between Jurgen Klinsmann and Bob Bradley continued on Monday.
Speaking to the media just before his team's afternoon training session at RFK Stadium, the current US national team boss responded to the former USMNT coach's recent comments about the circumstances leading up to his replacement of Bradley in 2011, refuting the idea that he had “jockeyed” for the job as a television commentator during the 2010 World Cup.
“It's simply not true,” said Klinsmann as his team prepared for Tuesday's friendly vs. New Zealand (8 pm ET, ESPN, UniMas). “I could've taken the job in 2006. I could've taken it in 2010. and then we got together again in 2011 and finally figured out a way to kind of make this happen. I was not jockeying anything.”
Bradley long kept quiet about the situation around his dismissal, which took place after the US lost the 2011 Gold Cup final 4-2 to Mexico at the Rose Bowl. Klinsmann was widely reported to be the favored coaching choice of US Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati at multiple junctures following the departure of Bruce Arena in 2006, but the two sides could not reach an agreement for another five years.
Bradley unloaded on the topic on Friday during his first press conference as manager of English Premier League club Swansea City when a reporter asked him about Klinsmann's warm public endorsement of his hiring by the Swans.
“I don't appreciate the way it was done – I think they made a mistake,” said Bradley. “I'm glad that Jurgen says some nice things now. When he did commentary on the 2010 World Cup, he was already jockeying for the job. … So if he has said something in a nice way, I appreciate it. And if at some point he chooses to try to work again outside the US, I wish him the best.”
On Monday Klinsmann again expressed well wishes for Bradley as he takes up the challenge of leading Swansea.
“I wish Bob the very, very best. I think it's a big, big moment having an American coach coaching a Premier League club,” said Klinsmann. “I think it's huge. And he's an awesome guy. He's a good person and I just keep my fingers crossed for him.”