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Swansea City hires Bob Bradley


Bob Bradley is heading to the Premier League.

Swansea City announced on Monday that the club has hired the former U.S. Men’s National Team coach as its new manager. The move ends the tenure of Francesco Guidolin while also seeing Bradley depart French club Le Havre in his second season in charge.

With his hiring, Bradley becomes the first American coach to manage in the Premier League.

“We are delighted Bob has agreed to join us,” said Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins. “He is highly regarded as a coach and has a wealth of experience on the international and domestic front.  He is well aware of the club’s footballing philosophy and will provide us with strong leadership qualities and a renewed belief to compete at this level.

It is never easy changing managers, but we are looking at a long-term appointment and we are confident Bob can settle us down and stabilize matters on and off the pitch.”

The move comes following several reports linking Bradley to the club, who was taken over by American ownership earlier this year. Among those involved in the ownership group is Landon Donovan, who played under Bradley with the USMNT.

Bradley joins Swansea after most recently taking charge of Ligue 2 side Le Havre. Prior to his stint in France, Bradley managed the Egyptian national team before leading Norwegian side Stabaek to a Europa League berth.

Following a 2-1 loss to Liverpool over the weekend, Swansea City currently sits 17th in the Premier League with four points through seven games. The Swans’ next match comes on Oct. 15 against Arsenal.


  1. As an American soccer fan I wish him nothing but the best and hopes he succeeds. As a soccer fan I can help but point out how some have overrated Bradley’s managerial accomplishments. He’s a good but not great coach, he can set up his teams well but don’t expect to see anything revolutionary. I think he will do well at Swansea because that’s what they need more than anything, some organization and some good ole american belief. However, don’t be surprised if he trips straight out of the gate and is gone before the season is over.

    Also I find it somewhat rich that people in this website, and in American soccer circles in general, are complaining about the harsh treatment BB is receiving from British fans and media simply because he’s American. Criticism comes with the job, and in Bob’s case its well earned due to his lack of top level experience (BTW coaching a world cup is much different than coaching a 38 game season). British media are notorious for their harsh treatment towards anyone, even their own (i.e. Rooney and Hodgson), and if you can’t handle it then football is not the sport for you. Also if i remember correctly, many questioned and critiqued NYCFC’s decision to fire Kreis and bring in Viera, a “foreigner”, yet no one was up in arms about Viera’s treatment. Just goes to show you that people see what is convenient for them to see.

    • Also if i remember correctly, many questioned and critiqued NYCFC’s decision to fire Kreis and bring in Viera, a “foreigner”, yet no one was up in arms about Viera’s treatment.

      Viera had no professional coaching experience. No, I don’t count Man City’s newly created “Elite Developmental Reserve Squad” nor should anyone with sense. Also, it’s MLS. The amount of convoluted nonsense our league has is hard for some people to comprehend that have grown up with it. Even more so for someone coming from outside the region.

      Convenient is dismissing Bradley’s 30+ years of experience, at all levels, and somehow treating this move like he has forgotten everything he’s learned along the way. Bradley isn’t showing up to the Liberty Stadium without a clue how to conduct a club, conduct a squad or conduct himself as a manager of a professional outfit.

      (BTW coaching a world cup is much different than coaching a 38 game season)

      BTW, playing is much different than coaching and skill & success does not always translate.

      If that were the case Diego Maradona & Wayne Gretsky (arguably the greatest their respective sport has ever seen) would have been fantastic coaches.

      In other words, before you lecture us on how different the international game is from the club game, please, don’t compare someone with 14 months experience managing “Elite Developmental Reserve Squad” to a manager with 30+ years of professional experience. It just sounds ridiculous.

      • The NCAA is not much different than Man City’s EDP, and BB got his first job at MLS straight out of College soccer so the similarity is there. And glad you agree that MLS’ rules are a joke, at least you haven’t bought into their anti-competitiveness mantra. Also, I don’t see where your comment about playing being different than coaching comes into play, I never said anything about that, and i didn’t compare BB’s coaching ability/Resume with Viera’s I simply compared the respective reactions to their hiring and the hypocrisy that “soccer” people showed.

