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To be clear, Bob Bradley will not be first American pro coach in Europe

Jan 2, 2014, 9:10 PM EDT

Gregg Berhalter

In their excitement over Bob Bradley’s potential appointment to a managerial post in Europe, too many people out there (including a few who really should know better) seem to forget that one American already has coached professionally in Europe.

Not to take anything away from Bradley, who has the track record to prove he is among the coaching products ever to come from our country, and easily so. But Gregg Berhalter was first, having coached two seasons at Hammarby IF in Sweden’s second division.

No, the Swedish second division isn’t great shakes; but that doesn’t subtract from what Berhalter, a U.S. World Cup veteran and who finished his long career with the LA Galaxy, accomplished in establishing himself as a trailblazer, American coach in a continent with few of them.

There may have been an American manager somewhere along the line, coaching in England’s third or fourth tier or in the 2 Bundesliga or some such. Records of such things don’t really exist, not officially so.

Either way, Berhalter was making the calls for Hammarby before taking the Columbus Crew post last fall.

Here is a good interview on Berhalter’s first year as a manager abroad, in fact.

  1. mdac1012 - Jan 2, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    Your absolutely right Steve, but Bradley is a lot more high profile and will have a lot more people, in this country and others paying attention to how he does. Nothing against Gregg Berhalter but for all intents and purposes Bradley might as well be the first American.

  2. hildezero - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Damn… Are you serious? You barley found out about this? I knew this a long time ago.

  3. tylerbetts - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    As Ives put it: first American to manage a top flight team in Europe.

    Takes nothing away from what Berhalter did, but it is another milestone.

    Next milestone I want: an American manager in UEFA Champions League.

  4. kyuuimusikq - Jan 3, 2014 at 2:24 AM

    Well Steve to be perfectly clear…

    Brent Goulet was manager of Wuppertaler SV from ’04-’08 in the Regionalliga Sud before it was reorganized into the 3. Bundesliga, so he would of been the first American to coach a European team to my knowledge and probably the longest tenured.

    Joe Enochs managed VfL Osnabruck in 2011 in their last season in the 2. Bundesliga, so it could be argued he managed at the highest possible for an American yet, including Bob at Stabaek .

    Finally, since 2011, David Wagner has coached the Borussia Dortmund II team in the 3. Liga, which could also be argued to be a bigger achievement in management over Bob’s appointment considering the status of the institution.

  5. tomcatfl - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    No news story I’ve seen has ever claimed that Bradley is the first American to manage *any* European team – just the first *top division* European team. I’m not clear why Steve thinks we need to be instructed on this point, other than an excuse to give props to Berhalter (which he deserves, to be sure). Thanks to kyuuimusikq for digging up some other examples that Steve did not know.

  6. paulpacent - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    Just for the record. Norway (Bob Bradley) is ranked 26th among Domestic Leagues in Europe, Sweden (Berhalter coached 1st Division) is ranked 24th. Germany is ranked 3rd where Goulet, Enhochs and Wagner have coached in the 2nd and 3rd Leagues. Ukraine where Dennis Lukens coached 2nd Divsion is ranked 7th among UEFA’s 53 domestic League’s.

  7. paulpacent - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Dennis Lukens was Head Coach of FC Krystal of the Ukraine 2nd League in 2012/2013. He arrived afte the team had gone 0-8-1 and in 14th place to start the season. He lead them to 7th place with a 6-6-1 finish. Born and raised in New York. Prior to FC Krystal he was Ass’t. Coach for FC Sevastopol of the Ukraine Premier League.

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