This appeared in my inbox the other day —
“Dear U.S. Soccer Fan –
I am honored and excited to be addressing you for the first time as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. This is a tremendous opportunity for me and my family, and we appreciate all the support you have given us so far. Soccer in the United States has come a long way in the last 20 years, and as a long-time resident of California I have seen firsthand the growth of the sport in this country. There has been great work done by the previous coaches of the U.S. National Team and many accomplishments to be proud of, and I intend to build on that foundation. Having played abroad in different countries has given me a different perspective, and while I have my own ideas for the program, it is important to make sure these ideas suit the American game.
Everyone will have their voices heard, from fellow coaches to members of the media, and especially you the fans. I deeply believe that soccer in a certain way reflects the culture of a country, and together we will develop a team and a style that truly represents the character of the United States.
During the next few months, I will be taking advantage of the tremendous resources that already exist here to develop a clear understanding of the direction we should take this team and this program. We will have the chance to look at a variety of players in upcoming friendlies, and I will also bring in different assistant coaches to learn from their experience and put together a staff that can help us achieve our goals.
Our first challenge has come upon us quickly, and we are facing a very strong Mexican team. For this first roster we have selected a lot of experienced veterans, as well as some younger players who we hope can have a bright future. As we begin this journey, it is important for all the players to understand that there will be a healthy competition for spots on the team, and that they must never rest or feel satisfied.
This is a very exciting time for U.S. Soccer and for our team. If you aren’t able to join us at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia this Wednesday evening, we hope you are able to watch the match on ESPN2, ESPN3.com or Univision as this next phase begins.
Thanks again for all your support. Enjoy the game.
U.S. Men’s National Team”
Never, ever got an e-mail from Bob Bradley. Not one. Not even an auto-generated one like, perhaps, this one. Maybe it wasn’t Bob’s style. Maybe U.S. Soccer is making an effort to introduce and integrate Klinsmann. Maybe Klinsmann actually wrote it. (Doubt it.) Whatever the case, it’s intriguing to see the new coach reach out to the fan base and put into written words some of his goals and aspirations.
It’ll be even more intriguing to see the performance of his first squad tonight against Mexico (6 p.m., ESPN2). Will the offense push forward rather than wait to counter-attack? Can a re-tooled defense play organized and support? Will his player selections inspire?
We’ll find out tonight.