2 min read

Introducing US Soccer's Next, Most Successful Coach...

…Diego Maradona!
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What? No Good? Ok, let me back it up a bit and explain.

The coaching carousel is alive and well in soccer. Jose Mourinho to Real Madrid. Rafa Benitez to Inter Milan. Roy Hodgson to Liverpool. Just to name a few recent moves. And there’s one vacancy that will dictate a waterfall of coaching moves – the opening at Aston Villa.

Here’s what’s happening:

  • Bob Bradley, the current United States Mens National Team (USMNT) coach, has a contract with the USMNT that expires 31-Dec-10 (but is no doubt flexible).
  • Maradona has publicly stated he wants the Villa job, but the English Premier League / media would never allow it (see God, Hand of).
  • Jurgen Klinsman, ex-player and coach of the German National Team pseudo-wants the USMNT job (and the USA wants him!).

Still with me? Good. So, here what happens next:

  • Bob Bradley will leave the USMNT and head overseas to coach Aston Villa. And, good for him, really. It’s a good fit.
  • Klinsman and Sunil Gulati (President, United States Soccer Federation) will go around in circles playing catch-me-if-you-can (Klinsman wanting authority in writing, Gulati teasing Klinsman with verbal agreements).
  • With the Villa opening now closed, Maradona will shift his attention elsewhere, landing on the USMNT opening.
  • Klinsman will remain in Los Angeles.

Done laughing yet?

How about now? Ok, good.

Do you now see the unbelievable fit this couple would be? Let’s count the ways:

  1. Maradona brings flair to the pitch, both emotional and talent.
  2. Maradona brings experience to the players, both as a coach and as a player.
  3. Maradona brings a lifestyle and past that even Bill Simmons would have fun following.
  4. Maradona brings instant global exposure to the USMNT.
  5. Maradona brings continued global exposure to the USMNT leading up to the 2014 World Cup.
  6. Maradona will have the American public talking about soccer. All the time. (Not always for the right reasons.)
  7. He’s a Britney Spears story in the making: Unreal success at a young age followed by unreal weight gain and ‘experimentation’ followed by a flash of success followed with…?

That’s just seven. There’s so much more to be written and discussed and filmed and photographed.

Simmons talks about his unintentional comedy scale – this one would tip the charts, weekly.

I read about this idea earlier in an August NYTimes.com article. Buried at the bottom of the article was this line:

Should Maradona’s name be among the candidates the U.S. Soccer president, Sunil Gulati, is presumably considering?

I can’t get that image out of my head. Maradona, guiding the USMNT to its finest finish ever in World Cup play, while giving the American public a reason to follow the team’s Lombard Street-like entertainment and progression.

How could this not work?