After his brief and inglorious tenure as Swansea City manager came to an end last December, ex-USMNT coach Bob Bradley and his shiny head will once again be on the sideline where they belong, as he has been named manager of one of MLS’s newest expansion teams, LAFC.
This move back stateside probably marks the end of Bradley’s noble European adventure, which is a shame. Bradley has never been one to rest on his laurels and was determined to go where no American coach before him has gone, to the very height of world soccer’s managerial game. This quest took him to Egypt, Norway, France, and finally England, and now he’s back in America.
The Swansea appointment, which made him the first American coach to ever manage a Premier League team, should’ve been the happy realization of his long-sought dream. Instead, it was something of a nightmare for all involved. Under his leadership the team played like dog shit and he was sacked less than three months into the job.
Bradley left with a sour taste in his mouth, and expressed his grievances that the club’s leadership didn’t back him the way they’d promised to when he was hired. Regardless of how the Swansea job went, though, becoming the first American to coach in the EPL does make him a successful trailblazer, and for his efforts on that front he forever has our admiration.
The LAFC gig is obviously a step back from Swansea, but working with an ambitious and well-monied team (obviously LAFC doesn’t exist yet but they surely will be looking to spend big, being in that market and all) will presumably be a nice change of pace from the smaller European clubs he’s been used to with his past few club jobs. Bradley spent about a decade in MLS early on in his career, though he hasn’t coached there since 2006. Coincidentally, when Bradley left MLS to coach the USMNT, he was managing Chivas USA, which was then Los Angeles’s second MLS team the same way LAFC will be when they begin play starting next season.
We don’t watch MLS because it sucks and thus won’t really be keeping close tabs on his time at LAFC, but we wish Bradley good fortune all the same.