FILE PHOTO: Britain Soccer Football - Swansea City v West Ham United - Premier League - Liberty Stadium - 26/12/16 Swansea City manager Bob Bradley Reuters / Rebecca Naden
November 24, 2021
By Frank Pingue
TORONTO (Reuters) -Bob Bradley, one of the most successful coaches in the history of North American soccer, on Wednesday began his latest challenge of trying to spearhead a turnaround at struggling Toronto FC.
Bradley, a former U.S. national team coach and the father of Toronto captain Michael Bradley, was named head coach and sporting director of the MLS side one week after he mutually agreed to part ways with Los Angeles FC having served as the only coach in the club’s four-year history.
“Wherever I have gone I have just tried to go in without pretending that I have all the answers and to see if I can go in and take my ideas and then turn it into something,” Bradley told reporters on Wednesday.
Bradley, a three-times MLS Coach of the Year, admitted there is no quick fix for a Toronto team that finished with the second-worst record in the MLS Eastern Conference and are headed into a transition year.
“I don’t have all the answers, I don’t,” said Bradley, who is third all-time in MLS wins having amassed a 182-127-86 career record.
“But there weren’t enough times this year where there was a real commitment of every guy throughout the game.”
During his first coaching stint in MLS, Bradley won a league title and two U.S. Open Cups with Chicago and left Chivas in 2006 to take over the U.S. team that advanced to the knockout stage of the 2010 World Cup.
Bradley, 63, was dismissed from his U.S. role in 2011 when he was criticised for being too conservative and went on to have stints coaching Egypt and club teams in Norway and France.
In late 2016, Bradley was fired by Swansea City less than three months after he became the first American to manage an English Premier League team.
Bradley returned to MLS for the 2018 season as the first head coach in LAFC history and led the club to the Supporters’ Shield in 2019 amid three consecutive playoff appearances.
“I want to take all my experiences from the different spots I’ve been,” said Bradley. “One of my strengths is I am figuring out how to engage players, how to engage staff, how to engage management.”
As for coaching his son, Bradley said the 34-year-old midfielder will not get any special treatment.
“Michael’s in the back end of his career. I’m interested now when training starts to find ways to continue to open up his mind for how he can get better just like I will with every other player,” said Bradley.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)