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US Soccer signs Bradley to four-year extension

- Associated Press - Monday, August 30, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) - Bob Bradley isn't going anywhere.

U.S. Soccer announced late Monday it had agreed to a four-year extension with Bradley, ending speculation he was seeking a job in Europe and that the federation wanted to start anew in the lead-up to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Bob is honored to be the U.S. coach," said Ron Waxman, Bradley's agent. "It's a job he enjoys very much, and he's very happy."

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati and Bradley will address the extension Tuesday.

Bradley is 38-20-8 in four years, including a victory last year over top-ranked Spain that earned the Americans a spot in the Confederations Cup final, their first at a major FIFA tournament. The United States also won its group at the World Cup in South Africa before being eliminated in a 2-1 overtime loss to Ghana.

Though many countries addressed their coaching situations right after the World Cup, Gulati felt no pressure to move quickly because Bradley's current deal didn't expire until December. The Americans also had an exhibition against Brazil earlier this month and will play two more in October.

As the weeks passed, however, it seemed less likely Bradley would be retained. Despite reaching the second round, Gulati has said he thought the Americans were capable of more in South Africa. Bradley also expressed interest in jobs overseas, including Fulham and Aston Villa in the English Premier League.

It's often tough for coaches to replicate success over to a second cycle, too. Bradley replaced Bruce Arena, who led the Americans to the quarterfinals in 2002 only to see them crash out in the first round in 2006.

But in the end, Bradley and U.S. Soccer decided to stay the course. Bradley is well-respected tactically, and players appreciate his even keel and open-mindedness. He selected both Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez for South Africa despite the fact neither was even on the depth chart at the beginning of the year.

Gulati and Bradley met last Thursday, and negotiations on a new deal were finalized Sunday night.

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