      • The NCAA is not much different than Man City’s EDP, and BB got his first job at MLS straight out of College soccer so the similarity is there.

        Bradley is 20 years removed from the NCAA (where he had nearly 15 years experience) and has since created a respectable resume that we all know. You compared the reaction to Viera – 6 months removed from “managing” players that maybe 5% will ever see a professional contract – to Bradley’s reception.

        One is hyperbolic and one is justified. People “really do see what is convenient for them to see”, but only one is within reality.

      • And the probability of going pro from college is what, 1%. You overestimate the level of college soccer and way underestimate Man City’s youth academy. I can tell you with a 99% confidence level that their u-19s would win the national championship every year running. But again I’m not comparing their respective coaching abilities or their Resumes, just how each was/is being treated.

      • Yes, but comparing their resumes clarifies why distinction of their “treatment” renders one hyperbolic and one justified (also why there should be no comparison). Then again, hyperbole has been rampant throughout your posts on the topic and it’s become nauseating as has the eurosnob-shtick which I never accuse anyone of.

  2. In my mind, getting fired from US Soccer was the best thing that happened to Bob Bradley. I was not always a fan of his. Since he left US Soccer, you can’t do anything but respect his ambition.

    His appointment at Swansea City has nothing to do with US Soccer. It has everything to do with Bob Bradley and the journey he has taken since leaving US Soccer.

    What he endured in Egypt showed his class and ability. He did a great job in Norway and was doing a good job at La Havre.

    I wish him the best of luck at Swansea City.

  3. My feelings are mixed on this:
    – I like Bradley, and I think he is a good coach. I also think his coaching style (at least what I have seen from his days at Chicago Fire, USMNT and a couple Egyptian National Team games) would fit for a lower tier EPL team because it defensive first and not very tactical complex. I am happy for him

    – That being said, it worries me that the ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE only has 4 English managers. For those of you who say, there aren’t enough established managers, well that is because they are not given a chance. Like most things, including a player, you need experience. EPL teams are hiring managers who have gotten opportunities in their own leagues while forgoing giving an English manager an opportunity in their own top flight.Even in the League Championship, only 9/24 of managers are English. I would say the same thing if they same thing was happening in MLS. Keep in mind, the closest Big 5 league is Bundesliga but there are still 11/18 managers that are German. Of the 7 that are non-German coaches, I know at least 4 of them used to play in Germany.

    – The English FA has to address this issue unless the issue with English managers and players will get worse. Think about the candidates they had for English National Team. At least have someone that came up in your system (like Roberto Martinez). The EPL (and in some cases the League Championship) has become the finishing ground for players and coaches instead and being a mix of developing and final destination like the other 5 leagues.

    As I sometimes slam MLS for going for foreign overrateed retreads as player (in some cases) and not giving younger players or players from region enough chances, I have to slam the EPL.

  4. Proud day for the US. For those of you who think there is some kind of nationalistic nepotism at play, I ask whether you really think the owners would pick a coach for his nationality over his perceived ability to return value to the club. My understanding is that lack of fitness towards the end of the game has hurt Swansea this year. Bob Bradley will have this team fit and full of self-belief, probably overachieving in the effort department. The big question is whether or not Bradley is ready for the EPL tactically- it’s a hell of a baptism for him. We shall find out….

      • Enlighten me with your definition of value. And then enlighten me with mine, since you claim to have a better grasp on both.

      • you were using a narrow definition of value (games won) and I think an ownership group values money generated. Games won is part of that, but sponsorships, eyeballs, new markets, etc. those are just as important. You could end up extremely profitable and mid-table forever… or you could lose billions and win the league each year. I think american ownership groups take a broad view of success.

