American Soccer

Marcelo Bielsa to U.S. Soccer: Loco Por Seguro

CHIBA, JAPAN - MAY 29:  Head Coach Marcelo Bielsa of Chile gestures during the Kirin Cup soccer between Belgium and Chile at Fukuda Denshi Arena on May 29, 2009 in Chiba, Japan.  (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images
Patrick JohnstonCorrespondent IMarch 4, 2011

Crazy for sure, but definitely fun to contemplate; not crazy in that it is unbelievable, but crazy more in the sense of how it could work. 

Without going into all the reasons why this would be a great move for U.S. Soccer, let’s look at why this would not work.

Just to remind everyone why Marcelo Bielsa is available: He left his post with Chile because of a feud with the Chilean Federation. So coming to U.S. Soccer is the answer? Spare me the blushes!

Cronyism and the good old boy network could never introduce a free and, more importantly, capable spirit into the mix because he would actually start exposing the problems and fixing them. He would not “play ball,” as we have seen already. 

Last time I checked, U.S. Soccer has more of the English and European models that it aspires to. Bringing in a South American eccentric, known as “the madman” in his native land, would be one of the most interesting and exciting times in the fledgling soccer nation’s existence, but it would stir the pot way too much. There is no American leash that he could be kept on.

I chuckle as I speculate who would pick up the remnants of the entity once known as U.S. Soccer once Bielsa was through.

Do not misunderstand—the problem is not Bielsa, because he is exactly what U.S. Soccer needs. The problem is the stiff arrogance of those who are covered by the U.S. Soccer umbrella. 

There are many in the US fold that are classy, decent individuals, like Bob Bradley, but there are too many in positions of influence who would be threatened by El Loco, and then the fireworks would start.

It is more likely that this is getting attention so that Bielsa can bolster his position, and value, with the other publicly known suitors, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

I could see it now: Bielsa in a room with the Qatari glitterati:

QG 1: “Senor Bielsa, we want you in Qatar. Our offer is most generous.”

Bielsa: “Si, pero los Estados Unidos, talvez...”

QG 1: “What is he saying?”

QG 2: “Something about the Americans...”

QG 1: “Double his offer!”

Bielsa: “You got a deal” and extends his hand.

Excuse my cynicism, but U.S. Soccer has been down this road before, and nothing has changed.

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