EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 10: Bob Bradley, head coach of United States Soccer stands on the sidelines before the first half of a friendly match at the New Meadowlands on August 10, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Twitter has exploded this morning with word that not only has Bob Bradley resigned as US National Team coach, but that he's on his way to becoming Aston Villa's next manager. The former would be big news on its own, but combined with the latter, we're talking super-gigantic-mega story. Bradley as the first American coach in the Premier League is very much this soccer writer's dream come true simply for the fodder.

Unfortunately, the "news" is nothing more than rumor at this juncture. US Soccer hasn't announced Bradley's resignation, Bradley hasn't announced Bradley's resignation, and nothing out of Birmingham indicates Bradley is even on the radar. This explosion of reports in various sources is a house of cards built on one report picked up by English-based outlets. This is the telephone game for the modern age.

The Timeline:


World Soccer Reader posts a report based on an unnamed source that Bradley will not return as USMNT coach, with a press conference possible as early as this week. (Note that the language in this post has changed at least once, in addition to the "update" posted as some point between Wednesday night and Friday morning.)


WSR's report is twisted through various message boards and Aston Villa blogs.

Today (Friday)-

"Bradley has resigned and will be Villa's next coach" is picked up by talkSport, a national radio station in the UK. TalkSport is known to trade in speculation and rumor, and does not have a strong reputation as a news source. They do not source their story.

Simultaneously or near abouts, the price on Bradley as next manager of Aston Villa tumbles at online betting sites. Pushed by sudden wave of money placed on Bradley, the bookies drop their prices dramatically. Rather than an indication that Bradley is certain to get the job, the price drop is just evidence that the unsubstantiated rumors have led to a rash of betting on Bob.

Other outlets have picked up the talkSport report, sourcing only the talkSport website and noting that no official sources have confirmed the story.

Goal.com has it, referencing "reports."
Big general sports blogs have picked it up, leaning on the Goal.com story.

By now, the sheer breadth of the rumor causes it to go viral through social media and blogs, giving it an air of credibility despite the lack of confirmation. Keep in mind that no mainstream American outlets have picked up the story, and US Soccer vehemently denied Bradley has resigned on Wednesday, and again today.


A trail similar to this is responsible for many rumors, so by no means is this situation unique. It's also possible there's a grain of truth in there somewhere, despite the spurious nature of it all; WSR's original report made no claim other than that Bradley would not return for the next cycle. The validity of that report is up to the reader, considering that the source was unnamed. It's literally unprovable until something happens to either confirm (US Soccer announces Bradley's departure) or refute (Bradley's contract is renewed beyond 2010) it.

Until you hear otherwise, this, unfortunately (I'd be happy to see an American coach in the Premier League, at ANY club) is just a rumor.

Then again, I wouldn't be shocked if it's all completely true.
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