After Bob Bradley joins Swansea, US soccer fraternity rejoices

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There is a sense this has been a long-time coming.

[ MORE: Bradley hired by Swans ]

Bob Bradley became the first-ever American head coach of a Premier League club on Monday — he signed a deal to take charge of Swansea City — and his compatriots and admirers in the tight-knit U.S. soccer community rejoiced.

Many know Bradley and have either worked with him or played for him and most fans across the U.S. Soccer community collectively said “Good for Bob!” when they heard the news.

With that in mind, ProSoccerTalk spoke to some current coaches in the U.S. about Bradley’s chance to fly the American flag in the Premier League with his first game for Swansea at Arsenal on Saturday Oct. 15 (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via NBC Sports).

[ MORE: Major moment for U.S. Soccer ] 

ProSoccerTalk spoke to the current head coach of the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer, Jesse Marsch, about his close friend Bradley getting a gig in the Premier League.

“It was about time,” Marsch said. “He has gone through a lot of trials and tribulations with his time in Europe. I count his time in Egypt as part of that because ultimately he went to Egypt because he hoped that was going to be a pathway into getting a big time job in Europe, with his eye on England. His patience and perseverance has paid off with a big time opportunity with a club like Swansea.”

Marsch was Bradley’s assistant with the U.S. national team and also played for him at Chicago Fire, with the U.S. and at Princeton back in the day. Would Bradley have got an opportunity in the Premier League sooner if he wasn’t American? Will success for Bradley open up doors for other U.S. coaches in Europe’s big leagues in the future?

“I understand why the respect level for American coaches isn’t really there because the reality is that a lot of American coaches are still developing. Bob is the anomaly in that category. He is the outlier. He is the one that is different than all the rest,” Marsch said. “His experience is different, his intelligence levels and ultimately the way his teams played and the success he’s had is what makes him different than all other American coaches. This can potentially open the doors for other American coaches down the road. All of the people that are close to Bob, we all think that Bob has been slighted and overlooked many times because he’s an American. I think now that he has the opportunity, I think he will have the chance to take the American tag away and he will be able to show everybody what an incredible manager he is.”

ProSoccerTalk also spoke to the former captain of the U.S. national team, John Harkes, who was the captain of D.C. United when Bradley was an assistant manager from 1996-97.

The current head coach of the surging FC Cincinnati franchise in the USL — the third-tier team just got a crowd of over 30,000 for their shock playoff loss against the Charleston Battery on Sunday — Harkes revealed that during Cincinnati’s inaugural season he kept in touch with his fellow New Jersey native often to talk tactics and exchanges ideas with Bradley.

“My initial reaction was excitement for Bob,” Harkes explained. “Always the first thing you are going to think about is that he is an American and people are going to talk about having an American coach in the Premier League. It is pretty amazing. Overall, for me, the main focus is that Bob is a good coach. He has been a guy who has dedicated himself to coaching in different environments and going through adversity. He has prepared himself very well and I’m excited for him. I wish him all the best. I hope it works out really well and it will be a massive challenge, for sure, but I’m sure he is excited and his family is as well.”

Harkes was the first-ever American to play in the Premier League with Sheffield Wednesday during the 1992-93 season, so he knows all about the stigmas and what Bradley will be up against in England and Wales.

“Many years ago, and especially when I was trying to get through the English leagues as an American player it was like that. I do think the game has become more global. There are more opportunities and there may be a few that may look at an American coach and say ‘how did that happen and why is he here?’ I think the game is changing and the landscape has changed dramatically and that gives the opportunities to other nationalities to come in and coach,” Harkes said.

“We’ve seen a huge influx of foreign coaches come in to the Premier League in the last 10 to 15 years. They are going to look at this as another foreign coach but he deserves a shot. Why not? I don’t see why anyone would turn down a guy just because of his nationality. If he’s good enough to do the job, then give him the opportunity. There have been many who have taken on jobs and failed and many who have taken on jobs when everyone was against them and done well.”

What about those questioning Bradley’s lack of experience in the Premier League?

“When you’ve coached the national team and you’ve represented your country at a World Cup, that gives you a tremendous level of experience,” Harkes said. “From a club standpoint he’s done it as well, he’s traveled and been to different countries and competed. At the end of the day he has an opportunity here. The door has been opened for him and we always say we wish him all the best and hope it goes well. There is a lot of pressure which comes with the job but I think he has the right temperament to manage that.”

