Look Bradley is a fair/solid coach and I realize he gets a lot of the benefit of the doubt around here. However, I feel some make him out to be a much better coach than what he really is. None the less, barring some type of epic collapse by the USMNT during qualifying, Bradley will be going this team going into WC 2014 going into Brazil.
I'm not a huge Bradley fan, but I don't think you can dismiss TWO unjustly disallowed goals in three WC games with the wave of a hand. That's a tremendous disadvantage in what can be a game of inches, but the US won the group anyway.
All that being said, I don't think that the accomplishment is a mark of Bradley's genius or anything. I'm not a Bradley hater, but I would have liked to see a new manager come in because I think that four years is enough. I agree with you that Bradley will be around through 2014. The USSF has the slowest trigger in the world, it seems. That may not be any worse than having too fast a trigger, but it's frustrating nonetheless.
Does he get the benefit of the doubt here? I get the sense that most here have been somewhat satisfied by Bradley, but never overwhelmed by him and would happily take someone else in a heartbeat. Decent results, but I've never really heard anyone say they particularly like his tactics and certainly not his personnel decisions.
His tenure and the popular perceptions of him as a coach actually remind me a whole lot of Claude Julien's time with the Bruins, pre-Cup of course.
I'm not a huge fan of Bradley's tactics, but I think he gets too much heat for his decisions; the reality is that our talent is only capable of doing certain things and our ability level is such that any tactical scheme won't work out all the time. We're going to have some bad days.
I'm actually somebody who gives Bradley a fair amount of credit for personnel decisions, especially in the macro sense. He did a great job of a re-building our midfield after 3/4 of the incumbents simply disappeared after '06. Bradley gets a lot of crap for certain players, most of which is unjustified. Particularly annoying are the people who rag on him for Jonathan Bornstein, a player who he's tried to get rid of but can't because all of the alternatives sucked even worse. In the end, he went with Bocanegra most of the time anyway.
I thought Findley was a defensible idea, although Bradley stuck to him too long when it was clear that it wasn't working. Charlie Davies was not our best player, but his injury was among the most devastating because we had absolutely no replacement for him. We needed speed to stretch the defense and Findley was an attempt to do so. It's hard to counterattack with only one truly fast attacker (Donovan).
Bradley's in-game personnel decisions are a little more questionable. He's a mixed bag overall. I have a hard time getting excited about him in a negative or a positive sense.