LAFC Hires Bob Bradley as Club's First Manager
Former U.S. national team manager Bob Bradley is on the verge of taking over at MLS expansion team Los Angeles FC, sources tell SI.com. An announcement is expected shortly. (UPDATE: LAFC confirmed the hiring of Bradley on Thursday as the club's first manager.)
Bradley has been out of work since being fired by Swansea City in December, only 11 games into his tenure. It was a frustrating setback for an American coach who'd blazed a unique trail following the 2010 World Cup, from Egypt to Norway to France and then onto the Premier League. Now, it appears the 59-year-old Bradley will be back in MLS for the first time since 2006.
After assisting Bruce Arena at D.C. United, Bradley went on to coach the Chicago Fire, New York Red Bulls (then the MetroStars) and Chivas USA. He won one MLS Cup and two U.S. Open Cup titles and then went on to manage the national team. There, he presided over the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup title, the run to the '09 Confederations Cup final and the USA's first first-place finish in a World Cup group in 80 years.
LAFC kicks off next season in a new stadium being built next to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The club's technical side is run currently by former MLS, English Championship and US national team midfielder John Thorrington. Coaches like Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Hugo Sanchez previously had been linked to the LAFC job, but Bradley always has been a leading candidate. After a decade abroad, he's now set to return to a very different league than the one he left for his second gig with an expansion team–his first started off with a league and cup double in Chicago.
News that Bradley is headed to LAFC comes shortly after the new club's future rival, the LA Galaxy, announced the firing of coach Curt Onalfo and replaced him with former Galaxy, Seattle Sounders and Columbus Crew coach Sigi Schmid.