The recent upheaval following a club match in Egypt that left 74 people dead and more than a thousand others injured could have easily convinced Bob Bradley to pack up his things and return to the comfort of the United States.
Instead, the former U.S. national team coach and current Egypt national team coach reportedly remains committed to his job while doing his part in the rebuilding of a nation.
''I'm totally committed,'' Bradley said to Al-Jazeera when asked about his future as Egypt coach. ''When a tragedy like this occurs it's important that people can come together and can be strong, and in my role as coach of the national team I want to do whatever I can in my responsibilities to help with this process.''
Bradley's statement is in line with his post-riot actions. He and his wife participated in a non-violent protest of the violence the day after the Al Ahly-Al Masry match to show solidarity with the Egyptian people.
''This is a much deeper situation than football – really not the case of football fan violence – and I think it is important for people around the world to understand that,'' Bradley said. ''Obviously there is a lot going on in Egypt at this time, events after the revolution, and the football community is connected with all that and certainly some of the Ultras from different clubs, especially Al-Ahly.
''These young people have been responsible for trying to bring about change in the country and these are people that have a passion for Egypt and with it an incredible passion for Egyptian football and their club.''
His task as coach of Egypt has undoubtedly gotten more challenging in light of the tragic events. All soccer activities in Egypt have been suspended in the aftermath of the riot in Port Said, and the country's entire FA board was axed by Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri. On top of that, three Egyptian internationals retired from the sport as a direct result of the tragedy.
Egypt is slated to play in friendlies against Botswana and Kenya later this month followed by the first leg of a 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Central African Republic on Feb. 29, but there has been no determination yet whether those games will go ahead as planned.
What do you make of Bradley's remarks?
Share your thoughts below.
What a positiveness! I liked this attitude of Bradley very much, amazing…!
In that photo, Bradley looks like he is doing his best Yule Brynner impersonation.
Bob always had balls.
He’s not just a great ambassador, he is a class act. Loyalty, honor, commitment, he embodies all those traits, and did long before he even took the Egypt job.
To be totally committed to a job that soon may not exist, civil war not unlikely, is pollyanna at best.
There are pretty good players in Egypt their league was if not the strongest in Africa among the strongest. They won the African cup beating teams with lost of Euro stars using lots of local league players the MLS should definitely try and scout their players.
Now I know Bob was never a meathead, but I have to admit that I was rather surprised that Michael was sending him political articles. Junior struck me as a “breathe, eat, sleep soccer” kind of guy.
yup. the guy’s all kinds of class
What a great human being. I think I root for him as much as any player abroad. Pure class.
Bob made the CNN homepage:
“Photographers captured the coach, his shaved head, steely eyes, straight-line mouth, next to his wife, pushing forward, shoulder to shoulder with Egyptians, at the march in Sphinx Square.
Some international reporters and sports journalists gasped.
Here was a well-known public figure in Egypt, tantamount to an official, a person of prestige, someone you might not expect to see in a chanting crowd. Some wondered if he had considered that he’s an American in a climate some view as especially risky for Americans now.”
A quick glance on the wiki page shows all recent call-ups play in the Eqyptian League. It would be very interesting indeed to see if he could arrange some loans with MLS sides once the season gets going…
Just went back and watched the Ghana USA 2010 highlights. Both us and Ghana had quite a few chances that game. Definitely a winnable game. Oh well.
Bob’s teams when on, actually played some nice ball (much better than at the end of Bob’s tenure when the team was horrendous or the horrible football we’ve been playing during our transition under JK- not blaming Klins its just an observation).
The dude exemplifies “honorable”. Such class.
Right. Ok thanks guys. Yeah classy guy to be sure. For the record I actually loved BB as our head coach. Took our team to new heights. Admirable thing he’s doing in Egypt. Wish him all the best luck and success.
GO Bob! Another great member of the US Soccer family representing well across the world.
Gave him a big hug upon subbing him off in the first half–Rico was clearly not holding up.
WC 2010, second round vs. Ghana. Clark gets a surprise start at MF, makes an error that leads to a first-half goal, looks generally lost, and is subbed out after 30 minutes. Bradley does a commendable job of consoling and generally lifting him up when he comes off.
I was a pretty big fan of Bradley as coach of USMNT, even though I thought the way he approached tactics could cost us games. Such a class act and a really intelligent guy – He didn’t go to Princeton for nothing y’all!
He’ll definitely do the USA’s reputation some good service overseas.
I have a faint memory of the Clark incident y’all are referring to, but do you mind elaborating?
Egypt needs you now more than ever, coach. Make us proud. http://balasticman.blogspot.com/2012/01/world-cup-mission-and-revolution.html
a few of the biggest stars straight retired as a result of the riots. i think they were also current national teamers.
sarcasm, right? pretty sure walking in solidarity with protesters as an individual and not letting the turmoil and crisis affect his ability to do his job aren’t nation building…
Now with the football suspended in Egypt. I don’t know much about Egypt’s players, but if there are some exceptional players, could Bob, get them in with a couple MLS sides, for loans, while they figure out there action. Might be nice to get an influx of talent that is cheap for a few months?
Are there any “stars” that play in Egypt?
wow. I never liked Bradley when he was our coach but this definitely makes me respect him.
If he can get Egypt to play together under this kind of strain, then he’ll be buried in future assignments. If he can, he’ll deserve them.
Greatly disliked his tactics as a coach, but love the guy as a person. Cannot question his dedication.
Wow, Shane I so agree with you. Brings tears to my eyes remembering that scene with him and Rico.
a better diplomat than actual diplomats
Nation building? We were told no nation building.
Starting Clark ended up being a mistake, but I never will forget how he treated Clark when forced to take him out of that game. That is when my respect for the guy rose to new heights. What he is doing now doesnt surprize me. The guy is complete and total class.
Chuck Norris assessed the risk involved when offered the Egypt NT job and declined…. Bradley chose the road less traveled.
I’m worried about his safety, but he’s got guts… hopefully it has a positive effect.
I was pretty much pro-Bradley throughout is US reign (despite his starting of Rico Clark) but I must admit that his actions over the last few days put him in a different realm of respectability. He has acted bravely and shown strength in the face of tremendous adversity. Way to go, Bob, and way to make us all proud.
BB the Politician!
Whether he realizes it or not, the world is watching. I wish more public figures acted in such an honorable manner…
Ok, Jamie, you said what I did in 200 fewer words. +1
With all the controversy among fans about BB during his tenure as USMNT coach, I think all reasonable folk can agree that he is a solid, thoughtful guy who takes his duties in life very seriously. IT’s a good thing that he wants to help Egypt move forward after that mess. He’s just a guy I can respect in so many ways.
What a great ambassador. Massive respect.