Bob Bradley’s arrival at Swansea City as the first-ever American to manage in the Premier League has caused quite the stir.
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Ahead of his managerial debut in the PL on Saturday at Arsenal (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on CNBC and online via NBC Sports), there’s been plenty of chatter about his appointment.
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ProSoccerTalk spoke to current U.S. men’s national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan about his former coach at Chivas USA and with the USMNT and the Middlesbrough goalkeeper believes Bradley’s arrival is a big moment for American coaches.
“It’s nice to see an American coaching in the Premier League, but all eyes will be on him to see how he does,”Guzan admitted. “I think in the future of course American coaches can coach in top leagues around the world. But they need to have a path to get them there and Bob has been successful in all his previous clubs. Like anyone, Americans need the opportunity, but they also have to prove they can do it at the highest level.”
Bradley’s first opportunity to prove he can do it at the highest level in England’s top-flight will be against legendary Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger.
Wenger, 66, is the longest serving manager currently in the PL and celebrated his 20th anniversary in charge of Arsenal two weeks ago.
What does he make of Bradley’s arrival?
“Bob Bradley has a big experience. He is not a beginner, he has traveled a lot. He has accumulated experience in the States and he has been in Egypt, France just recently and now he is coming to England in what is certainly, for him, a fantastic opportunity,” Wenger said.
Wenger also admitted that due to the growing popularity of the Premier League in the USA, Bradley’s arrival will get even more eyes on Swansea City, and the entire league, each week.
“It is as well good for the Premier League because the Premier League is taking off in the States,” Wenger added. “Certainly, to have an American it will create even more interest for the Premier League in the States. I believe overall he is equipped to deal with what is requested of him.”
American Danny Karbassiyoon, a former midfielder for Arsenal and now their Head North American Scout, revealed that this is a big moment for American soccer.
“It’s really great to see an American manager like Bob Bradley obtain a manager role in such a high profile league. It’s exciting,” Karbassiyoon said. “Americans have had the pleasure of seeing some of our best players feature in the Premier League over the years. From guys like John Harkes and Claudio Reyna to Brad Friedel and Brian McBride, we’ve seemingly had a presence in England’s top flight for several decades now. Sadly, the same can’t be said from the management side. For us to now have representation at the managerial level speaks volumes of how we’ve developed as a soccer nation and how the rest of the world sees us as well.”
Guzan, 32, was part of Bradley’s successful Chivas USA sides in Major League Soccer and was ever-present throughout Bradley’s time in charge of the USMNT.
What should we expect from Swansea under Bradley’s leadership?
“He is an intense coach that does his homework and has his teams prepared. He looks at all the details in a game and training sessions that make a difference,” Guzan said. “His biggest strength is his ability to get the best out of his players and perform as a team. We were always hard to play against and were very organized.”
There will be plenty of intrigue in Bradley’s opening game in charge at Arsenal this weekend and in the months ahead as the New Jersey native enters into uncharted territory for an American coach.