Bob Bradley officially named head coach at Norwegian first-division club Stabæk

AMSTERDAM – Former US national team boss Bob Bradley was officially introduced as the new manager of newly promoted Norwegian Tippeligaen club Stabæk on Friday morning at Nadderud Stadion. 

Bradley, 55, becomes the first American head coach of a European top-flight club and the first American at any professional level in Norway's history.

Having already turned down a chance to coach the Vancouver Whitecaps, the move to Stabæk is his first club post since leaving Chivas USA in 2006. Bradley built his coaching reputation in MLS via successful stints with the Chicago Fire, New York and Chivas USA before coaching the national team ranks of the USA and Egypt.

The move to Stabæk comes just weeks after parting ways with the Egyptian national team following elimination from 2014 World Cup qualifying.

After Egypt's fate became clear, Bradley was heavily linked to the Vancouver Whitecaps' head coaching vacancy and was reportedly also on the radar of English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion. The news of contract negotiations with Stabæk emerged last month.

At Stabæk, Bradley takes over a club with a rich history that has fallen on hard times. De Blaa, The Blue Ones, have won theTippeligaen crown once, in 2008, and the Norwegian Cup once, in 1998, but were relegated after the 2012 season after finishing in 16th place.

In 2013, under coach Petter Belsvik, they won promotion back to the top flight with a second-place finish in the Adeccoligaen.

Stabæk are no strangers to Americans. Players Erik Benjaminsen, Sean Cunnigham, Ricardo Clark and Mikkel Diskerud have all been on the books at one time or another.

The team is slated to open preseason training next week, with the first friendly scheduled at Bærum on January 24. Bradley and Stabæk will open the new Tippeligaen season with a March 30 visit from Sogndal.

Greg Seltzer covers Americans based in Europe for MLSsoccer.com.