Insider Notes: Swansea City, LAFC show interest in hiring Bob Bradley
A source close to Swansea City confirmed a BBC report that club chairman Huw Jenkins met with former U.S. men's national team Bob Bradley recently to discuss Swansea.
The club is also meeting with Ryan Giggs and one or two other potential manager candidates, according to the Swansea source, who added the club is doing due diligence on its managerial position, currently held by Francesco Guidolin. It's obviously not a great sign for Guidolin, whose club is 1-4-1 and sits in 17th place in the Premier League, that these meetings are taking place. As for Bradley, no American has been a head coach in the Premier League's history, and landing at Swansea would break that glass ceiling.
Swansea isn't the only side interested in Bradley. Multiple sources say that MLS expansion club LAFC has significant interest in hiring him as its first head coach ahead of the team’s 2018 inaugural season.
LAFC head of soccer operations John Thorrington knows Bradley, having gotten three of his four U.S. caps when Bradley was in charge. Bradley has previous experience in L.A., having coached Chivas USA in 2006. He also coached at D.C. United, the Chicago Fire and New York/New Jersey MetroStars before embarking on his time with the U.S.
Bradley is currently with Le Havre in the French second division following stints with the Egypt national team and Norwegian club Stabaek.
Here are a few more insider notes from around the soccer world:
Clint Dempsey expects to return to the field in 2017
The Seattle Sounders announced Tuesday that Clint Dempsey would be out for the rest of this season due to the irregular heartbeat issue that has kept him out since late August. After returning to light training, Dempsey suffered a setback–but it isn't necessarily career-ending.
Sources say that Dempsey expects to be back on the field in 2017, though he also doesn’t want to take any chances with his heart. Dempsey, 33, is married and has four children under the age of 8, and in situations like this one his long-term health prospects are what’s most important.
Dempsey's Seattle contract runs through the end of 2017.
Despite England eligibility, Carter-Vickers is 'all USA' for international choice
Cameron Carter-Vickers is one of the U.S.’s most promising young players, an 18-year-old center back who made a solid first-team debut for Tottenham last week in a League Cup win and was on the bench for its Champions League win over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday. But there’s a wrinkle here: Carter-Vickers still has dual eligibility for both the U.S. and England at the senior international level.
There's good news for U.S. fans on that front: Carter-Vickers has played for the U.S. at every level from Under-17 to Under-23, and a source close to the situation says he’s “all USA” for his senior level choice. The bad news: Carter-Vickers is unlikely to get officially cap-tied to the U.S. in the early parts of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying Hexagonal with so much riding on the results.
The U.S. begins the final round on the road to Russia Nov. 11 in Columbus, Ohio, against rival Mexico before traveling to face Costa Rica four days later.
FIFA under fire for disbanding anti-racism task force, may reverse course
FIFA is catching serious heat for disbanding its anti-racism task force this week, as if it were saying “mission accomplished” about dealing with racism in the sport.
Granted, the task-force hasn’t covered itself in glory: Its leader, former CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, pleaded guilty in the FIFA scandal, and his replacement didn’t convene a meeting in over a year in charge. But one FIFA insider says it was “idiotic” to disband the task force, and he expects that FIFA will reverse course to avert a PR nightmare.
The public onslaught continued Tuesday when Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure blasted the decision in a statement saying:
"When I was asked by FIFA to help with the fight against racism in football, I didn’t think twice. I have experienced racism all my life–be that in the streets or in the stadiums. So to help address this was my responsibility–a way of preventing other players and fans from going through the same issues I had found in my career.
“When I received the letter telling me the FIFA task force was to be discontinued I was very disappointed. The letter listed the good work that had been carried out as a result of the task force’s advice and recommendations. So my question is, after failing to deal with racism sufficiently for decades–why stop when something is beginning to work? Are FIFA being complacent ahead of a World Cup in Russia? This makes no sense.
“The task force brought together the expertise of campaigners, football administrators and players. It was a resource that gave FIFA the expertise they clearly did not have before. As a group, the task force could help shape and put in place the most effective initiatives to keep players and fans safe. The task force could question when FIFA were not delivering on it’s promise to do as much as they could in this area.
“My only hope is that FIFA have thought this through. The letter I received does not fill me with confidence. It will be the fans and players that suffer if FIFA do not get this right.”