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Which MLS coach would make the best poet?

It’s still early in the 2022 MLS season, but it’s not too early for us to be answering the most important questions about the league. Questions about coaches and poetry, for example.

1 min read

Up until extremely recently, it would have been Matias Almeyda. Something about the wanton chaos he embodied, something about the flowing locks, something about the way he said he followed bushido – the samurai’s code – suggested to me a man of art. He had a way of observing the world as an ancient willow does, feeling all other things born, grow old, and die around it, all at once.

And then he started hiding from the press and San Jose gave him the boot. So, here we are.

Instead, I’m going to make a selection that I think few will: Bob Bradley. I know, I know. The terse, New Jersey attitude doesn’t scream “poet.” But there is a greater poetic principle that I think Bob Bradley would excel at, and it has to do with the economy of language. Much of the time, less is more in poetry. A poet seeks to communicate emotion and sometimes-complex ideas and feelings in a format that is most often short and concise. Or at least shorter and more concise than a novel or many other forms of written art.

Anyone who has seen an interview with Bob Bradley when the man is feeling any particular strong emotion can tell you that he knows how to get things across as quickly as possible.

Poetry doesn’t need to be flowery language. It can be short, direct, to the point. And in terms of communicating emotion in the shortest possible way, I think Bradley would probably nail it, if he gave it a shot.

Plus, I just can’t get past his eyes. There is something terrible and wonderful in the distance of Bob Bradley’s eyes, and I do not know if I want to know what it is. But I do think it would probably make a good poem.