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Bob Bradley in talks with Norwegian club Stabaek

Dec 19, 2013, 1:20 PM EDT

Bob Bradley AP

ESPN is reporting that former US men’s national team coach Bob Bradley has confirmed he is in talks with Norwegian club Stabaek.

“Of the different discussions that are going on right now, the one with Staebek is the furthest along,” Bradley said. “The discussions I have had with them have been positive.”

Norway’s top division, known as the Tippeligaen, is hardly the Graceland for European coaching destinations but Bradley’s desire to manage on the continent seems to overcome the league’s lack of notoriety.

And with Stabaek having recently fired head coach Petter Belsvik, the decision is one that may be made sooner rather than later.

“I feel strongly that working in that situation with my experience and, with what they want to do, we can find our way to making a team successful,” he said. “I am excited about those conversations, but nothing’s final yet and in the meantime, there are other discussions are going on. It’s a time when you have to see how other things play out.”

Bradley recently completed an incredible run as coach of Egypt where he brought the Pharaohs to the brink of World Cup qualification before losing in a two-legged playoff to Ghana, last November.

Following his side’s 7-3 aggregate defeat the Egyptian FA decided against renewing Bradley’s contract. Disappointed and sad at falling short of the World Cup, the American coach now looks forward to the next step in the road: Europe.

“Shortly after I got fired by the U.S., the Egypt opportunity came along,” he said. “This was once in a lifetime but it’s important to continue in the direction I set out on, which is to be in Europe, to be in a club situation. I understand that to get your foot into the door, it can be difficult. I’ve had my name put in at different times along the way.”

Stabaek was founded in 1912 and has won the Tippeligaen a single time, in 2008. After a 16th finish in 2012 they were relegated to the Adeccoligaen (Norway 2nd Division) where they finished in second place earning immediate promotion back to the top-flight.

Stabaek’s 2014 Tippeligaen season begins on March 29th when De blaa welcome Sogndal to the 7,000 person capacity Nadderud Stadion.

  1. mdac1012 - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    I understand Bradley getting a job in Europe may pave the way for other Americans to manage in Europe in the future. But where he goes is very important to that future. I can’t say I know anything about Stabaek or Norwegian Football, but if he goes to a place where he can’t win, it set him back and hurts Americans in the future who are looking to go to Europe.

    Bradley seems like a pretty smart guy, I hope he chooses a situation where he at least has a chance to be successful and not just the first opportunity that comes along.

  2. danielofthedale - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Stabaek has generally been a decent Norwegian team. I think this is a decent spot for Bob where he can have some success. I don’t know if it will lead to bigger and better things down the line but its a new challenge. MLS will always be there for him so why come back now when there are other options.

  3. hildezero - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Stæbak sucks. Tippeligaen isn’t better than MLS. Their best clubs are Rosenborg and Molde. Those clubs would be in the running for the Supporters Shield in MLS.

    • mdac1012 - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:16 PM

      It’s not about being better or not being better than MLS. Bradley eventually wants to make it to one of the big leagues, EPL, Seria A, La Liga etc…, but they are not hiring him without some European experience. Stabaek would be a stepping stone for bigger things in Europe. As Daniel said, MLS will always be there for him if things don’t work out in Europe.

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