Bibert Kaghado

American Exports: After nearly a decade coaching in Jordan, Bibert Kaghado looking to come home

AMSTERDAM – For the first time in nearly a decade, Bibert Kaghado is on the job hunt.

Fresh off eight successful years in various coaching positions with the Jordan national team program, he is ready for a change that could potentially see him put his whistle to work back home in America. The 40-year-old has carried a top-of-the-line UEFA PRO coaching license for a few years now, and he said the time has come to put it to use. 

"I'm hoping to figure out something very soon," Kaghado told MLSsoccer.com by phone from his home in New Jersey.

A former New York/New Jersey MetroStars player, Kaghado actually had his first big job offer recently but had to turn it down for unfortunate reasons.

"I was offered the head coach job at Spartak Nalchik, but they were in a difficult financial position," he said. "It was a tough situation for me; I had to not take that offer."

It was an especially tough decision, as he once played for the Russian club. But they have gone bankrupt and were voluntarily relegated from the top flight to the third tier after last season, factors that mean Kaghado's job search continues.

Kaghado spent much of 2014 preparing for this next step up the ladder, flying around Europe to spend time with the coaching staffs of several big clubs. On top of enjoying his third visit at Liverpool, he also furthered his higher education at Greek club Panathinaikos, Tottenham and Championship side Watford.

"I've been observing, trying to refresh ideas and waiting for the next move," Kaghado said.

At the same time, he's also been teaching back home, at New Jersey/New York area youth side World Class FC

"I'm doing it to keep busy and to give back to the players here," he said.

Kaghado's portfolio full of licenses and big-name mentors comes along with more than 20 years in the game. Though he may not be well known to the general US soccer fan, the nature of his experience is no secret to the folks in Jersey.

Kaghado played college ball at Fairleigh Dickinson before getting his pro start with Kolos Krasnodar in Russia. He then had a couple of stints with Spartak Nalchik, wrapped around a pair of short stays with the MetroStars, followed by several seasons in Jordan's Premier League with Al-Ahli, Shaba Al Urdon and Al-Jazeera.

When he retired as a player in 2008, Jordan asked him to take over their national futsal team. Kaghado immediately impressed, leading them to an unprecedented third-place finish at the ArabCup.

From then on, the promotions came fast and furious. He became deputy technical director for the entire youth program and then the Under-17 head coach not long after. That team fell one win shy of reaching its first U-17 World Cup in 2011, and Kaghado was bumped up to head the U-19 office.

With no small thanks to the American, the small but ambitious nation may soon even have its first real star in teen attacker Oun Al-Louzi. Originally spotted, called and groomed for years by Kaghado, the Jordan U-19 captain signed with famed La Liga side Deportivo La Coruña in January.

"Under the direction of Prince Ali [bin Al-Hussein], the football in Jordan has really been improving," Kaghado said. "He's implemented a lot of foreign help; he's tried to build the grassroots. They appreciate the work we've done, and it's something to be proud about."

Though it's been a fun ride in a program that is starting to make waves in the Asian federation, Kaghado has his eyes on the next chapter. He is certainly not so much against a return to Jordan as he is eager to try his hand with club life, older players and a bigger stage.   

"At this point, after I've been here a good eight years, I'm looking at other opportunities back home in the USA and in Europe," he said. "I want to try something different. I'm pretty interested in going to a club and working with a team day-to-day.

"I'm still open for anything, but I just didn't want to get back to youth teams. I'm looking for something on a different level."