Reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa — Bob Bradley's future as the U.S. national team coach will not be decided in the coming days or weeks but only after discussions between him and Sunil Gulati, the president of U.S. Soccer.
"I want to hear his views, express some of mine and see what makes sense," Gulati said Monday morning in Johannesburg.
"He's done a very good job. I want to make that very clear. . . . The problem is that our expectations have risen pretty sharply and there have been some performances where we didn't play as well as we would have liked."
One of those performances came Saturday night in Rustenburg, when the U.S. was beaten, 2-1, by a faster and more mobile Ghana team. The loss prevented the Americans from reaching the quarterfinals, which they last did in 2002.
"The team is capable of more," Gulati said. "The players know it. Bob knows it. And so at that level we're disappointed we didn't get to play another 90 minutes at least.
"It's also a missed opportunity to stay in the American public's eye for another four, five, six days, maybe 10 days, when interest is at an all-time high."
The next scheduled U.S. game is a friendly against Brazil on Aug. 10 at New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. Bradley, whose contract runs through the end of the year, will be in charge for that game.
Henry to MLS?
French striker Thierry Henry has agreed to leave Spanish champion Barcelona and could be headed to Major League Soccer, possibly to join the New York Red Bulls. Henry, 33 next month, has one year left on his contract with the 2009 European champions, but did not play consistently last season and did not feature prominently in France's World Cup team in South Africa.
Di Maria's moment
Argentina has not won the World Cup yet and might not do so, but at least one player on its roster is set for a promising future. Midfielder Angel Di Maria, 22, on Monday was acquired by Real Madrid from Benfica in Portugal for a reported $31 million. The 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup winner and 2008 Olympic gold-medal winner is the first signing by Real Madrid's new coach, Jose Mourinho.
Webb to call final?
English referee Howard Webb, who officiated the Brazil-Chile match Monday in Johannesburg, has been listed as the 2-1 favorite to officiate the July 11 World Cup final by British bookmaker William Hill. "We have always reckoned he'd have a good chance of the final — we opened at 6 to 1 — and with England out his chances have only increased," said spokesman Graham Sharpe.
Also in the running at slightly longer odds is Switzerland's Massimo Busacca at 11-4. He is the referee who tossed out South Africa goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune in a game against Uruguay and was blasted as "the worst referee so far" by South Africa's Brazilian coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira.
Germany's Wolfgang Stark is at 6-1, but will drop out of the running if Germany reaches the final. Belgium's Frank de Bleekere, the man in the middle for the U.S. victory over Algeria, is listed at 8-1.