US Men's Soccer: It's Crazy, but You Should Hire Diego Maradona as Coach

Charles BennettSenior Analyst IJuly 28, 2011

The media circus around Diego Maradona would raise American soccer's profile
The media circus around Diego Maradona would raise American soccer's profileMatthew Lewis/Getty Images

I know that sounds crazy, but the U.S. should make it happen. Get him out of the UAE and to someplace where he can coach a contender of sorts.

For starters, Diego Maradona is not a bad soccer coach.  Although he hasn't had much success at that club level, Argentina was 14-5-0 under his tutelage.  And only one of those losses was to a team that didn't finish in the top eight at the 2010 World Cup.

But that's not why the U.S. should chuck Bob Bradley and put in Maradona.

It's because of Diego Maradona's renowned worldwide...especially for his crazy antics.

If the U.S. hires Maradona, the great soccer nations of Europe and South America might look at the U.S. as a little less of a backwater since one of the 10 best soccer players ever has come to the United States. 

It’ll be like the media circus surrounding David Beckham, only better.  And he'll cause ESPN to talk about U.S. Soccer much more; not the “oh-wow-Tim-Cowlishaw-actually-watched-a-soccer-game-for-five-minutes” that it is now.  

ESPN will talk about Maradona even more when he runs through the streets of Fort Lauderdale naked, or whatever other crazy antics he has up his sleeve.  So will Entertainment Tonight and the other celebrity gossip show.  In a nation obsessed with TMZ and celebrity dish, perhaps the best way to get Americans care about soccer is by having a clown for a coach.  

Furthermore, having a Latin American at the helm of our national team would grow interest in soccer among Latinos in this country.  Latinos are both the fastest growing group in America and the group most likely to be interested in playing or watching soccer...but frequently they are more interested in their ancestral countries than the American side.  Maybe Maradona could turn it around.

Bottom line: Make U.S. soccer relevant, hire Maradona.