Michael Bradley Joins Father At Stabaek Fotball
Just two days after playing the final match of his storied career, Toronto FC Captain Michael Bradley has confirmed the very first move of his coaching career.
The 36-year-old will assist his father Bob Bradley at Stabaek Fotball, who are fighting to remain in the Norwegian top flight after earning promotion last season.
“We look forward to getting to know Bob’s son better, who will join his father and contribute to the coaching team throughout the season,” read a statement from the club.
The Toronto FC Captain had bid farewell to his playing days over the last weekend in a tough two-nil loss to Orlando, where he once again filled in as centre-back following an injury to Aime Mabika in the seventeenth minute.
It wasn’t the sendoff many had wanted, but it did encapsulate his playing career: he put the club first and led them through thick and thin to cap off not just his 308th club appearance, but the last of a career that saw him suit up for the likes of AS Roma, SC Heerenveen, Borussia Monchengladbach, AC Chievo, Aston Villa, and a final ten years in red.
Bradley had also captained the US National Team from from 2006 all the way to 2019, tallying up 17 goals and 23 assists through 151 appearances.
The former US National Team Captain is in the midst of getting his UEFA A License, a process he had started earlier this year during a prolonged injury spell.
The move away comes despite new TFC head coach John Herdman stating that he’d love for Bradley to stay on with the club for another year or two, with Bradley having been more keen to kickstart his coaching career.
While he had said two days ago that he didn’t have anything firm lined up for such, a call from his father evidently put things quickly into motion.
“I know just because you’ve played doesn’t mean you will be able to coach, you have to be ready to start at the bottom again, to put in the time, to do everything it takes,” said Bradley, who was known throughout his playing career to be an absolute professional.
“I’m really excited for the next chapter of my life and my career, and I’m as motivated as can be to try to coach and become the best possible coach I can be, to coach at the highest level I can.”
It’s fair to say that a stint at Stabaek fits the bill well: it’s a fairly safe post given who the manager is, but will also allow him to test his mettle from the sidelines at a respected level in Europe.
Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques