Winning Over The World

American coaches have, slowly but steadily, become hot commodities on the international soccer scene.
Share |
A leader of men. Presumably also a speaker of Farsi.

Image via Nilesports.com.

It says something about Egypt's political scene, and something else besides, that the most popular authority figure in the nation at present was born in New Jersey. That would be Bob Bradley, the former Princeton star and U.S. Men's National Team manager whose Egyptian national team currently sits atop of its World Cup qualifying group. Under Bradley's leadership, the seven-time African champions appear headed to Brazil in 2014. In a country that's currently not enamored of most people in positions of power, this has made Bradley both popular and the most visible American coach in the international soccer world.

But he is far from the only one. There is a growing group of Americans and foreign-born American citizens who work as coaches and technical directors, for teams in nations as far flung as the Netherlands, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates. They represent a new type of soccer manager: Men who were hired in part because of their very American-ness. "I'm not sure I'd be ready to call this a trend, but I think there is this very general sense with coaches and even with players that there's an American mentality," Bradley said during a phone interview. "When it's looked at in this kind of a general way, it's always positive because people think Americans work hard, and compete, and want to be number one."

This is a recent phenomenon. In 2009, John Murphy became the first American to coach in British professional soccer when he took the helm at Livingston FC in the Scottish 1st Division. Afshin Ghotbi immigrated to Los Angeles from Tehran when he was 13, but coached the Iranian the national team from 2009 to 2011; he now manages Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan's Division 1. Omid Namazi and Dan Gaspar are currently assistants with Iran. Petaluma, California native Joe Enochs spent the majority of his playing days with German second division team VfL Osnabrück and started coaching the club in 2011.

This list also includes Dutch-Americans Earnie Stewart (technical director, Alkmaar Zaanstreek), Gregg Berhalter (manager, Hammarby IF), Troy Ready (technical director, Tajikistan) and French-American Pierre Barrieu (fitness coach, United Arab Emirates). Stewart and Barrieu were not born in the United States, but they are American citizens with close ties to the U.S. soccer program.

The number is small but impressive given the dearth of opportunities for American coaches to gain international recognition. Although Major League Soccer now boasts 11 American managers across its 19 clubs, the league holds little cache in the rest of the world. Managing the U.S. Men's National Team is one of the only ways for a coach to earn widespread respect. Bradley's hiring by the Egyptian Federation in September 2011 marked a milestone in terms of how the world perceives American coaches. While the very fact that he got the job says a lot about the perception of U.S. coaches, his success may well have opened the door for future U.S. coaching hopefuls. "I respect what Bob Bradley has done," Murphy said. "That is a tough, tough job."

***

Sporting directors responsible for hiring soccer coaches from the U.S. say that clubs increasingly value the American focus on winning. Toon Gerbrands, who brought Stewart to AZ, saw this attitude at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. "When Americans go to the Olympic games, they only go to win," the former volleyball player said. "In Holland when we go, we have a goal. We might want to be top three or top five. From the USA's perspective, that's unbelievable. You go for the win all the way. That's a very American way of thinking."

Stewart, who spent the majority of his club career in the Netherlands but played in 101 matches for the U.S. Men's National Team, took the AZ job in June 2010. Notably, AZ's leading scorer during the 2012-2013 campaign is American forward Jozy Altidore. Gerbrands, the club's director of general affairs, appreciated the way in which Stewart's European understanding of soccer tactics meshed with his American drive.

Berhalter landed a coaching job in Sweden for the same reason. The New Jersey-born defender, who retired in 2011 after spending most of his 17-year playing career abroad on teams in England, Germany, and the Netherlands, manages Hammarby. Gustaf Grauers, the club's sporting director, was not initially seeking an American for the vacant coaching position. He found Berhalter after a colleague at AEG—which owns both Hammarby and the Los Angeles Galaxy—suggested the former North Carolina Tar Heels star. "I lived in the US for two years and I know the winning mentality, the competitiveness, and the mindset of American athletes," Grauers said. "[Berhalter's] idea of soccer probably comes more from Europe but his mentality comes from the U.S., and it's very appealing to me."

These managers, like the many American players scattered across international leagues, are helping to dispel the stereotype that Americans don't understand the beautiful game. "I think [sporting directors] stopped seeing lesser coaches. There used to be a bias against Americans, but I think it's starting to shift a little bit," said Barrieu, who spent his first 29 years in France and served as U.S. fitness coach during Bradley's tenure.

The Amsterdam-born Thomas Rongen, who spent his playing days in the U.S. and managed the American Under-20 squad for a decade before jumping to American Samoa in 2011, thinks teams abroad respect more than the desire to win. Sports organizations in the U.S. are more advanced in terms of analysis, sponsorship, technology, and business. "I had a lot of calls from people in the soccer industry like [former Holland star] Ruud Gullit and [former Barcelona manager] Frank Rijkaard," Rongen said. "They wanted to spend three weeks with the New England Patriots."

Bradley agrees with Rongen's assessment. "Coaches in different sports are looking always to see good examples of coaching at a high level. And I do think that some foreign coaches who have an understanding of sports in the U.S. understand that Bill Belichick has a reputation for detail and the way he does things," he said. "Without a doubt, there has been respect and admiration for the way organizations are run, the way the NFL is run."

Hiring an American coach makes sense for a foreign team that wants to mimic a U.S. organization. As John Murphy notes, however, there is more on the line when choosing a coach than a player. "When a coach comes over, people are going to feel like he's taking somebody's job. It's the same for the players, but on a team of 30 pros, there's more opportunity than getting one of three or four coaching positions with that club," he said.

More American players will land at big international clubs than coaches, but players and coaches are in this game together. "People around the world see the direction the game is going in the U.S. and they respect the players and they respect the coaches. With time, we'll see more and more people getting opportunities," Bradley said. Galaxy boss Bruce Arena, Real Salt Lake's Jason Kreis, former U.S. players Tab Ramos and Claudio Reyna, even new Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter could soon find themselves hot commodities on the international soccer scene. Which means that Bradley—while he's probably likely to remain Egypt's most popular leader for at least a little while—could soon have competition for the distinction of most visible American manager.


Share |

Comments

Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.
pbn speakers for sale

Really great post, Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up!
Imarku Professional 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

Pleasant post. I was checking continually this online journal and I"m inspired! To a great degree valuable data extraordinarily the last part I look after such data a ton. I was looking for this sure data for quite a while. Much obliged to you and good fortunes. sand castings

It is great to have the opportunity to read a good quality article with useful information on topics that plenty are interested on.I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates.
Watch Here

I like this post,And I figure that they having a great time to peruse this post,they might take a decent site to make an information,thanks for sharing it to me. Water extraction

There animator that may be obtained very easily. But, essentially, all your animators possess the capacity and also ability connected with different.
http://2trieu.com

Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.
How to work from home

دانلود قسمت 1 اول فصل دوم سریال شهرزاد, دانلود رایگان فصل اول و دوم سریال شهرزاد, دانلود سریال جدید شهرزاد , دانلود سریال شهرزاد با لینک مستقیم, دانلود فیلم های جدید و برتر, دانلود رایگان فیلم و سریال با لینک مستقیم دانلود قسمت اول فصل دوم شهرزاد

The post is written in very a good manner and it entails many useful information for me. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept.
framaroot apk download

Great tips and very easy to understand. This will definitely be very useful for me when I get a chance to start my blog.
Grammarly Discount Code

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. pink lace front wigs

Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work. For sure i will check out more posts. This site seems to get a good amount of visitors. Back pain

Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks buy discount designer clothes online

Watch Game of Thrones S07E01 online for free
Very exciting to study this content.I would like to thank you for the initiatives you had created for composing this amazing content.

