Date: 10th August 2010 at 3:44pm
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Our very own Nimmo digs into Bob Bradley’s background and career given the media excitement about his possible employment at B6.

Bob Bradley

So, what do we know about the man who is emerging as the press frontrunner to take over from Martin O`Neill?

Bob Bradley is the 52 yr old coach of the US National team that gave a good account of themselves in the 2010 World Cup. They finished ahead of England in the group after battling to the final seconds of their final group match to snatch a dramatic winner against Algeria, something England failed to do. He had his team well organised and working very hard for each other….there are even suspicions that he performed some kind of Jedi mindtrick against Robert Green to help the USA avoid defeat in their opening game.

We`ve seen the evidence of his emphasis on team work and his eye for detail in the way he analyses and identifies areas for improvement, but most of us know little about his career leading up to the World Cup.

He has a son, Michael, who impressed during the world cup and currently plays for Borussia Mönchengladbach after a 2 year spell at Heerenveen, so perhaps his knowledge of European football is not the drawback that many people are assuming. The fact that he described himself in his playing days as “[a] very, very poor-man’s version of Gerd Mueller” backs this up.

Background

Bob was born on 3rd March 1958 in Montclair, New Jersey. He comes from a sporting family with his brother Scott a professional baseball catcher for the NY Yankees, the Chicago White Sox, The Seattle Mariners and the Cincinnati Reds and his other brother Jeff a senior writer for ESPN.

He played football whilst attending Princeton University (1976-1980) and finished as top goalscorer during his senior year before moving to the Ohio University (1981-1983) where he took over as head coach at the tender age of 22 while finishing his M.A. in Sports Administration.

Bob was then hired by Bruce Arena as assistant coach at the University of Virginia some 27 years ago, before getting his first proper head coach job with a return to Princeton in 1984. He spent 11 successful years coaching the Tigers achieving two Ivy League titles (1988, 1993) and Princeton’s only NCAA Final Four berth to date in 1993.

Major League Soccer Career

Bob`s Major League career started when he was hired a second time as Bruce Arena`s assistant at DC United in 1996. It proved to be a very successful partnership delivering back to back titles 1996 and 1997 and a US Open Cup in 1996.

After assisting Arena at DC and for the Olympic Team in the Atlanta games Bob Bradley took his first Major League Head Coach job at expansion team the Chicago Fire and was a huge success. He was named MLS coach of the year in 1998 for becoming the first man to coach an expansion team to a title, winning the MLS Cup and the US Open Cup double. He won another US Open Cup in 2000 before resigning in 2002 to take over his home team, the perennial underachieving MetroStars.

He had some joy in New York, getting the MetroStars to the final of the US Open Cup final for the first time in the club’s history in 2003. He was eventually sacked in 2005.

He then joined second-year expansion side Chivas USA in 2006, and took them to the play-offs, reversing the worst record in the league that they had in 2005 – an achievement that saw him named MLS Coach of the Year an unprecedented second time making Bob the only coach in MLS history to receive this honour twice and the only coach to rack up over 100 wins. He has a MLS record of 124-94-54.

So, what do we think? After writing that I`m not too upset by the idea of him taking the reins at Villa Park.

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