After reports had linked former U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley with a position at Norwegian first-division side Stabæk, it was made official on Friday morning.
Bradley, 55, has signed a three-year deal with the recently promoted Norwegian outfit who bounced back from relegation to the top-flight at the first time of asking last season. With the appointment, Bradley becomes the first American soccer coach to manage in the highest division in any European country.
Stabaek are a side that are aiming high, and the project awaiting the former USMNT and Egypt national team boss is something that promises to be rather exciting.
“I am motivated by passion and I have found that at this club,” Bradley said. “The size of the crowd doesn’t matter, but I know these people are passionate about their football. I am looking forward to building a side over the next few years. I like a challenge and I regard this as a particularly exciting one.”
The Tippeligaen isn’t considered to be one of Europe’s top leagues and Stabæk play in an intimate 7,000 seater stadium, which would make it the smallest arena in MLS.
But in comparison the population of Norway is just 5 million people but Norwegian soccer is working hard to achieve its aim to battle it out with the big boys on the European stage. Only Rosenborg has had any real success in the Champions League recently but Bradley is thinking big, watch the video above, when it comes to his new club. It’s a great grounding for Bradley to make his name in Europe and will provide him with the chance to build something special from scratch.
Stabæk’s best period came from 2007-09 when they finished in the top three each season and won the Tippeligaen in 2008. Bradley is aiming high to try and bring the good times back to the tiny Norwegian city of Bærum.
Good luck, Bob. It’s safe to say the U.S. soccer community is rooting for you.