Bob Bradley And Egypt Can Make History Together

Rooting for the underdog; it’s as American as apple pie. While thousands across the country follow Major League Soccer, it is an unspoken understanding that the only thing ‘Major League’ about the domestic product is the name. Nevertheless, people follow the product with a passion and are always thrilled when “one of our own” makes it on the international scene.

M.L.S. has given reason to buy into the hype. From Tim Howard to Clint Dempsey and Stuart Holden, Major League Soccer products have begun taking a serious foothold overseas, and their numbers are rising exponentially.

While the on the field product continues it’s growth, the masterminds behind the development are finally getting the respect they deserve as well. It is in that sense that former U.S. Men’s National Team and M.L.S. product Bob Bradley has become a trailblazer.

By now you have heard the news; Bradley will be the next coach of the Egyptian National team. Though there has been no confirmation from Bradley’s camp, Egyptian FA official Azmy Megahed told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the move was imminent. “Bradley will be here on Sunday to sign the contract.”

Bob Bradley will be the first ever American coach to head a National team program outside of the United States since Steve Sampson lead Costa Rica in 2004. Much like his start with the USMNT, who came off of a disappointing run in the 2006 World Cup, his appointment would come at a time when the Egyptian program has fallen into a deep malaise. The ‘Pharoahs,” winners of three consecutive African Cup championships, and holders of the most AFC titles in history (7), won’t be able to defend their AFC title as the side failed to qualify for the tournament in spectacular fashion. This, compounded with the programs ineptitude in World Cup qualification and the political instability surrounding the country has created a monumental mountain which Bradley will be expected to scale. Seeking new blood to vitalize the program, Bradley would represent the first non-African coach for the Pharoah’s since Frenchman Gerard Gili manned the touchline over a decade ago.

In many ways, Egypt may be hiring the best man for the job. Though the image of the United States unceremonious dismissal from the Gold Cup against Mexico this year is still fresh in the minds of many soccer fans throughout the nation, Bradley’s overall resume is an impressive one. Upon the start of his tenure, he helped the U.S. regroup and refocus after a deflating 2006. Within months, he established a solid American side that looked to make an immediate statement. Beating Mexico 2-0 in an international friendly, he would beat the teams Southern rivals again four months later; this time for the Gold Cup Championship. He would then focus on securing higher profile international competitions to test the mettle of his side, participating in Copa America, and facing the very best opposition throughout his tenure, from Argentina And Brazil, to England, Spain and beyond. His efforts were capped off with a first place finish in World Cup group play; a finish the Egyptian FA could only dream of. He ended his tenure with an impressive record of 124—94—54.

Say what you will, but the hiring of Bradley will be yet another feather in the cap of American soccer’s growth. Unlike Sampson’s hiring with Costa Rica, Bradley will be taking over a prestigious program with a deep history of African dominance. The appointment in and of itself is a deep honor for anyone, let alone an American. His role, as was the case in the U.S., will be taking Egypt to the next level. International success has eluded the Pharoah’s throughout their history. Wouldn’t it be something if an American, at this time in history, can elevate the program to prominence?

Bradley has a difficult road ahead of him, but if history has proven anything, it is that American’s and Egyptians are a gutsy bunch. What a story it would be for the two to grow and thrive, together. You can’t get more underdog than that.

  • M Mansour

    Nice article!! I see success written all over this one. I have no doubt that Bradley is that right choice for Egypt at this time. Egypt have achieved absolutely everything inside Africa dominating that African Cup of nations with a world record seven times three of which have been won in a stylish row 2006,2008 and 2010 and Egypt has occupied the 9th place in the FIFA world ranking for over seven months after the World Cup in SA and Egypt have the potential to play as world beaters and they have in fact beaten Italy 1-0 in the Confed Cup in SA just months before the WC kick off without even featuring in the WC. Bradley will have a difficult yet no impossible task to lead Egypt to the coming WC in Brazil and the whole of Egypt will be behind him and will have a wealth of super talents at his disposal which will make his life a little easy and I see both Egypt and Bradley reaching their goals and exceeding in the coming days