Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Twellman Plays Against Swiss. Was Bradley Bribed?

Taylor Twellman played nearly eighty minutes for the US National Team, which won 1-0 today. It was good experience for him, and while he played alright you have to question a crucial player on an MLS side nearing the playoffs being flown out to Europe on short notice to play a friendly at high altitude. For Twellman, the playing time with the team's European-based players is important. There is a certain cohesion that must develop for a quick-strike forward, like Taylor, to begin receiving the kind of service he needs to score. If he is to ever become a starter for the team, that understanding has to develop over a number of games. This game, along with the games over the summer, hopefully contributed to this understanding.

However, this game came at the wrong time for the Revolution. The team needs to be ready for the playoffs next week, especially since New York will be coming off two extra days of rest. The team can ill-afford to have it's star striker burned out when he needs to be peaking.

So was this a case of Bradley giving Twellman the nod out of kindness, or did he have ulterior motives? In my opinion, the fact that this call-up could help out coach Bradley's good friend, Bruce Arena, lends me to believe that could have come into play here.

This is all circumstantial, but let's face it. Arena took the fall after the 2006 World Cup. Bradley is a good friend of the former national team coach, as well as a former assistant. They are still in very close touch and the only bridge Arena has to the USMNT is through Bob (he burned the rest on his way out). Bradley has to feel Arena received a raw deal, and would be looking for any way possible to prop up his former mentor. There's also rumors that a young Bob developed the "Bob Bradley Face" while staring at Bruce's manboobs during those long, hard two-a-days at the University of Virginia.

Now, this could be the ramblings of a paranoid Revolution supporter. However, it's hard to argue this call up will have no negative impact on Stevie Nicol's side heading into the post season.