    • The loss of their defensive heart (Ashley Williams) , in ability to score and difficult schedule is what hurt them this year. Their fired coach took over last year when they were in 17th and guided them to 11th. I think he would have kept them up this year. Bradley is a fit because he defends first.

  5. From the lowly levels of college and MLS to the heights of national team manager and now this. Damn proud day as an American soccer fan.

    Bradley achieved his ambition of managing in one of the big leagues against the best competition week in and week out. Here’s hoping Bunker Bob avoids relegation this season and ideally leads them towards a respectable mid-table finish.

    Now it’s time to get to work.

  6. Stuart Holden (@stuholden)
    1 hour ago – View on Twitter
    Wishing Bob Bradley all the best at Swansea City. One of the best coaches I played for and no doubts he will be a success – well deserved

  7. Good for him, and if it doesn’t work out he is now in the club and will be considered for almost every Premier League opening for the next ten years, as well as openings in other top leagues.

  8. The sky is falling at over on their fan boards:

    Reading some of the threads and their recent ownership issues it seems they have much worse issues than the managerial job. Bob’s a smart guy and is know to use tactics that best fit the players he has available but I’m not sure if he could do much with what SCFC have right now other than the old empty bucket he used to use with the USMNT. He had adapted to a more progressive possession based style with Stabeck and Le Harve. Not much hope for them staying up really with all the club related issues going on. I think they made this hire knowing he’d be cheap and with the expectation of not staying up to rebuild the team for a year or two in the Championship after they are relegated.

    • Never read English club forums with the interest of gaining anything valuable. They are some of the most delusional, sky is falling, sets of fans in sports. Much more so than anything I’ve witnessed in this country.

      Their expectations and reactions to the English national team should be a good preview of their acumen…and that’s coming from an American who uses the term “soccer”. They’re idiots.

  9. This is a big day for Bob and USMNT fans. Let the eurosnobs bash Bob and underestimate him. USMNT fans should be proud that someone who has worked hard to build his coaching resume over many years Hopefully they give him the rest of the season to show what he can do.

  10. Awesome. This is how you grow the sport in this county, not chasing other teams sloppy seconds.
    His first move should be to hire Jozy Altidore. He’s killing it in MLS

  11. He kinda bombed last year at La Havre and same with Egypt before that with his terrible tactical decisions in WC qualifying. Seems odd….

    • He didn’t bomb at Le Havre but was not a sensation. Ligue 2 is a solid league and like ligue 1 quite tactical. And working with the french, in a un-cosmopolitan part of France, is not easy ! Going to Wales I’m sure he’ll feel better communicating and dealing with the press.

      In any case much respect for his career decisions.

    • Egypt has been to the WC once since 1934 and that was 26 years ago so making it to the final round of qualifying while your league is suspended and your country experiences two changes of government isn’t “kind of bombing”.

      • Furthermore, their domestic league in Egypt was suspended, the country was in turmoil, and they still managed to win every game up until the playoff against Ghana.

    • BB did a phenomenal job with Egypt especially considering how there was no domestic league play while he was coaching. They won 7 of 8 games in qualifying if i remember correctly. Africa has a very unforgiving qualifying process.

      • correct. they went undefeated until the final round in a series against Ghana. they got crushed in Ghana (ask yourself how the US would do there) but won at the home leg. unfortunately not enough to make up the goal difference and they were out.

    • I didn’t follow his time in France like others, but the political conditions and unique circumstances he operated under, while managing Egypt, was nothing short of phenomenal.

      I think he did a huge service to the perception of Americans in the way he conducted himself off the pitch, let alone, how he managed to find success on the pitch.

    • Ignorant statement. His work in Egypt was pretty miraculous. He left with much love and respect from the players and fans there operating in very severe conditions on all levels imaginable. The real bummer is how close they were- within a game of an out and out miracle the would have absolutely blown up/inspred a country going through severe difficulty t the time.

