Report: Bradley passes on Whitecaps head coach offer

BobBradleyEgypt1 (AFP_Getty)

By FRANCO PANIZO

The Vancouver Whitecaps will apparently not be winning the Bob Bradley sweepstakes. In fact, it appears no one in MLS will.

Bradley has passed on the chance to become the Whitecaps head coach and will instead take a job in Europe, according to a report from The Province. The overseas club he will reportedly take charge of is unnamed, but he was linked to Norwegian side Stabaek FC a few weeks ago and that interest could still remain.

The decision by Bradley to not fill Vancouver’s vacant position means the Whitecaps will have to continue searching for Martin Rennie’s successor. The club had interviewed Bradley, the former coach of Egypt and the U.S. Men’s National Team, with the hopes that he would return to MLS. The 55-year-old Bradley coached the Chicago Fire, New York/New Jersey MetroStars and Chivas USA previously in his career.

Whitecaps assistant coach Carl Robinson is believed to be the man who will benefit from Bradley’s decision.

What do you think of this development?

Share your thoughts below.

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34 Responses to Report: Bradley passes on Whitecaps head coach offer

  1. Vic says:

    Would be really nice if he gets a coaching job in Europe. It could pave the way for other American coaches.

  2. KJ says:

    Is coaching in Norway really a step up?

    • slowleftarm says:

      Nope

      • Rory Miller says:

        Stabaek is a disaster. The club were tenants in an awesome new stadium a few years ago when Mix played for them and even won a title when Mix was a bit player, but then the owners couldn’t afford the rent so they had to go back to a smaller stadium that they also had to rent. The club then sold all their assets (including the young Mix and the Brazillian ringer they had to score goals). They then fell out of the top division.
        This is where we are as a soccer nation, the rest of the world sees our best coach and says “yeah, second division Scandinavian quality.” Part of it is unfair stereotyping, and part of it is because every club has a few club legends they could bring in to coach and a few league retreads that “know how to survive in this league.”

        • Brain Guy says:

          Agree that this would be a very, very curious step for BB. I understand his apparent wish to move beyond MLS and seek a job in Europe, but this smacks of an “any job in Europe” type of desperation. On the other hand, they did finish second this year and so got promoted to the top flight, so BB may be considered a success as long as they don’t get relegated again.

        • biff says:

          yes, Stabek does smack of desperation, unless it is simply a rumor with no basis in reality. Does anyone have a news article quoting anybody by name who actually says that Bob Bradley is in contact with Stabek. Is it more of this “sources have told…”? BB can do better than a team in Norway and I, for one, would be shocked if he is truly considering it. I am skeptical.

          • TomG says:

            I can’t see a top 8 league taking a chance on him with no European track record. If he has a ton of success in a two year stint in Norway, then maybe a top 5 league team gives him a shot. You have to understand that European clubs are extremely provincial and would much rather recycle the Rafa Benitez’ and Mark Hughes’ than give access to an American. Just look at their track record. You haven’t even seen all that many South American managers in Europe.

    • AC says:

      Yes and no. Yes as in he will not have to deal with a salary cap like MLS, even if it isn’t outrageous money like other leagues. No, as in the quality isn’t much better or worse. B

    • BamaMan says:

      The European leagues don’t take MLS seriously. If he can do well for a year or two in Norway (and probably get paid better), he can move into Denmark, the Netherlands, or even Germany. From there, England becomes a possibility. He also may need to get a UEFA Pro Licence and this job may give him an opportunity to do so.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I’d argue that either MLS or Norway is slumming for a US and Egypt coach who has made it to the World Cup knockout rounds. Between MLS and Norway I’d say the playing quality and paycheck is probably lateral, although again, he’s not making a lateral move, he’s dropping down and you’re making a lateral comparison. But I would say that for a non-dual-national coach to be moving into Europe anyplace is progress, though one might question whether this is selling himself short in terms of precise landing spot. But it’s a start. It makes little sense other than language or culture that Berhalter or Mason or whatever can get a gig there but not our actual best coaches.

    • Joamiq says:

      Was Egypt a step up from the US?

      I don’t think Bradley is looking at it like that. He probably just wants a new challenge.

    • Birgit Calhoun says:

      No

  3. Yevgeniy says:

    I am all for him trying to go to a higher level, but Stabaek FC?!?!?!?!

  4. Ian says:

    Respectable decision by Bradley. Glad to see him taking a coaching gig overseas. He wouldn’t be the first American to coach in Scandinavia if the rumors are true. Gregg Berhalter coached Brondby for two seasons. To my knowledge, he was the first American to coach a European club.

