Bob Bradley is the first-ever American to coach in the Premier League.
[ MORE: Key US figures react ]
Bradley, 58, was appointed as Swansea’s new manager on a four-year deal on Monday as the Swans fired Francesco Guidolin following just four points gained from their opening seven matches of the 2016-17 season.
[ MORE: Major moment for U.S. Soccer ]
In a statement on their website, Swansea confirmed the news on Monday as Bradley will leave French second-tier side Le Havre following their Ligue 2 game against Sochaux on Monday.
Swansea’s chairman Hew Jenkins revealed they see Bradley as a long-term appointment.
“We are delighted Bob has agreed to join us. He is highly regarded as a coach and has a wealth of experience on the international and domestic front,” Jenkins said. “He is well aware of the club’s footballing philosophy and will provide us with strong leadership qualities and a renewed belief to compete at this level. It is never easy changing managers, but we are looking at a long-term appointment and we are confident Bob can settle us down and stabilize matters on and off the pitch.”
Jenkins also thanked Guidolin for this time at the Liberty Stadium but said that “we have not been able to carry performances over from last season and we felt we needed to change things as soon as possible in order to move forward in a positive way.”
[ MORE: Swansea lose to Liverpool ]
Swansea led Liverpool 1-0 at half time on Saturday but a late penalty kick led Liverpool to a 2-1 win, which turned out to be Guidolin’s final game as manager after he arrived midway through last season and kept the Swans in the Premier League after early struggles.
New American majority owners Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan were eager to put their own stamp on the club and Guidolin has paid the price with Bradley coming in and finally getting a job in one of Europe’s top four leagues, something he’s craved for many years.
It is easy to see why the Swans would turn to New Jersey native Bradley, who has previously worked wonders in trying situations and on shoestring budgets.
After leaving the U.S. national team in 2011 following five years in charge, highlighted by a Gold Cup title in 2007, runner up spot at the 2009 Confederations Cup and a Round of 16 berth at the 2010 World Cup, Bradley took the Egyptian national team to the brink of the 2014 World Cup during a time of huge turmoil in the African country which impacted all of his players heavily.
[ LONGFORM: Bradley’s journey in Norway ]
He returned to club management in 2014, taking tiny Norwegian side Stabaek to European qualification over two seasons and almost led Le Havre to promotion to Ligue 1 after taking charge of the French second-tier side midway through last season. Bradley has a great track record of working with youngsters and operating on a small budget, which is exactly how Swansea operate.
Bradley has been linked with several jobs in the Premier League in the past with West Brom, Aston Villa, Fulham and Hull City mentioned, but now he has taken charge of Swansea.
Today is a landmark day for not only Bradley but the U.S. soccer scene. The long wait for an American coach in one of Europe’s top four leagues is over and Bradley’s impressive career to date will now be tested in the most competitive league on the planet.
Bradley’s first game in charge of Swansea will be a Premier League encounter against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Oct. 15.