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Bob Bradley

Sport: Soccer

Born: March 3, 1958

Town: Essex Fells

Robert Bradley was born March 3, 1958 in Montclair and grew up in Essex Fells. The Bradleys were an athletic family. Bob an his two younger brothers were known around town for their obsession with sports. If it was in season, Bob, Scott and Jeff played it. Bob, an intensely focused overachiever, was drawn to soccer. Scott, starred in baseball for West Essex High and later UNC. Bobby was the top player on the West Essex Knights. He went on to play for the Princeton soccer team and was the team’s leading scorer as a senior.

After graduation, Bob enrolled managed the soccer team a Ohio University and then served as Bruce Arena’s assistant at Virginia. In 1984, he returned at age 26 to Princeton as head coach. He coached the Tigers for 12 seasons, winning a pair of Ivy League titles and reaching the Final Four in 1993. A few years later, Scott became Princeton’s baseball coach, but the brothers never actually overlapped.

In 1996, Bob rejoined Arena on the sidelines for DC United of Major League Soccer. In 1998, he was hired to coach the expansion Chicago Fire. The Fire won the MLS championship as well as the US Open Cup, earning Bob Coach f the Year honors. Bob left Chicago to coach the MetroStars in 2003. Despite some big names on the roster, the wins were slow to come and he was fired with a couple of weeks left in the 2005 season. He coached Chivas USA in 2006.

In the months following World Cup 2006, Bob was contacted by USA Soccer. The Americans had failed to win a game in the Group stage and scored a grand total of one goal. Bruce Arena was fired as national coach and Bob agreed to serve as interim coach. Under his guidance, the team won the 2007 Gold Cup, the soccer championship of North America.

Many had expected Jurgen Klinsmann to take the fulltime job, but after fashioning a 12–5–1 record in his first year, Bob was given the permanent job. In 2009, Bob led Team USA to victory over Spain, the world’s top-ranked country. It was the first loss for Spain in 35 games. A victory over Honduras later that year secured a spot for the Americans in World Cup 2010.

Bob led Team USA to the top of its group, with draws against England Slovenia and a 1-0 defeat of Algeria. Their great run ended with a 2–1 loss to Ghana in overtime in the next round. Bob remained as coach of Team USA until 2011.

Bob’s next coaching job was with the Egyptian national team. He lived and worked in Egypt during a time of great unrest. When the Pahroahs failed to qualify for World Cup 2014, he was fired. In 2014, Bob became the first American to head a major European club when he was hired to lead Staebek Fotball in Norway. Bob’s son, Michael, is one of the top U.S. players.