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Official: Bob Bradley named new Stabæk head coach

Jan 3, 2014, 9:03 AM EDT

After reports had linked former U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley with a position at Norwegian first-division side Stabæk, it was made official on Friday morning.

Bradley, 55, has signed a three-year deal with the recently promoted Norwegian outfit who bounced back from relegation to the top-flight at the first time of asking last season. With the appointment, Bradley becomes the first American soccer coach to manage in the highest division in any European country.

Stabaek are a side that are aiming high, and the project awaiting the former USMNT and Egypt national team boss is something that promises to be rather exciting.

“I am motivated by passion and I have found that at this club,” Bradley said. “The size of the crowd doesn’t matter, but I know these people are passionate about their football. I am looking forward to building a side over the next few years. I like a challenge and I regard this as a particularly exciting one.”

The Tippeligaen isn’t considered to be one of Europe’s top leagues and Stabæk play in an intimate 7,000 seater stadium, which would make it the smallest arena in MLS.

(MORE: Bob Bradley in talks with Norwegian club Stabaek)

But in comparison the population of Norway is just 5 million people but Norwegian soccer is working hard to achieve its aim to battle it out with the big boys on the European stage. Only Rosenborg has had any real success in the Champions League recently but Bradley is thinking big, watch the video above, when it comes to his new club. It’s a great grounding for Bradley to make his name in Europe and will provide him with the chance to build something special from scratch.

Stabæk’s best period came from 2007-09 when they finished in the top three each season and won the Tippeligaen in 2008. Bradley is aiming high to try and bring the good times back to the tiny Norwegian city of Bærum.

Good luck, Bob. It’s safe to say the U.S. soccer community is rooting for you.

  1. mkbryant3 - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    Good on Bob for accepting another challenge. But, man, talk about culture shock coming from Egypt. The dude is a traveller, that’s for sure. Wonder if he’ll get down to Noma. Heard that place rocks.

    Now, I just need to remember how to spell this Norwegian team.

  2. schmutzdeck - Jan 3, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    If the Bradley family can handle the culture shock inherent with living and working in Egypt, then Norway should be a snap.

    Most Norwegians speak better English than some people in New Jersey.

    And it should be a little easier to get to their grandkid in Rome.
    I doubt Stabaek can afford to buy Mikey though.

  3. hildezero - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Damn… This is kinda weird. So he declined to go to MLS’ Vancouver Whitecaps (Vancouver > Stabæk) for the Tippelagaen’s (MLS > Tippelagaen) Stabæk IF? Wow! I guess he just wanted a new challenge and by that being in Europe.

    • MadScandi - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:42 AM

      MLS and Tippeligaen are of relative similar quality, and I’d say the best teams in Norway (Strømsgodset, Rosenborg and Molde) are better than the best teams in the MLS. Vancouver Whitecaps might be better than Stabæk, but the gap is not big at all.

      Just look at a player like Mikkel Diskerud, who was a rotation player for Rosenborg who finished second this year, yet he’s likely to go to the World Cup.

  4. jrocknstuff - Jan 3, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    At least he has his foot in the door in Europe now. If he eventually takes this club to the Champions League then maybe an offer comes along from a top division club in a better league like Turkey or Portugal…..all with the ultimate goal being England. It’s kind of like being a college football coach and starting in the Sun Belt. None of those opportunities come along if he takes a job in the MLS.

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