When it comes to how Swansea will play, both Marsch and Harkes have a good idea of how Bradley’s side will look once he is settled in.

“His teams will be very organized. He has developed a reputation for being tactically conservative. Over time he has changed a lot of his tactics so his teams are more pressing and they look for more opportunities to be aggressive in the attack. One of the concepts he always taught me was that ‘when you get the ball, how quickly can you get to the goal?’ That is something he has always tried to build in his team whether that is through attacking transition or any moments of possession,” Marsch explained. “He always wants his players thinking about getting to goal as quickly as possible. It will take some time for him to take his current player pool and mold them into what he wants them to be, but I think you will see them be very organized defensively but very direct and aggressive in the attack.”

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 24: Head coach Bob Bradley of USA speaks during a press conference at Irene Farm on June 24, 2010 in Irene south of Pretoria, South Africa. United States will play their second round 2010 World Cup match against Ghana on Saturday, June 26, 2010, at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Harkes added that he’s excited to see what Swansea becomes under Bradley and although there is plenty of tough work ahead — despite the initial excitement to be given this opportunity to pit his wits against Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger and Co. — everyone expects Bradley to be well prepared.

“You have to understand what the expectations are and what the philosophy is of the ownership group. I’m sure he’s had many of those conversations and he feels maybe he has an opportunity and a platform there to go out and do well. It’s all he can hope for,” Harkes said. “He is going to have the right people around him. He knows that is going to be a challenge. I’m sure he’s at a point where he has to get things sorted out first but I’m sure he’s already done that. He’s a very educated man and he prepares very well.”

Former U.S. national team midfielder Stuart Holden, who played for Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League, has also chimed in and rates Bradley highly.

Holden, now retired, played for Bradley with the U.S. national team and gave a glowing endorsement of his qualities as a coach.

Alexi Lalas has mentioned that being an American has “baggage” but that players and coaches in Europe are fine with that. Bradley is no different as he aims to continues his success in a new country and at the highest possible club level.

The overwhelming reaction from the U.S. soccer community is one of pride that one of their own has finally been recognized for his incredible achievements in the game, so far, after his coaching journey began way back in the NCAA in 1981. Bradley has been overlooked so many times for Premier League jobs in the past with West Brom, Aston Villa, Hull City, Fulham and others all linked with him.

Despite some initial negative vibes coming out of Swansea, which is perhaps inevitable given their slow start to the season and some fans still skeptical about the new American owners who took charge this summer, the sense on U.S. soil is that this opportunity is well earned for Bradley.

Jurgen Klinsmann, the man U.S. Soccer brought in as the new head coach after Bradley left in 2011, congratulated his predecessor on getting the Swansea job and a general feeling of elation was prevalent. There’s pretty much nothing but good vibes flowing across the pond for Bradley ahead of what many would say is the biggest challenge of his career.

The U.S. coaching fraternity he has become a paternal figure of will now hold its breath and watch on intently as they hope things go well for one of their own in the most competitive league on the planet.

USMNT vs El Salvador, live! Score, updates, how to watch, videos


The USMNT host El Salvador in a winner-take-all CONCACAF Nations League Group D finale on Monday (7:30 pm ET), at Exploria Stadium in Orlando.

[ MORE: USMNT player ratings vs Grenada | Recap/highlights ]

The group winner will qualify for the finals (four teams) of the 2022-23 CONCACAF Nations League (June 15-18) as well as the 2023 Gold Cup (June 24-July 16). The group runners-up will also qualify for this summer’s Gold Cup.

Following their 7-1 thumping of Grenada on Friday, the USMNT is in good shape and interim head coach Anthony Hudson will likely rotate his first-choice back four back into the lineup.

[ MORE: Folarin Balogun to USMNT? “It’s something that will come to me”

Christian Pulisic, Brenden Aaronson, Weston McKennie, Gio Reyna and Ricardo Pepi all sparkled in the final third against Grenada and we could see Alex Zendejas and Daryl Dike from the start in Orlando.

Of course, Folarin Balogun is also expected to be watching on from the stands as intrigue grows around his possible switch from England to the USMNT to give the Americans another fine young attacking talent.

Here is everything you need for the USMNT vs El Salvador.

