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Swansea City makes Bradley first American to coach in the EPL

Swansea City makes Bradley first American to coach in the EPL
Bob Bradley looks on during a French L2 football match against Bourg-en-Bresse as the head coach of Le Havre on May 13. (Charly Triballeau / AFP/Getty Images)

Former national team coach Bob Bradley became the first American hired to lead a major European team Monday when he was chosen to replace Francesco Guidolin as manager for English Premier League club Swansea City.

Bradley, who led the U.S. into the final of the 2009 Confederations Cup and into the knockout round of the 2010 World Cup, also coached a season at Chivas USA after winning an MLS Cup with the Chicago Fire. After being sacked by the national team in 2011, he coached Egypt to within a win of a World Cup berth in 2014, then spent the last 2½ years with Stabaek in Norway and Le Havre, a second-division club in France.

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In a message posted on Le Havre's website, Bradley called the Swansea job "a unique opportunity."

"I've been willing to take chances," Bradley told The Times in a phone interview last winter. "Go places where, quite frankly, most people wouldn't go, and in different circumstances show people what it takes to be a leader, what it takes to train a team, what it takes to develop players. And now I'm confident that I'm going to move forward and once again show people how I do things."

Bradley, 58, will coach his first game with Swansea on Oct. 15, following the FIFA international break. Swansea has won just one of seven league games this season, leaving it 17th in the 20-team table.

Guidolin, who was fired on his 61st birthday, joined Swansea in January but won only nine of 25 matches. He is the first EPL manager sacked since the start of the season.

Swansea City is one of six EPL teams with U.S. ownership. Its group includes Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan, who played under Bradley with the U.S. team.

"He is highly regarded as a coach and has a wealth of experience on the international and domestic front," Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins said. "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."

Bradley coached five years with the U.S. national team, winning 45 times, leaving him third on the all-time win list behind Bruce Arena and Juergen Klinsmann. Bradley's son Michael, a midfielder with FC Toronto of MLS, is the captain of the U.S. team.

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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