      • You obviously did not watch the last Ghana match. His tactical decisions were horrendous. I actually watched his performances versus the echo chamber of people here who apparently didn’t. They had a very fortuitous schedule and he had a fantastic squad with very talented players playing throughout the world. He bombed the Ghana match with poor tactics letting Ghana run all over them.

        Ligue 2 is sure getting lots of props here. Ligue 1 is a borderline top 10 league and league 2 is comparable or less to MLS. My goodness.

      • Patrick, you lost that argument when you said Ligue 1 is borderline Top 10. I watch Ligue 1 and have followed it for 2 decades. It is easily the 4th/5th best league in Europe. Even globally, I would still put it at 5th/6th. Ghana torched them during the first leg of the 2014 qualifier, but Egypt has a horrible qualifying record, didn’t play with urgency and were rusty given the cessation of their domestic league. Additionally,Ghana had one of the best young teams in the world in 2013/14.

      • Patrick: Bradley certainly didn’t achieve what he had hoped in any of his positions since the USMNT, but to call it bombing is what people are having problems with. Egypt rarely makes the WC and Le Havre is rarely promoted. Were results disappointing, I’m sure they were to some fans, but were expected in both cases.

      • Not sure if Patrick is just provoking, but re the levels of the top two french leagues, ligue 1 produces or incubates incredible talent consistently, for many years now. It is the 4/5 best league in the world, no lower. Underrated, in fact, by people who don’t watch or follow. Ligue 2 feeds ligue 1, they are related and – from a coach’s and development perspective – have a lot in common.. pretty much all the greats, french and african, except perhaps eto’o, started or came through young at clubs currently in these two divisions, look them up. Then many of those players went on to star in the big clubs and this is still happening today. Le Havre has one of the best academies in France, therefore the world, so it was exciting to see an american manager there but for Bradley it was always going to be a short term, ladder-climbing, pursuit.

    • Others have pointed out how ignorant your statement was re: his time coaching Egypt. As for Le Havre, they came within one goal of promotion last season. That’s not bombing by any stretch of the imagination. You’re ridiculous.

    • To suggest that LD had any say in this hire is ridiculous. I mean, perhaps they called him to get a honest opinion of BB’s coaching style, but LD is just a stockholder. Apple doesn’t confer with me before releasing the new IPhone just because I hold some of its stock…

      • That’s a poor analogy unless you are a “significant shareholder”. There aren’t a million shareholders at Swansea, there only a few limited shareholders with majority and/or significant ownership. A more appropriate analogy would be if you were significant shareholder in the ownership group that owns with the Brooklyn Nets (for example) and one of the members of that foreign ownership group (say Italian), was the best Italian basketball player of all time and had some limited success in the NBA. You better be sure he would have major influence on manager hiring.

      • Anthony: While the analogy may not be on all fours, to suggest that LD helped BB get the job does two things: (1) it overstates LD’s ability to influence soccer decisions at a club he just recently joined and, perhaps more importantly, (2) it diminishes all the hard work that BB has put in over a 20 year coaching career to get this opportunity.

    • I don’t care if Lando did or didn’t have a say, I’m just suprised that BB even got on Swansea’s radar. Bob is in re-building mode, he realy hasn’t done much (yet) in France so I think Swansea are taking a huge risk.

      I hope he’s a great success, I like Bob, I’m just suprised, although not as suprosed as I was when the local news in SoCal reported he was taking over at Chelsea.

  12. gotta say i’m surprised at this, as it’s not like he was a revelation in ligue 2. guess the new ownership mandated this–that or he’s *really* good in interviews.

  13. American ownership with LD involved kind of taints the whole first ever american coach hired in EPL thing doesn’t it? Won’t matter as long as he does well.

    • Americans own five other clubs in BPL and a few in lower divisions and Swansea is the only one with an American manager so I don’t really think it makes that big of difference who owns the team. These owners didn’t make their money by making emotional decisions.

