During his MLS career, John Wolyniec has had the opportunity to twice play for current national team coach Bob Bradley. The current Red Bulls’ striker suited up for Bradley in 2002 with the Chicago Fire and then one year later, joined Bradley with the MetroStars.
Wolyniec has nothing but praise for the man put in charge of the United States’ World Cup fortunes. He said that Bradley is meticulous in his preparation, but also in his handling of his team.
“He’s very organized, very upfront [with the players],” Wolyniec told MLSSoccer.com. “I really enjoyed my time with him.”
The Red Bulls’ forward said that with both Chicago and then the MetroStars, Bradley was detail-oriented in his handling of practice. He said that things were highly organized and that players knew what to expect each time they stepped on the field to train. Wolyniec thinks that the proof is in the record of Bradley in MLS.
“That Chicago team he put together was one of the top teams in the league when they entered in 1998 and then for the next two to three years,” Wolyniec said, adding that the turnaround job Bradley performed with the MetroStars a couple years later.
Wolyniec himself has been a part of the national team, twice being capped in 2004. In his first game against Denmark, he was a late substitution and then a few days later, he started against Haiti in another friendly. The former Fordham striker didn’t have high expectations when he received the call to national team camp from then head coach Bruce Arena, figuring he probably wouldn’t play.
“Honestly, I just thought it’d be a week and a half of getting fit and getting some experience,” Wolyniec said.
He calls his two caps with the national team a “surprise” and the culmination of his childhood dream to play for his country.
As far the national team, Wolyniec seems to feel that Bradley is the right man for the job. The ever stoic coach, Wolyniec said, is a fun guy away from the field. He said that Bradley takes his soccer very seriously but that when he gets away from the sport, he “shows his sense of humor.”
The Red Bulls are enjoying some time off as part of MLS’ World Cup break and Wolyniec is heading down for Austin, Texas, for a few days of fun. He said that Saturday afternoon, he is going to find a television and watch the United States take on England. He sees good things for the national team in this World Cup.
“I think they’re in a group where it would almost be a surprise for them not to get out of that [first] round,” Wolyniec said.
Kristian Dyer is a reporter for MLSSoccer.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs. He can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012