Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bradley up for job in Egypt

Former U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley has surfaced as a leading candidate to take over Egypt.

Bradley, will meet with the head of the Egyptian federation this week, national team press officer Azmi Megahed told MLSSoccer.com.

Bob Bradley appears to be in line to coach Egypt's national team. (AP Photo)“He is maybe the top contender,” Megahed said of Bradley, adding that Egyptian authorities have had their eye on Bradley since the U.S. defeated Egypt at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa.

Bradley was 43-25-12 in his five years at the U.S. helm, winning the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and a first-round group at the 2010 World Cup and finishing second at the 2009 and 2011 Gold Cup and the Confederations Cup. He has said that he would be interested in coaching abroad.

"I've always enjoyed new challenges. I encourage, whether its players or actually my children, or when I coached in college, kids in college, I believe that that's what life's all about," he said following the World Cup and before signing a new contract with U.S. Soccer. "I've enjoyed the opportunities I've had along the way, the different challenges. And so as I move forward, there will always be an open mind in that regard.”

Egypt certainly would present a challenge. The soccer-mad country has celebrated three consecutive African Cup of Nations titles but surprisingly has failed to qualify for the World Cup since 1990. Now a fourth consecutive continental championship is in jeopardy. Egypt is last in its qualification group for the 2012 tournament at 0-2-2 and faces a must-win match at Sierra Leone on Sept. 2. Long-time coach Hassan Shehata resigned following a 0-0 draw with South Africa in June.

If Bradley gets the job, he would become a member of the tiny fraternity of U.S.-born coaches who have managed foreign national teams. Steve Sampson, who coached the U.S. at the 1998 World Cup, took over Costa Rica in 2002 but was fired in 2004 after the Ticos started slowly in World Cup qualifying. Virginia native Bill Moravek spent several months in charge of the British Virgin Islands in 2000.

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