...no not the rock band that had hits such as "Hot Blooded" and "Double Vision." I'm talking about a non-United States citizen coaching the US national team. After the US's disappointing 2-1 loss to Ghana in the knockout round, which squandered a chance to play for a berth in the semifinals, it's pretty clear that American soccer has gone as far as it can with an American coach.
One of the strengths of this country is that we always believe we can do it better -- whether it's a system of governance or the construction of automobiles. But that is not the case in soccer, and that fact needs to be recognized.
I'm not putting the blame for the loss on US coach Bob Bradley, even though the decisions to start Richardo Clark and Robbie Findley against Ghana were disconcerting. Overall, Bradley has done a very good job with the Red, White and Blue. But for the US to become a World Cup contender a foreign influence and a foreign coach is needed. Somebody who can stress and develop greater technical skill and bring an international perspective. Former Germany star and German national coach Juergen Klinsmann, who now resides in California, would fit the bill. Bradley was hired as coach four years ago after Klinsmann withdrew from consideration. Expectations have been raised for the US club and now the coaching must be too.
...That's what the Patriots have when it comes to picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. After all those years of stockpiling picks the way a survivalist does non-perishables the Patriots have just five picks in this year's draft, thanks to Band-aid trades for Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco and Aqib Talib. Five picks would be the fewest draft picks in franchise history. (Part of that is attributable to the trimming of the draft to just seven rounds in 1994). Further complicating matters is that two of the Patriots' greatest needs are at wide receiver and cornerback, positions where they have sustained draft droughts. With that in mind, I'm convinced the Patriots are going trade back out of the first round of a quanity-over-quality draft where you're just as likely to pick a Pro Bowl player in the second and third round as you are in the first round.