clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bob Bradley hired as the first manager of Los Angeles FC

The ex-USMNT boss is back in MLS.

Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City - Premier League Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Los Angeles FC is still almost a year from playing its first match in Major League Soccer, but the club has just made a huge decision that has their fans excited: LAFC has hired Bob Bradley, making a major statement of intent for a new American club.

Bradley is best known to U.S. fans as the former manager of the United States men’s national team, guiding it from 2006 to a 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup championship and a solid showing in the 2010 World Cup, though a disappointing 2011 Gold Cup final ended his tenure after five years.

Before that, Bradley was a very successful manager in MLS, winning MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup in 1998 with the Chicago Fire in that club’s first season, then winning the U.S. Open Cup again in 2000. Bradley still stands as the only man to bring an MLS Cup title to Chicago, and he previously coached New York Red Bulls and Chivas USA as well.

Bradley’s record since leaving the USMNT is a bit mixed. He guided Egypt to a solid record despite issues caused by the Arab Spring and Port Said stadium riot, but was let go after failing to qualify for the World Cup. He then earned positive reviews for his work with Stabæk and Le Havre before an ill-fated venture into the English Premier League with Swansea that lasted just 10 weeks.

But now Bradley is in charge of LAFC, tasked with helping build the fledgling team and guiding them to a good start to their history. If history is any indication, he’s a good choice for the job — even aside from guiding Chicago to an MLS Cup triumph in their first season, he has a good track record of taking underachieving MLS sides and turning them into solid contenders, doing so with both the then-New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 2003, then again with Chivas USA in 2006.

Bradley’s tactical style isn’t high-octane, all-action soccer, but it’s solid and dependable, and will give LAFC a good base to build from. If GM John Thorrington can built a solid roster, Bradley should be able to get results. But LAFC is going to need to build an excellent squad in a hurry, a la Atlanta United, in order to compete in a Major League Soccer environment with more talent than it had when Bradley left.