Former MetroStars head coach Bob Bradley, who then assistant coach Mo Johnston, showed his class after the MetroStars were eliminated from the 2005 MLS Cup playoffs.
After the MetroStars were eliminated by the New England Revolution in the 2005 MLS Cup Eastern Conference semifinals via a 3-1 loss in the second game of a home and home series, FrontRowSoccer.com editor Michael Lewis witnessed this surreal sight in the team’s locker room. This is a repost of his story on BigAppleSoccer.com of the Oct. 29, 2005 game.
By Michael Lewis
FOXBORO, Mass. — It certainly was one surreal and emotional scene in the MetroStars locker room after they were eliminated from the MLS playoffs by the New England Revolution on Saturday night.
Former coach Bob Bradley, who was fired by team president and general manager Alexi Lalas almost a month prior, walked briskly into the room along with former assistant coach Dave Kammarman.
Bradley went first to midfielder Mark Lisi and gave him a hug and a pat on the back. It didn’t appear that Bradley said anything.
He found as many players as he could, duplicating the scene with many, if not all of the team, including coach Mo Johnston.
Johnston, an assistant coach under Bradley, assumed the interim role after Lalas axed Bradley on Oct. 3.
Bradley’s rounds included his son, midfielder Michael Bradley, and team captain Youri Djorkaeff. Bradley sat down and spoke with the 1998 French World Cup champion for several minutes.
“This is his team. He put it together,” goalkeeper Tony Meola said. “We all said in the beginning that we failed him and we wanted to try to make it right because he would have felt the same feelings we felt.
“Right now, I’m sure he’s hurting a little bit too. This was his team and his son were knocked out [of the playoffs].
“He’s a great guy. He’ll land on his feet. He’s a great coach.”
Michael Bradley declined to comment.
Even though he was fired, Bob Bradley has stayed close to the team the past several weeks, talking to Johnston on a daily basis.
He also spoke with players as well, according to sources close to the team