    • It’s not like he just fell off the turnip truck. Bradley has a pretty good resume and a pretty long record of success.

  14. A long term contact in the EPL? What is that 6 weeks? It is hard to fire a whole team of players and replace them with better players, firing the coach is so much faster, easier and cheaper.

    Is there a coach in the EPL other than Arsene (and before him Fergusen) who has kept the job for more than 7 years? (Howe is on track to exceed that time, no other else is even close.) Most of the managers in the EPL have been fired from managerial positions fairly recently in their careers as managers.

    I just hope Swansea give Bob enough time to have a real impact on the team.

    • Someone referenced nepotism below, but I’d like to spin it towards a positive based on your post. I’m wondering what type of reinforcements he brings in with the January transfer window and wondering if we’ll see any American loanee’s or full transfers.

      Of course, I’m not suggesting that will be his focus, but given some natural knowledge and the usual inexpensive transfer fees with Americans I’d be curious if we see any head over to Wales.

    • The good news for Bradley is that if he does okay, even if he is fired in the future, the EPL has a habit or recycling managers so that as one door closes another opens before too long.

      • This would be the only knock on the move. I would have liked to see him being brought into a club that was not majority US owned.

        But hey, a foot in the door is a foot in the door…

      • Honestly, it probably did only happen because it is a US owner… but, if it brings eyeballs to Swansea (and lets be honest, no one in the US cared about Swansea until this) then it will bring revenue and it will make Swansea money and it will be a boon to those isolationist morons because Swansea can then buy more talent… so if you want more US coaches getting hired, lets all get out there and buy some Swansea kit… And just because it happened because of US ownership, doesn’t mean Bunker Bob can’t succeed. He has grown leaps and bounds as a coach since his time with the Nats.

    • The “American hate” is intrinsic within the soccer community around the globe. However, perceptions and reputations aren’t immune to evolving and Bradley is the type of man to help push the narrative towards a positive light.

      If that level-headed mentality doesn’t prevail, just remind the knuckle-dragging Brits what nation that refers to it as “soccer” finished above them in the group stage in 2010 and what manager was in-charge. They aren’t the most bright.

  15. Oh no…… I was hoping that he would remain to help Le Havre get promoted and stay in Ligue 1 for one season. But I understand that managing a EPL club is a dream of his. So he just achieved the initial stage of being hired and I will root for him in managing that club into the top 10, at least.

    • top 10? jesus. keeping them from relegation is job #1, as stoke and west ham will likely not be in the drop zone by the end of the season.

      • Thanks for your sarcasm. He is given a chance to do that like everyone else no matter which organization other than Chelsea, Arsenal, MCFC, LFC, and ManU which its mission is to win the title and be in top 4 if not the top.

      • i…wasn’t being sarcastic? maybe i just didn’t understand your first comment, as i can’t make any sense of your second.

  16. This is a milestone for American soccer. The more coaching experience we have the better our pool will be. Best of luck to Bradley and Swansea.

    • They would need a couple reinforcements in the January window. Ghey have lost a couple key players in the past season that have not been replaced. If they do, he should be ok.

  17. I wish his son had the same persistence to stick it out in Europe…. Now he has to keep them up. New team to root for in the EPL.

    • I have no immediate knowledge, just speculation, but there’s a direct correlation between Bradley and his wife having their child and his ambition, along with his performances, taking a noticeable (and undeniable) decline.

      Not that I blame him, though.

      • See Bedoya, Agudelo, Dempsey. Im sure there are more, but the decisions of these high profile players to come back is not always just soccer driven.

      • Agreed. Too often people forget the aspect of their personal lives impacting their performances.

        Given the Giants and Vikings are playing tonight on MNF, the same thing happened to Eli Manning.

      • He started at Herenveen in January window of 2006 and left Roma in the same window of 2014. That’s 8 calendar years, not 9.

        In any case the point is well made. Many players in Europe don’t even get that long.

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