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)

Just like that, Martin O'Neill resigned from Aston Villa today. "Sudden" doesn't begin to describe this move; with less than a week to go before the start of the Premier League season, Villa will now be scrambling to settle a very unsettled situation.

But we're not here to analyze Villa or mull over the reasons for O'Neill's departure. We're here to note that just as quickly as O'Neill's resignation came down, Bob Bradley was installed as a favorite to replace him. On some levels, it might even make a bit of sense; Villa's owner is American Randy Lerner, US Soccer still has yet to officially re-up Bradley, and Bob plays a system similar to the one the outgoing O'Neill preferred. I dare say that if Bradley wasn't American (okay, American or Canadian), most unbiased observers would see his name and hardly bat an eye.

And I'll be honest: As much as I look forward to the day an American takes over at an English club of note, I'm not on board any Bradley-to-Villa train. The situation portends a poor season no matter who is at the helm; with players headed out but nothing coming in, the club is hardly poised to move up the table. A tumble, especially with managerial drama, seems certain.

No situation will ever be perfect for an American to break the coaching cherry, and I do wonder if just getting the first one out of the way would be for the best. But if Bradley, learning on the job in a league much different than MLS in terms of player acquisition and media scrutiny, failed miserably, wouldn't that just set Americans back? Should Bradley land Villa in the bottom half of the table or worse, how long would it take for another American to get a shot at a job in a top European league?

Of course, now I'm wondering why it even matters if an American coach catches on in England. It's hard to see any immediate benefit for MLS, the National Team, or American soccer in general; over time, coaching abroad might help improve the system as a whole in an ancillary way, but most of the hope for American coaching success is just matter of pride. I root for Americans to succeed in Europe because it improves our standing. It's the same logic I apply to American owners in England; do well because it makes us look better and I'm tired of the dismissive and hostile attitude towards all things Red, White, and Blue.

I suppose those are the same reasons to be fearful of Bradley actually getting the job at Villa; if he screws up, it reflects negatively on American soccer. With an American chairman involved, it's a potential double whammy of reputation-crushing failure.

Bradley's candidacy is simply speculation at this point, so let's not jump the gun. If it becomes a real link, then we can find reasons to worry or be excited. It'll also give me time to figure out on which side I fall. Without a vested interest in how Bradley at Villa might affect the club itself (which I should have, but have yet to truly develop), it's difficult to pin down how I feel about the possibility.

Since I'm waffling uncontrollably, I put it to you: Is Bradley to Villa, should it be a real possibility, a good or bad idea?

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