How to watch USMNT vs El Salvador live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7:30pm ET
Stadium: Exploria Stadium – Orlando, Florida
TV in English: TNT
TV/streaming en Español: Universo/Peacock

[ LIVE: CONCACAF Nations League scores – USMNT vs El Salvador ]

USMNT squad

Goalkeepers (3): Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough), Matt Turner (Arsenal)

Defenders (8): Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Mark McKenzie (Genk), Tim Ream (Fulham), Bryan Reynolds (Westerlo), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach), Auston Trusty (Birmingham City)

Midfielders (7): Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Leeds United), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Alan Sonora (Juarez), Djordje Mihailovic (AZ Alkmaar)

Forwards (6): Taylor Booth (Utrecht), Daryl Dike (West Bromwich Albion), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Alejandro Zendejas (Club America)

EURO 2024 qualification live! EURO qualifiers schedule, updates, standings


EURO 2024 qualifying is here, and you’re in the right spot for groups, fixtures, and results.

Italy outlasted England in penalty kicks to win EURO 2020 and is bidding to become the first repeat winner since Spain in 2008 and 2012.

[ MORE: Breaking down Premier League title race ]

England is still seeking its first European Championship and will be favored to emerge from Group C with aforementioned Italy as well as Ukraine, North Macedonia, and Malta.

Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions started off 2024 qualifying well as Harry Kane snapped a tie with Wayne Rooney atop England’s all-time goals list with a 2-1 win in Italy, the nation’s first in the country since 1961, and then Bukayo Saka led the Three Lions to a 2-0 win over Ukraine on Sunday.

Netherlands and France are also in a spicy group that has dark horse Republic of Ireland and former champions Greece, as well as Gibraltar.

[ MORE: Live scores, updates, standings from EURO 2024 qualifying ]

A number of nations have guaranteed themselves no worse than a playoff spot due to their performances in the UEFA Nations League: Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Spain, Scotland, Georgia, Croatia, Turkey, Serbia, Kazakhstan.

EURO 2024 qualifying schedule

Thursday, March 23

Kazakhstan 1-2 Slovenia
Slovakia 0-0 Luxembourg
Italy 1-2 England – Video, player ratings as Kane breaks Rooney record
Denmark 3-1 Finland
Portugal 4-0 Liechtenstein
San Marino 0-2 Northern Ireland
North Macedonia 2-1 Malta
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 Iceland

Friday, March 24

Bulgaria 0-1 Montenegro
Gibraltar 0-3 Greece
Moldova 1-1 Faroe Islands
Serbia 2-0 Lithuania
Austria 4-1 Azerbaijan
Sweden 0-3 Belgium
Czech Republic 3-1 Poland
France 4-0 Netherlands

Saturday, March 25

Scotland 3-0 Cyprus
Israel 1-1 Kosovo
Armenia 1-2 Turkey
Belarus 0-5 Switzerland
Spain 3-0 Norway
Croatia 1-0 Wales
Andorra 0-2 Romania

Sunday, March 26

Kazakhstan 3-2 Denmark
England 2-0 Ukraine — Video, player ratings as Saka leads Three Lions
Liechtenstein 0-7 Iceland
Slovenia 2-0 San Marino
Slovakia 2-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Northern Ireland 0-1 Finland
Luxembourg 0-6 Portugal
Malta 0-2 Italy

Monday, March 27

Montenegro 0-2 Serbia
Netherlands 3-0 Gibraltar
Poland 1-0 Albania
Austria 2-1 Estonia
Sweden 5-0 Azerbaijan
Moldova 0-0 Czech Republic
Hungary 3-0 Bulgaria
Republic of Ireland 0-1 France

Tuesday, March 28

Georgia vs Norway — Noon ET
Wales vs Latvia — 2:45pm ET
Romania vs Belarus — 2:45pm ET
Switzerland vs Israel — 2:45pm ET
Kosovo vs Andorra — 2:45pm ET
Turkey vs Croatia — 2:45pm ET
Scotland vs Spain — 2:45pm ET

EURO 2024 qualifying standings

Group A

Spain — 3 pts, +3 GD
Scotland — 3 pts, +3GD
Norway — 0 pts, -3 GD
Cyprus — 0 pts, -3 GD

Group B

France — 3pts, +4 GD
Greece — 3 pts, +3 GD
Republic of Ireland
Gibraltar — 0 pts, -3 GD
Netherlands — 0 pts, -4 GD

Group C

England — 6 pts, +3 GD
Italy — 3 pts, +1 GD
North Macedonia — 3 pts, +1 GD
Ukraine — 0 pts, -2 GD
Malta — 0 pts, -3 GD

