American soccer is exponentially increasing in popularity across the country. As a result, immense stadiums are sprouting up in cities from Minneapolis to Miami and with these crowds comes a remarkably higher level of competition. MLS athletes are performing at a level not previously seen in the league’s short-lived history, and now—they are beginning to be recognized for such.
Bob Bradley, 58, started his career in the United States with the Chicago Fire, then moved through the ranks from the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, to Chivas USA, and finally to the US Men’s National Team. In 2010, Bradley managed the USMNT to a spot in the 16th round at 2010 World Cup, overcoming England for the top spot in the group. He is best remembered, however, for his signature win over Spain at the 2009 Confederations Cup, a 2-0 victory enshrined in the annals of soccer history.
He soon went on to coach the top caliber Stabek squad in 2015, and even managed to lead them to qualify for the Europa League. His accomplishments did not go unnoticed and now he’s been selected to oversee Swansea City in none other than the Premier League. Considering his record is less extensive than many in the Premier League (and it’s speculated Swansea City’s American owners exhibited bias), his prospective performance is already subject to severe scrutiny.
The pressure, in particular, will be exponentially higher than any Bradley has thus far endured, at least in regards to publicity. When Bradley presided over a national team in Egypt back in 2011, he was forced to overcome the Egyptian revolution in addition to the Port Said stadium catastrophe, an event that saw the suspension of the Egyptian Premier League. So Bradley is no stranger to pressure. Whether or not he is able to deftly manage global scrutiny, however, remains to be seen.
Regardless, Swansea City can expect to see a few things as Bradley assumes his role. They will likely be incredibly organized. Plus, Bradley has a particular inclination for maximizing the ability of the players beneath him in addition to identifying outside talent that can be put to good use. He demonstrated such recruiting skills during his time with both the United States and Egyptian leagues. So, it stands to reason these universal skills will benefit him with Swansea City as well.
Bob Bradley’s ascension to the Premier League is an outstanding achievement not just for him, but for American soccer as a whole. It signifies our increasing role on the world soccer stage.