  5. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    It may not be a step up interns of the talent in the league but I’m betting it will be a step up in perception among European clubs. So a couple successful years in Norway (with his USA and Egypt successes) could lead to better league say, the Eredivisie. From there he can go anywhere really. I have no doubt he’ll be successful. Best of luck, Bob. (Who coached me at Rutgers Summer Soccer Camp – a really nice, great guy.)

    • Nate Dollars says:

      +1. was going to say, bradley could come back to mls and maybe even win the league, but he’s already done that, and i think it still wouldn’t mean as much (to euro clubs) as him succeeding in a smaller league in europe, if career advancement is the goal.

  6. Madaoua05 says:

    Ives, I’d love to get a final readout on Bradley’s time in Egypt. With the limitations that were posed on the team given the cancelled domestic club season, were fans appreciative/supportive of the overall performance of the team? Did they applaud or sneer at Bradley in the end?

  7. MLSfan says:

    Bradley’s coaching record has gone downhill since his early years in the MLS. Take a look at his win-loss stats from team-to-team.

    I’d rather take a chance on Carl Robinson or Jessie Marsch.

  8. wood chip zip says:

    I think Norway is a good place for Bob to prove himself. I remember Roy Hodgson once describing American players and Scandinavian players as similar in their discipline and coachability so hopefully Bob wont have much trouble with personalities and can just do his job.

  9. biff says:

    An absolutely awful piece of journalism from the Vancouver newspaper, with not one single source quoted by name. And the reporter fails to mention whether the source (I seriously doubt it was truly “sources”) was from the club camp or from the Bob Bradley camp. The reporter, who must either be lazy or extremely bad, could have put in a telephone call to the team and to the Bradley camp report to at the very least report “declined to comment.”

    All that said, it smells to me like someone who is looking for a new job is trying to improve his bargaining position in an effort to force a better salary/contact offer by showing that he has an offer on the table.

    • Joamiq says:

      Sorry, but I think you’re off base here. The writer says he has sources. Sources rarely give their names. Furthermore, I believe this guy has been on top of Vancouver’s coaching search from the start. He broke the story of Bradley being in the mix. So I think he’s earned the benefit of the doubt.

  10. N-Whit says:

    My guess is that he has his eyes set on a bigger gig in Europe but figures he must start coaching in a lesser European league as a stepping stone to get there. MLS is not a coach launching pad to the premier league, etc.

  11. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Bob just knows that Klinsi won’t give a serious look to anyone for the WC squad unless they’re plying in Europe.

  12. nico says:

    Bob Bradley always seemed to me to be a real good guy. Decent. Hard-working. Ethical.

    As a coach, he also struck me as pretty unimaginative — a good representative of what for a while was the dominant strain in US soccer. (Lots of endeavor. Minimal flair. Not much in the way of tactical innovation. Getting stuck in.)

    It’s not really clear to me why we’d expect any top European teams to be interested.

    Had Egypt gone to the World Cup and pulled some surprises, that would be different. But as it is?

  13. DC Josh says:

    I feel like if Bradley doesn’t go to Europe now, he never will. All he has to do is get his foot in the door over there, and prove his worth.

  14. whoop-whoop says:

    Europeans, their leagues, supporters and human nature are little different than they are here in the US in that they’ll naturally tend to favor their fellow countryman for a potential hire. If they are going to bring in a foreigner, it will be one with a successful track record in a league with which they are familiar. If they are going to take a risk, they’ll minimize it by doing it with an up and comer who has played or assisted as a coach at home.

    MLS…. Africa and Egypt are completely outside their frame of reference. As uniquely amazing/inspiring as I think his recent accomplishments have been, they are much higher on substance than they are mainstream comfort and appeal. I don’t think the following promo creates an air of confidence/creates a splash with supporters/potential ticket buyers.: “Our new hire is the former MLS and US national team manager Bob Bradley! Bob comes to us fresh off of his Egyptian Pharaohs washing out of World Cup qualifying!!!”

    I can’t help but think it’s going to likely take American ownership or influence inside management to get it done outside a fringe/marginal club. Firsts happen every day and I’d be happy if I were proven dead wrong on this.

  15. bryan says:

    i dont blame him for not picking MLS, but Norway?! he deserves better than that.

  16. Joamiq says:

    I don’t know why people are talking about what’s a “step up”, or “better”, or “a higher level” when Bradley himself clearly doesn’t think in these terms when it comes to his career. I’m sure he’s looking for a new challenge, and that sounds more like Stabaek than Vancouver to me.

  17. dabes2 says:

    I’ve been hoping an English team in the Championship might take a shot on Bradley.

  18. Birgit Calhoun says:

    I think he might choose Norway because his wife like adventure.