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Reports out of Norway say Bob Bradley soon to be named new manager at Stabæks

Jan 2, 2014, 5:06 PM EDT

Often under-appreciated in MLS and with the USMNT, is now the right time for Bradley to make a heroic return to the USA? Often under-appreciated in MLS and with the USMNT, is now the right time for Bradley to make a heroic return to the USA?

Reports out of Norway say Bob Bradley appears likely to be named new manager at Stabæks of the Norwegian Tippeligaen, the country’s top league. At least, we’re pretty sure what the report says.

We should know for sure by this time tomorrow. But let’s go ahead and answer the question everyone wants to know: If this is true, why didn’t the former United States national team boss just return to MLS rather than moving into an unfamiliar and slightly obscure Scandinavian league, in a country where he doesn’t speak the language?

The answer really is quite simple: Bradley wants to coach in Europe.

It’s the next stop on the man’s chosen career path, and who could possible blame him? He’s done MLS. He’s done the international game, for two nations, no less.

No, the Tippeligaen can hardly be considered one of Europe’s top leagues. The club plays in a tiny stadium; with 7,000 seats it would easily qualify as the smallest in MLS. Outside of the odd Rosenborg brush with momentary success, we don’t hear anything about Norwegian clubs in Champions League.

Still, Europe beckons … and going back into MLS doesn’t get the man any closer.

  1. reformed2012 - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    “Bob Bradley soon to be named new manager at Starbucks…”

    Mmmm okay…

  2. midtec2005 - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    “in a country where he doesn’t speak the language?”

    It would be fair to point out that, while this is true, Scandinavians speak English too.

    • Steve Davis - Jan 2, 2014 at 6:12 PM

      That’s fair … but in terms of cultural immersion, not speaking the language makes it tougher on himself and his family. But, yes, many, many educated Europeans speak English as a second language.

  3. stabaeksupporter - Jan 2, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    All Norwegians are fluent in English as they are taught it from second grade and basically everything on TV is from the US ;) The language is no barrier. Roy Hodgson (present British national team coach) was a manager in Norway before he moved on to the Premier League, so it should be possible for Bob as well if he succeeds.

    As a Stabaek supporter, I am thrilled to get Bob to the club. Still, we have next to no money and had an average of about 2000 in the audience last year. But, we won the league five years ago when we actually had money, and enjoyed 10-13000 people at the stadium we were kicked out from.

    Lets hope Bob can get us back to old glory and secure him a job in the PL.

    • gregalthoff - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      Stabaek was kicked out of their stadium for failing to make rent payments. The place they play in now is spartan, at best. Lets put it this way, high schools in the US build and fill bigger venues.

      There’s coaching in Europe, and there’s this, which is more like coaching on the moon.

      • MadScandi - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:49 PM

        Drawing 2 million people total in attendance for a season in a country with 5 million people is quite unheard of. Only Cyprus can match that number.

        Just because the club isn’t the biggest, the league is of a reasonable, and improving, quality. There’s no doubt that this is a good challenge and a stepping stone for an ambitious manager like Bradley.

  4. mkbryant3 - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Well done, Reformed.

  5. MadScandi - Jan 2, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    Everyone speaks English here, so that won’t be an issue.
    We have a long tradition with English speaking coaches, and quite a few have had success.

    Stuart Williams managed Viking to the league title in 1974 without speaking Norwegian, Tony Knapp won the double with Viking in 1979, George Curtis won the league with Rosenborg in 1969, Joe Hooley won the double with Lillestrøm in 1977, David Hay won the league with Lillestrøm in 1989.

    I would say managing in Norway is a pretty good place to enter European football. Just in the last decade we’ve exported:
    – Henning Berg to Blackburn, now Legia Warszawa
    – Ståle Solbakken to FC Copenhagen, FC Köln and Wolverhampton
    – Uwe Rösler to Brentford, now Wigan
    – Kjetil Rekdal to Lierse and Kaiserslautern
    – Ole Gunnar Solskjær to Cardiff City.

    There’s not many smaller European leagues that export that many managers to bigger leagues.

    But the worst part is calling Rosenborg’s Champions League history an “odd brush with momentary success”. We’re talking about a team that played in the Champions League 11 times in 12 years, and was at that time the team that had played in the competition the most times. That’s hardly an odd brush with success…

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