Group D

Turkey — 3 pts, +1 GD
Wales — 1 pt, 0 GD
Croatia — 1 pt, 0 GD
Armenia — 0 pts, -1 GD

Group E

Czech Republic — 3 pts, +2 GD
Faroe Islands — 1 pt, 0 GD
Moldova — 1 pt, 0 GD
Poland — 0 pts, -2 GD

Group F

Austria — 3 pts, +3 GD
Belgium — 3 pts, + 3GD
Azerbaijan — 0 pts, -3 GD
Sweden — 0 pts, -3 GD

Group G

Serbia — 3 pts, +2 GD
Montenegro — 3 pts, +1 GD
Bulgaria — 0 pts, -1 GD
Lithuania — 0 pts, -2 GD

Group H

Slovenia — 6 pts, +3 GD
Northern Ireland — 3 pts, +1 GD
Denmark — 3 pts, +1 GD
Finland — 3 pts, -1 GD
Kazakhstan — 3 pts, 0 GD
San Marino — 0 pts, -4 GD

Group I

Switzerland — 3 pts, +5 GD
Romania — 3 pts, + 2 GD
Israel — 1 pt, 0 GD
Kosovo — 1 pt, 0 GD
Andorra — 0 pts, -2 GD
Belarus — 0 pts, -5 GD

Group J

Portugal — 6 pts, +8 GD
Slovakia — 4 pt, +2 GD
Iceland — 3 pts, +4 GD
Bosnia and Herzegovina — 3 pts, +1 GD
Liechtenstein — 1 pt, -7 GD
Luxembourg — 0 pts, -10 GD

Antonio Conte, Tottenham part ways

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Antonio Conte’s belabored but seemingly inevitable exit from Tottenham Hotspur was just that, as Spurs announced the Italian legend’s exit late Sunday.

Conte went off on everyone at the club following a 3-3 draw with Southampton in Premier League Matchweek 28, and the international break did nothing to calm or rectify the situation.

“I see selfish players, I see players that don’t want to help each other and don’t put their heart [into the game],” Conte said at one point, later criticizing ownership, coaches, and staff. See the full press conference atop this post.

Cristian Stellini will stay on and oversee the season as “Acting Head Coach” with longtime Spurs man Ryan Mason assisting the Italian.

[ MORE: Saka, Kane scored as England cruises past Ukraine ]

Conte, 53, was appointed Spurs boss on Nov. 2, 2021 following the firing of Nuno Espirito Santo, and helped Tottenham to a top-four finish and a return to the UEFA Champions League.

Spurs went unbeaten in their first seven matches to open the 2022-23 season, only losing away to West Ham and Chelsea, but a 3-1 loss at Arsenal in the North London derby started a run of ups and downs not normally associated with Conte teams.

After beating Brighton and Everton, Spurs failed to win consecutive Premier League matches between October 19 and late January, when Spurs beat Fulham and Man City on consecutive match days.

Tottenham was on a 5W-1D-2L Premier League run when Conte launched into his incredible rants following the Southampton draw. That, combined with a lifeless Champions League exit against AC Milan, was far too much to sustain him at the club.

Tottenham Hotspur statement on Antonio Conte


“We can announce that Head Coach Antonio Conte has left the Club by mutual agreement. We achieved Champions League qualification in Antonio’s first season at the Club. We thank Antonio for his contribution and wish him well for the future.

“Cristian Stellini will take the team as Acting Head Coach for the remainder of the season, along with Ryan Mason as Assistant Head Coach.

Daniel Levy, Chairman: ‘We have 10 Premier League games remaining and we have a fight on our hands for a Champions League place. We all need to pull together. Everyone has to step up to ensure the highest possible finish for our Club and amazing, loyal supporters.'”

What now?

It’s very strange that Spurs would wait one week into the international break and then announce that Conte was leaving without a new coach in place (Stellini was a long time Tottenham assistant).

Spurs are currently in fourth place on the table with 49 points, one point behind Manchester United, but Newcastle (47 points) and Liverpool 42 points) both have two matches-in-hand on Stellini’s men. Brighton’s also on 42 points and has three matches-in-hand on Spurs.

Stellini actually may have a pretty easy task presuming he didn’t follow up Conte’s comments about the players by yelling, “Yeah, I agree!”

