Former US national team manager Bob Bradley will be the first American to manage in the English Premier League after he was hired Monday by Swansea City following the club's decision to sack Francesco Guidolin.
Bradley, 58, who also managed Egypt and managed three MLS clubs – including leading the Chicago Fire to an MLS Cup title in the club's inaugural year in 1998 – met with Swansea's American owners, Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien, and with the club's chairman, Huw Jenkins, last week as speculation increased about the status of Guidolin. According to English publication The Guardian, Jenkins was impressed with Bradley's character in the interview.
"We are delighted Bob has agreed to join us," Jenkins said in a statement announcing the move. "He is highly regarded as a coach and has a wealth of experience on the international and domestic front. He is well aware of the club’s footballing philosophy and will provide us with strong leadership qualities and a renewed belief to compete at this level. It is never easy changing managers, but we are looking at a long-term appointment and we are confident Bob can settle us down and stabilize matters on and off the pitch."
Guidolin, who was informed of the club's decision on his 61st birthday, had been appointed in January with the club in a relegation battle and guided the team to a 3-1 victory over Liverpool in his first game in charge. After Swansea survived the season and remained in the Premier League, he was rewarded with a two-year contract extension.
However, the Welsh club got off to a slow start, with just one victory, one draw and five losses in their first seven games. Reports claimed that Swansea needed to beat Liverpool on Saturday in order for Guidolin to hold on to his job. But the Swans lost to Liverpool 2-1.
Bradley, who left his post at French second-division side Le Havre to join Swansea, will manage his first game for the Swans in a road match at Arsenal on Oct. 15, following the upcoming international break. Sports Illustrated reported that he was selected ahead of Wales and Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs and Marcelino, the Spaniard who parted ways with La Liga side Villarreal in August.