I was just browsing through the internet looking for some information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information that you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. Bookmarked this page, will come back for more. corporate gifts singapore

it's really nice and meanful. it's really cool blog. Linking is very useful thing.you have really helped lots of people who visit blog and provide them usefull information.
برج خنک کن

دانلود قسمت 1 اول فصل دوم سریال شهرزاد, دانلود رایگان فصل اول و دوم سریال شهرزاد, دانلود سریال جدید شهرزاد , دانلود سریال شهرزاد با لینک مستقیم, دانلود فیلم های جدید و برتر, دانلود رایگان فیلم و سریال با لینک مستقیم دانلود قسمت اول فصل دوم شهرزاد

Great tips and very easy to understand. This will definitely be very useful for me when I get a chance to start my blog.
song writer

I HAVE THOROUGHLY ENJOYED READING YOUR POINTS AND HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT MANY OF THEM. clausula suelo

"If we are talking about the latest craze all over the world, what you are going to say? Fidget Spinner and Fidget Toy? Yes! Oh well, you can't believe it. In just 2 months, it has craze the world! First, you can see these Fidget Spinners everywhere with kids and teens in every classroom and school. Shortly they quickly invaded offices and became the favorite hand toys of adults.

Brands and Businesses are quickly catching up this new hot trend for their marketing purposes, like event promotions, conference gifts, corporate gifts, trade show giveaways, promotional gift items with those customized, logo Fidget Spinners as the best promotional products today!" Fidget Spinner Promotional Products

Jewels Saga
This is such a great information for me, because i do an online job thats why i need fast Internet connection, i search how to bost internet speed then ireach at a right place.

Great tips and very easy to understand. This will definitely be very useful for me when I get a chance to start my blog. Samata

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.
cervical chiropractor dublin ca

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work.. bandar poker

This is cool post and i enjoy to read this post. your blog is fantastic and you have good staff in your blog. nice sharing keep it up. designer travel bags for cheap

It is great to see that some people still put in an effort into managing their websites. SBOBET

Super site! I am Loving it!! Will return once more, Im taking your food additionally, Thanks. click here

Excellent read, Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.
boat rental

Super Singh movie torrent
I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site.

bet awards 2017
You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.

Thank you again for all the knowledge you distribute,Good post. I was very interested in the article, it's quite inspiring I should admit. I like visiting you site since I always come across interesting articles like this one.Great Job, I greatly appreciate that.Do Keep sharing! Regards, Out of hours Emergency Locksmith

Much thanks for this helpful article. I like it. cheap mens clothes free delivery

This is a decent article among of us which is extremely helpful and educational for us.But please include more data so that we could know all the more about it.
giant dildo

Really great post. I just unearthed your online journal and needed to say that I have truly delighted in perusing your blog entries. jalvarez

Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has proved your hard work and experience you have got in this field. Brilliant .i love it reading.
Click Here To Download Apk

This web site is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll definitely discover it.
Ramadan Mubarak Images 2017

Biometric Time Attendance in Dubai
We believe that everyone deserves a chance at moving ahead with their lives. In our Mitigation services we strive to provide the Court with your history For our other court appointed services, our goal is to help provide the most up to date and relevant interventions.

I Really Liked the Font You’ve Chose to Use in This Article. Could I Please Get The Name Of That Font? I Wanted To Use It In My Project Now. Thanks Very Much!
cool whatsapp status

You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up.
status4u

Very exciting to study this content.I would like to thank you for the initiatives you had created for composing this amazing content.
How to lace Vans

I must say that a succesful family owned business in this day and age is a very refreshing sight ! As well as this is a very refreshing site.
Harsh Chauhan

VERY NICE WRITING. I WILL KEEP THESE TIPS IN MY MIND. THIS BLOG HAS REALLY PEAKS MY INTEREST. THANK YOU SO MUCH. gclub

Very interesting blog. Alot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in. but I'm most definately interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know. New York Custom Closets

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. iq option

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. iq option

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. Hardwood Floor Refinishing in Los Angeles, CA.

I Really Liked the Font You’ve Chose to Use in This Article. Could I Please Get The Name Of That Font? I Wanted To Use It In My Project Now. Thanks Very Much!
automated binary review

I Really Liked the Font You’ve Chose to Use in This Article. Could I Please Get The Name Of That Font? I Wanted To Use It In My Project Now. Thanks Very Much!
bodrum escort

This is actually the kind of information I have been trying to find. Thank you for writing this information. Bhutan Holiday Package from Delhi

This is an extraordinary article much obliged for sharing this enlightening data. I will visit your website consistently for some most recent post. I will visit your web journal consistently for Some most recent post. New movies Download