There are points to be had along the way as Spurs return from break to meet Everton, Brighton, and Bournemouth, but the relatively soft landing ends with Newcastle, Manchester United, and Liverpool in the following three PL matches.

Palace, Villa, Brentford, and Leeds wind down the fixture list, so it’s reasonable to think Spurs will return to the Champions League if they can get through Liverpool on April 30 with a look at the top four.

Premier League top scorers: Who is leading Golden Boot race?


Harry Kane scored twice on Saturday to give him 20 goals on the Premier League season, and impressive figure with 10-plus matches left for the teams of the Premier League this season.

Then Erling Haaland converted a penalty at Crystal Palace to give him 28 on the season, reminding the country that the Golden Boot race remains in fait accompli territory.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ] 

There is something somewhat dull about knowing the identity of the 2022 Golden Boot winner, the lone curiosity being the final number of his final tally, we get it, but most of what Haaland is doing this season is simply marvelous and to be admired without much fear.

Haaland’s Premier League-leading 28 goals have him seven goals clear of the next closest challenger: Tottenham’s fantastic and firing Harry Kane.

The Norwegian star piled up 20 goals in a single Premier League season faster than any player in history… by seven games (Kevin Phillips of Sunderland did it in 21). Now he’s within five goals of equalling Kevin Phillips’ record for most goals in a debut Premier League season.

And the later this season goes with him projected so far over the current record, the less chucking is accompanied by marking out the pace (especially considering Haaland was not beaten up by the World Cup, as Norway was not in the tournament). And even though Haaland is currently overperforming his expected goals total, it’s clear that projecting him for the Premier League record is rather realistic.

Which records can Haaland break?

Haaland may not be likely to hit 50 goals given the schedule congestion to come for Man City, but the Premier League record is very well under assault and that figure isn’t entirely absurd. He’s played in 23 of Man City’s 24 games, scoring 26 goals.

Mohamed Salah holds the 38-game season record with his 32 goals scored for Liverpool during the 2017-18 season, while Newcastle’s Andy Cole and Blackburn’s Alan Shearer bagged 34 during 42-game seasons in the 20th century’s final decade.

Haaland also could topple the record for goal involvements (goals plus assists) in a single season, including beating the 42-game record. Alan Shearer put up 47 over 42, while Thierry Henry holds the 38-game record with 44.

Other records that Haaland could legitimately tie or topple:

  • 30 goals in a first Premier League season (Kevin Phillips, Sunderland, 1999-2000)
  • Goals in 24 different Premier League matches (Salah, Liverpool, 2017-18)
  • Most goals in a Premier League match (Five tied with five)
  • 11-straight Premier League games with a goal (Jamie Vardy, Leicester, 2014-15)

Read on to see the latest Premier League goal totals for the 2022-23 season, as Haaland looks to claim a Golden Boot in his first PL season.

Premier League 2022-23 Golden Boot race

    1. Erling Haaland, Man City — 28
    2. Harry Kane, Tottenham — 21
    3. Ivan Toney, Brentford — 16
    4. Marcus Rashford, Manchester United — 14
    5. Gabriel Martinelli, Arsenal — 13
    6. Bukayo Saka, Arsenal — 12
    7. Miguel Almiron, Newcastle — 11
    8. Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fulham — 11
    9. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool — 11
    10. Rodrigo, Leeds United — 11
    11. Martin Odegaard, Arsenal — 10
    12. James Maddison, Leicester City — 9
    13. Phil Foden, Man City — 9
    14. Ollie Watkins, Aston Villa — 9
    15. Harvey Barnes, Leicester City — 9
    16. Leandro Trossard — Brighton/Arsenal — 8
    17. Danny Ings, Aston Villa/West Ham — 8
    18. Darwin Nunez, Liverpool — 8
    19. Roberto Firmino, Liverpool — 8
    20. Callum Wilson, Newcastle — 7
    21. Brennan Johnson, Nottingham Forest — 7
    22. Alexis Mac Allister, Brighton — 7
    23. James Ward-Prowse, Southampton — 7
    24. Kai Havertz, Chelsea — 7
    25. Solly March, Brighton — 7
    26. Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace — 6
    27. Pascal Gross, Brighton — 6
    28. Kaoru Mitoma, Brighton — 6
    29. Heung-min Son, Tottenham — 6
    30. Phillip Billing, Bournemouth — 6
    31. Alexander Isak, Newcastle — 6