By DAN KARELL
Bob Bradley’s European dream has become a reality.
After nearly achieving what others though was impossible with the Egyptian national team over the last two years, Bradley parlayed that experience into his first head coaching job in Europe. On Friday morning, Norwegian Tippeligaen club Stabaek named Bradley as their newest head coach, making the former U.S. Men’s National Team manager the first American to manage a first-division club in a European league.
“I enjoy working in a club situation where you can work with the players every day,” Bradley said at his introductory press conference. “I’m really looking forward to starting with the club.”
According to reports in Norway, Bradley has signed a two-year contract and will not only work with the first team but will also be involved in youth development within Stabaek as well.
The news comes just one day after Norwegian Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the managerial position at English Premier League side Cardiff City.
Bradley has managed soccer teams at nearly all levels of the game since becoming the head coach of Ohio University in 1981 and moving up the ranks. He spent 11 years at Princeton before becoming an assistant with D.C. United in 1996 and then guided the Chicago Fire to a league title in their first season in Major League Soccer.
From there, Bradley had stints with the Metrostars and Chivas USA before taking over as USMNT head coach in late 2006. Bradley led the U.S. to the 2010 World Cup but a poor final at the 2011 Gold Cup saw the 55-year-old lose his job. Soon after, Bradley took the Egyptian national team job and lead the Pharaohs to a 7-1 record in World Cup qualifying despite the cancellation of the domestic league for the better part of two years and all the other political and social conflicts erupting in Egypt.
“We are extremely happy having Bob on board and we are also proud because this is a great achievement for Norwegian soccer, to have an internationally recognized coach in Norway,” Stabaek chairman Espen Moe said at the press conference. “Bob is actually what we have been looking for for a while. We consider Bob to be a strong leader and we need a strong leader.”
Last season, Stabaek earned promotion back to the Tippeligaen following a one-year stay in Norway’s second division. Bradley replaces Petter Belsvik as Stabaek manager following Belsvik’s two year’s on the job. Bradley rejected an offer to return to MLS with the Vancouver Whitecaps to keep his options with Stabaek open.
Stabaek begins the 2014 season on March 29 at home against Sogndal. Stabaek plays their home matches in the Oslo suburb Baerum, in the 7,000 capacity Nadderud stadium.
What do you think of this news? How do you expect Bradley to perform? Do you believe he can win the league? How long do you see him remaining in Norway?
Share your thoughts below.
First and foremost, Bradley is pure class as a person …second, he is a tremendous soccer coach…third he is a pioneer and dynamo that is always challenging himself through new challenges and opportunities that would scare most people (read: soccer coaches) away…I wish him all the best at Stabaek and truly believe that he will be successful…in turn, this opportunity will lead to his next challenge and opportunity, coaching in a bigger European league, which I believe will be England (maybe Holland), with England being where I think he truly wants to eventually land.
Go get ’em Bob!
BB is an American coach and bleeds for the USA. He arguably knows more about developing young players than anyone else in this country.
He developed our best player and if you don’t believe that you know nothing about Michael Bradley.
Why can’t you be happy for the guy? LOSERS. Go back and coach your coed office 7 vs. 7 team.
Bornstein’s parents must be so happy right now.
Now he can Bornstein! And Ricardo Clark, and Robbie Findley!
Now he can sign**
Bob is gonna mesmerize the Norwegians with the box midfield!
Oh and I guess MLS is? Some of the players have to work at Wendy’s in the off season to support themselvess.
European dream. lol!
This team can barely be called “professional”
Much Deserved Mr. Bradley! You Have Earned It!
Man, Africa is tough… 7-1 and no World Cup? And Mexico went, like 1-7 or something, and are in. Ouch.
Hooray!! Congratulations Coach Bradley.. Here’s to your success!! Great news!!
Bunker Bob introducing bunker ball to Norway with that big potato head. You guys are nuts if you even think he is a decent coach. LOL!!!!!!!!!
Really? I suppose a guy who won an MLS Cup, a US Open Cup, coached a team to WC qualification and coached a team that beat Spain in the Confederations Cup,…..at minimum is a decent coach.
Your comments are ridiculous.
Champ, please tell us all of the championships you have won.
You don’t know this guy because if you did you would be embarrassed by writing that.
Cool post. LOL!!!!!!!!
Happy for him and hope he is very successful. Will be interesting if he brings in any US players youth or first team.
the 17th team to be joining the Tippeligaen is the Ghana MNT.
That’s two losses already booked.
Just announced…..your renewed membership in the Loser’s club.
Phew! I was beginning to think I wasn’t going to get in.
Yes, best of luck Mr. Bradley. I’ll be buying my Stabaek jersey in support
Congratulations to Bob.
First,…the man was determined to manage a European club team and now he can check that box.
Second,….this is probably a perfect fit for both parties. Stabaek is a small club with modest dreams and probably views landing a coach with BB’s experience a major coup. He has won domestic trophies at the club level and has taken a team to the second round in the World Cup. Not a bad catch for a small club in Norway. Bob gets to coach a European club team,….build relationships and get the experience he craves. Not to mention,…he and his wife will be closer to their son in Italy.
If USSF had a “Pioneer of the game” award,….Bob would be well on his way to achieving it.
Go get em, Bob!
Here’s to pioneering a new frontier for Americans! Good luck Bob, were all behind ya!
I wonder who else is behind him, probably that JB.
Congratulations, Bob! Good luck and go get that title (or UCL spot).