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

It is a great website.. The Design looks very good.. Keep working like that!. about "connectpal" "connect pal"

A simple bookmarking tool that makes it easy to save, organize and share your favorite web pages. Access your bookmarks from any computer, phone or tablet. Listango works on all modern web browsers…
infissi in pvc lecce

This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post. I will visit your blog regularly for Some latest post.
rivestimenti per camini

found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated. eddm menu printing

I have not been on this page in quite a while... then again it was another satisfaction to see It is such a critical point and overlooked by such a large number of, even experts. experts. I thank you to help making individuals more mindful of conceivable issues read this

We've been looking for these kinds of intriguing specifics, receive intriguing details here at
auto line Jacksonville

This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post. I will visit your blog regularly for Some latest post. Click here

howdy was simply checking whether you minded a remark. i like your site and the thme you picked is super. I will be back.
JiuJitsu Jacksonville

I was actually looking for something otherwise, but stuck within this web page for a while, bless you its good from
rubber wristbands

The more shows you watch and cookbooks you read will definitely help you
agence web marseille

We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Great work.
nigeria news online today

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. easy to get installment loans

I have been searching out for this similar kind of post for past a week and hardly came across this cheap products

I want to say thanks to you. I have bookmark your site for future updates. r4 3ds

We are the first high class escort service agency in all of North Goa. We provide both incall & outcall services in Candolim write my essay free

We are the first high class escort service agency in all of North Goa. We provide both incall & outcall services in Candolim and surrounding areas. Home Care Assistance Montreal

Whether you want to book a Begumpet Hyderabad Escort for several weeks in advance or you have the need for that special someone in just a few hours, we are ready to help you find your perfect match. free ads

Good work on this post! I really like the way you delivered your qualitative facts and how you made this fascinating and effortless to realize. Thank you!! free online advertising

My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I’d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more!
r4 3ds

I am grateful for your hard work. But if you did it in a simple procedure that would be in reality polite. But over all I exceedingly not compulsory you and certain will stay for more posts like this. Learn Fast How to Get UK Cashback

I as of late ran over your website and have been perusing along. I thought I would leave my first remark. I don"t realize what to say aside from that I have delighted in perusing. Decent blog.
edgarbroughtonband

No doubt this is an excellent post I got a lot of knowledge after reading good luck. Theme of blog is excellent there is almost everything to read, Brilliant post.
https://www.levitradosageus24.com/

I was simply skimming along and happened upon your web journal. simply needed to say great web journal and this article truly helped me buffalo springfield

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.
Official Songs Video

wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.
thesis abstract writer

First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics.
thesis writers

A simple bookmarking tool that makes it easy to save, organize and share your favorite web pages. Access your bookmarks from any computer, phone or tablet. Listango works on all modern web browsers…
pay for ​thesis discussion

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.
​Stop aux demandes de prêt frauduleuses

Thank you because you have been willing to share information with us. we will always appreciate all you have done here because I know you are very concerned with our. Check this site

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!Candy Boxes

Your substance is out and out splendid from multiple points of view. I think this is connecting with and enlightening material. Much obliged to you such a great amount for thinking about your substance and your perusers. here I found it

We offer professional quality translation services for clients all over the world. Our expert team work with 100% reliability, accuracy and timeliness. Online Language Translation….. سئو

I appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts. Thank you for sharing great information to us info

Excellent information on your blog, thank you for taking the time to share with us. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists mobile home remodeling supplies

Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place.
download lagu gratis

Your work is very good and I appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts. Thank you for sharing great information to us manufactured home parts and accessories

I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comments. Analytics shows they are coming to the site . view website

Thank you so much for the post you do. I like your post and all you share with us is up to date and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job. domina tu orgasmo oficial

my knowledge base.Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.Thanks. check this out

I’m excited to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site vpn china

I have not been on this page in quite a while... then again it was another satisfaction to see It is such a critical point and overlooked by such a large number of, even experts. free tour stockholm

That’s really amazing and extraordinary blogs & can help those who get issues in searching this type of information send my gift coupons code

Hello ! I just wish to give enormous thumbs up for the nice info you’ve got right here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your weblog for more soon what to text your ex girlfriend to get her back.
college papers writing

Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has importations your hard work and experience you have got in This field. Brilliant reading .I love it.
online APA writing

Thanks for sharing this interesting blog with us.My pleasure to being here on your blog..I wanna come beck here for new post from your site.
MLA college writing

I have a mission that I’m just now working on, and I have been at the look out for such information free download

It should be noted that whilst ordering papers for sale at paper writing service, you can get unkind attitude. In case you feel that the bureau is trying to cheat you, don't buy term paper from it
Senior GPS Tracking Device

Here at Local Master. Locksmith we understand the importance of your security... Domain-authority blog commenting

I needed to thank you for this extraordinary read!! I unquestionably appreciating each and every piece of it I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post additional Info

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 get the facts