In their excitement over Bob Bradley’s potential appointment to a managerial post in Europe, too many people out there (including a few who really should know better) seem to forget that one American already has coached professionally in Europe.
Not to take anything away from Bradley, who has the track record to prove he is among the coaching products ever to come from our country, and easily so. But Gregg Berhalter was first, having coached two seasons at Hammarby IF in Sweden’s second division.
No, the Swedish second division isn’t great shakes; but that doesn’t subtract from what Berhalter, a U.S. World Cup veteran and who finished his long career with the LA Galaxy, accomplished in establishing himself as a trailblazer, American coach in a continent with few of them.
There may have been an American manager somewhere along the line, coaching in England’s third or fourth tier or in the 2 Bundesliga or some such. Records of such things don’t really exist, not officially so.
Either way, Berhalter was making the calls for Hammarby before taking the Columbus Crew post last fall.
Here is a good interview on Berhalter’s first year as a manager abroad, in fact.