United States national soccer team head coach Bob Bradley responds to a question from a reporter at a news conference in Irene June 27, 2010, one day after the U.S. team lost to Ghana in their second round match in the 2010 World Cup.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder  (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)

I guess we can call Soccernet's story today "news" on the future of Bob Bradley and the USMNT head coaching job; it's the first story I've seen indicating that Gulati is leaning in any particular direction.

We've examined the question of whether or not Bradley deserves another four years; simply on merit, it's a 50/50 proposition. Bradley made his mistakes, but did many good things while in charge during the cycle. He many deserve a chance to improve on past results, and there's certainly something to be said for continuity.

Sunil Gulati painted the US performance in South Africa as a disappointment despite some good feelings. This inevitably led many of us to conclude that he wasn't keen to keep Bradley, and that a fancy foreign name might "finally" be on its way. That's still a possibility, obviously, and maybe US Soccer is stalling for time while they sort out other candidates. Or maybe not.

Or maybe there's jealousy. Bob is a candidate at Fulham, a job that is expected to be filled next week. US Soccer says the club hasn't contacted them for permission to talk to Bradley, and since Bob's contract runs until the end of the year, they would presumably need to do so. Maybe an in-demand Bradley is giving US Soccer pause about letting him go.

Or perhaps no other options are coming through. Klinsmann might not have changed his demands for control, other candidates might not be available or interested, or the Federation sees no reason to change without making a splash or pulling in a truly accomplished name. Again, continuity isn't a bad thing.

US Soccer could also keep Bradley on the hook for the rest of the year and reassess in 2011. There's nothing that says they're required to give Bradley a new contract, or his release, right now. That doesn't seem prudent, but it's absolutely possible.

This is just the first clue, and a small one, on what the Fed will do. Hopefully the next one will come sooner rather than later.
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