Bob Bradley has spoken for the first time about joining Swansea City.
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Bradley, 58, is expected in Wales in Tuesday for his first day as a Premier League manager after agreeing to take charge of the Swans on Monday.
On Monday he managed his final game for Ligue 2 side Le Havre as they beat Sochaux 2-1 to move to just three points off top spot as Bradley leaves the Normandy club in a healthy position in their battle to gain promotion to France’s top-flight.
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Speaking to French media following Le Havre’s win, Bradley revealed that it was not a tough decision to leave the French second-tier side for PL strugglers Swansea.
“Honestly, no,” Bradley said when asked if was a tough decision to leave for Swansea. “In a perfect world I would finish this season. In a perfect world I would go to the end of the season with this team, just like last year. In football, you don’t control timing. In this moment the opportunity to go to the Premier League, on many levels, is special. I am sorry to leave, especially at this moment. It is still an opportunity for me, my family, for American football. I thank Le Havre for the opportunity to work in the best league in the world. It’s a unique opportunity.”
That last part resonates strongly with most in the American game, but particularly Bradley.
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When ProSoccerTalk spoke to Bradley in 2014 about the lack of respect for American coaches in Europe’s top four leagues and how many, including himself, were overlooked time and time again, Bradley had this response.
“In its simplest form, as much as the game has grown in the U.S., players and coaches earning respect in Europe is still not easy,” Bradley said. “Actually when we [U.S. national team] had success in the Confederations Cup and then in the World Cup, many football people spoke very highly of the way we played as a team, our football, our results. What we accomplished but still that part of what it means for players getting chances at a big clubs… what does that mean for coaches getting chances? It still takes time. We are still in the midst of it, there’s no two ways about it.”
Bradley now has a chance to not only prove himself at the elite level, something he’s worked tirelessly for, but also to open doors for other American coaches in Europe’s top leagues. That’s something he will be acutely aware of despite staying focused on the challenge in hand at Swansea.
His first game in charge of Swansea — who currently sit in 17th place in the table with four points from their opening seven games — is away at Arsenal on Oct. 15 (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via NBC Sports).