Bob Bradley

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For other people named Bob Bradley, see Bob Bradley (disambiguation).
Robert Bradley
Bradley in 2009
Personal information
Full name Robert Bradley
Date of birth (1958-03-03) March 3, 1958 (age 57)
Place of birth Montclair, New Jersey, United States
Youth career
Years Team
1976–1980 Princeton University
Teams managed
Years Team
1981–1983 Ohio University
1983–1984 University of Virginia (assistant)
1984–1995 Princeton University
1996 United States U23 (assistant)
1996–1997 D.C. United (assistant)
1998–2002 Chicago Fire
2003–2005 MetroStars
2006 Chivas USA
2006–2007 United States U23
2006–2011 United States
2011–2013 Egypt
2014– Stabæk

Robert "Bob" Bradley (born March 3, 1958)[1] is an American association football coach. He is the current manager of Stabæk in Norway's Tippeligaen.

He previously managed the Egypt and the United States men's national soccer team. Before taking over the United States football national team in December 2006, he coached in the American college game and Major League Soccer, managing the Chicago Fire, MetroStars, and Chivas USA over nine seasons.

His son, Michael, is a professional footballer who plays for MLS club Toronto FC and the U.S. national team.

Early life and education[edit]

Bradley was born and raised in New Jersey, playing soccer at West Essex High School and Princeton University. Following his graduation from Princeton, Bradley briefly worked in the Procter & Gamble's executive training program before entering the Ohio University sports management program in 1981. While there, Bradley's managing career started when he was named the manager of the Ohio University Bobcats's Division 1 soccer program at the age of 22.[2]

He was lured away by University of Virginia manager Bruce Arena and spent two years as his assistant, before taking the top job at his alma mater, Princeton. Bradley led the Tigers from 1984 to 1995, winning two Ivy League titles and reaching the NCAA Final Four in 1993.


Major League Soccer[edit]

In 1996, Bradley became Arena's assistant once again, this time with D.C. United of the newly formed Major League Soccer. After two seasons there, he became the first manager of the expansion Chicago Fire,[3] leading them to the MLS Cup and US Open Cup double in 1998. For this success, he was named MLS Coach of the Year. He won more silverware in 2000 when the Fire won the Open Cup.

After the 2002 MLS season, Bradley resigned as manager of the Fire to take the reins of his home state team, the MetroStars. Considered the most successful coach in Fire history,[citation needed] Bradley led Chicago to an MLS Cup and two U.S. Open Cup titles, finishing with an 82-54-15 in the league and 111-67-20 record across all competitions.

During his tenure in New Jersey, he had the historically underachieving club headed in the right direction as the MetroStars advanced to the US Open Cup final for the first time in club history in 2003. Bradley stayed with the club until October 2005, when he was fired with three games left in the regular season. The club had suffered losses in back-to-back fixtures and diminishing playoff prospects prior to Bradley's firing.

Shortly after the 2005 season, Bradley was named the manager at Los Angeles club Chivas USA.[3] Bradley revived a Chivas USA team that had endured a poor first season in 2005, leading a young squad to a third-place finish in the Western Conference before losing in the playoffs to Houston Dynamo.

United States[edit]

Following the U.S. men's national team's disappointing showing at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, U.S. Soccer appointed Bradley the interim coach of the team. Although Bradley was widely tipped to be a future national team manager, perhaps for the 2014 World Cup cycle, most observers and several national team players expected U.S. Soccer to hire recently departed Germany manager and California resident Jürgen Klinsmann, due to his success and connections to American soccer. However, after contract negotiations with Klinsmann fell through, U.S. Soccer quickly named Bradley interim manager on December 8, 2006. Although many saw Bradley as a second choice, he quickly went about building a strong foundation for the team, introducing younger players to the squad and approaching the job as though he already was, or would soon become, the permanent manager.

His tenure began successfully, and after a series of successful friendlies which included a 2–0 win over Mexico, U.S. Soccer removed Bradley's interim title and officially named him manager on May 15, 2007. He continued his success that summer, leading the United States to the 2007 Gold Cup Final, where it beat rivals Mexico 2–1 for the second time in four months on a stunning volley by Benny Feilhaber. In his first year as manager, Bradley built a record of 12 wins, 1 draw, and 5 losses, going undefeated for a period of ten games over five months.

