Bradley to Coach Chivas USA

Times Staff Writer

Bob Bradley, who has won more Major League Soccer games than any other coach, Monday was hired as coach of Chivas USA.

Bradley, 47, replaces Hans Westerhof, the Dutch coach who Monday parted ways with the club on somewhat strained terms, less than a month after agreeing to stay for a second season.

The surprise change, and the even more unexpected selection of an American to lead the team, signals a new direction for Chivas USA, which originally set out to be a mirror image of its parent club, Chivas de Guadalajara.

Drawing from a roster composed primarily of Mexican or Mexican American players, the team finished in last place in its first season with a league-worst 4-22-6 record, after which co-owner Antonio Cue promised to remake the squad.


Bradley is the second move in that direction, the first having been to trade Costa Rican international Douglas Sequeira to Real Salt Lake last week for American defender Brian Dunseth.

“This team is going to continue having a Mexican heart and a Mexican identity,” Cue said at the Home Depot Center. “At the same time, we want to have a team that is competitive. We are going to look at players from Mexico, from MLS and from other countries as well.

“The identity and philosophy of this club will continue to be Mexican, but ... we recognize that fans want the team to do well, to win games, and that it plays in a league that is in the United States.”

Bradley has a proven track record in MLS.


He has been in the league for its entire 10 years, first for two years as an assistant to then-D.C. United coach Bruce Arena, then for five years as coach of the Chicago Fire, and most recently for three years as coach of the MetroStars.

Bradley led Chicago to an MLS championship in its inaugural season in 1998 and also won the U.S. Open Cup with the Fire in 1998 and 2000. His overall MLS record is 127-97-44.

A tough-minded coach who does not suffer fools gladly, Bradley is viewed, in the long term, as a potential U.S. national team coach. He was Arena’s assistant at the University of Virginia, then with United and with the 1996 U.S. Olympic team.

Bradley will assess the players over the next few weeks and begin making changes he deems necessary.


“The organization feels very strongly that it must learn from the lessons of the first year,” he said.

“It was a team that in many ways lacked experience. It had good moments going forward, but it didn’t have good balance in the team.

“We all want to go forward and we all want to score goals, but there must be a good understanding, then, of how to defend when you lose the ball and how to still win games.”