Despite the highs of its Gold Cup victory, the U.S. did not fare as well in Copa América 2007, though U.S. Soccer sent a roster mostly made up of younger MLS-based players. This was partly because this was the second competition for the U.S. in the summer of 2007 after the Gold Cup, and partly because clubs were not officially obligated to release their players for this tournament, as the U.S. was not obligated to play in it, and was an invited guest of CONMEBOL. The team lost its first game in the Bradley era to Argentina in the tournament opener 4–1. That game was Bradley's first away game with national team and their first loss in over a year since losing to Ghana in the 2006 World Cup. The Americans finished Copa América without a point after losing its other two games to Paraguay and Colombia. The U.S. also went on to lose consecutive games away to Sweden and at home to Brazil. However, Bradley's first year in charge ended on a high note with a pair of away wins against Switzerland and South Africa.

In early 2008, Bradley and U.S. Soccer scheduled several high profile friendlies against some of the world's elite teams as a way of preparing the team for 2010 World Cup qualification that would begin in the fall. After a 2–2 draw in the annual Mexico friendly, the U.S. lost 2–0 away to England, 1–0 away to Spain, and held Argentina to a 0–0 draw back at home. In the Second Round of CONCACAF qualifying the U.S. beat Barbados 8–0 at home, the largest victory for the U.S. in its history, and 0–1 away. In the Third Round the Americans dominated their group, which included Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, and Cuba, and advanced along with Trinidad and Tobago to the Fourth Round. Bradley and the U.S. started the Fourth Round in strong form, with a 2–0 defeat of rivals Mexico, with both goals provided by his son, Michael.

In 2009, Bradley led the U.S. team to a 2nd place finish in the 2009 Confederations Cup, including a 2–0 victory over the world's number one ranked team and European champions Spain, ending their 35-game unbeaten streak and 15-game winning streak. With the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup happening so close to the Confederations Cup, Bradley led a largely second-tier national team to a loss in the final to Mexico 0-5. US then lost to Mexico in 2010 World Cup qualification group action in August, 2–1, in Mexico City. On October 10, Bradley led the U.S. national team to qualification for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, with a 3–2 away win against Honduras. The USA team went on to top group C, beating Algeria 1–0, drawing 1–1 with England, and 2–2 with Slovenia. The USA team later lost in its first match of the second round to Ghana 2–1, after extra time.

Following the World Cup, Bradley signed a contract extension in August 2010 to remain as the USA coach until the 2014 World Cup.[4] In June 2011, Bradley led the US to the final of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, despite a defeat to Panama (then 67th in the FIFA world rankings) in their second match, but an early 2–0 lead was overturned by Mexico, who eventually won 4–2. On July 28, 2011, he was relieved of his duties by the United States Soccer Federation.


On September 14, 2011, Bradley reached a deal to take over as manager of the Egypt national football team beginning October 15, 2011. He made his debut as head coach on November 14, 2011, in a friendly against Brazil, in which Egypt lost 2–0.[5]

Bradley was praised for choosing to live in Egypt despite the unrest following the Egyptian Revolution of 2011[6] and continued to guide the Pharaohs despite the suspension of the Egyptian Premier League following the Port Said Stadium riot.[7] Egypt was perfect in its first six matches of qualifying but fell decisively to Ghana in the third round playoffs.

He was not retained following Egypt's elimination from qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[8]

Stabæk Fotball[edit]

It was reported on January 2, 2014, that Bradley had agreed to manage Stabæk Fotball, making him the first American to manage a club in Europe's top flight.[9] Bradley's competitive debut with Stabæk came on March 30, 2014, a 3-0 home win over Sogndal.

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of September 7, 2014.
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Chicago Fire 30 October 1997 5 October 2002 195 109 20 66 55.90
MetroStars 21 October 2002 4 October 2005 100 36 26 38 36.00
Chivas USA 23 November 2005 8 December 2006 35 11 14 10 31.43
United States 8 December 2006 28 July 2011 80 43 12 25 53.75
Egypt 14 September 2011 20 November 2013 36 24 5 7 66.67
Stabæk 3 January 2014 Present 37 16 7 14 43.24
Total 483 239 84 160 49.48

Personal life[edit]

Bradley's brother Scott played baseball for the Seattle Mariners in the 1980s and is the current coach at Princeton University. Bradley's son, Michael, was drafted by the MetroStars in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft, and played in the Eredivisie, Bundesliga, and Serie A until transferring to Toronto FC in January 2014.[10] His brother Jeff has worked for ESPN as a sports reporter, but currently freelances.


Chicago Fire
United States

See also[edit]


External links[edit]