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Friday, September 23, 2011

Beyond The Pitch: Two Unlikely Trailblazers: Bob and Michael Bradley

American Bob Bradley (R) the new coach of Egyptian national football team, holds his jersey during a press conference with head of the Egyptian football federation Samer Zaher (C) and Magdey Abdelghany (L) member of the football federation in the headquarters in Cairo on September on 24, 2011.
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Bob Bradley with EFA President Samer Zaher and Magdey
Adelghany of the EFA in Cairo on 24 September 2011.

Most of us inherited our love of sport from our fathers. They were the first ones to throw or kick a ball to us, coach our teams, correct our mistakes and encourage our efforts. Few men share that special bond on a professional level. From recent times in world football, the most celebrated example was Cesare and Paolo Maldini with the Azzurri and AC Milan. Vladimir and Valdimir, Jr. Weiss of Slovakia are another recent example. And here in the United States, there is another father and son soccer duo: Bob and Michael Bradley.

Critical Juncture in Both Men’s Careers

For the last five years, Bob Bradley managed the US men’s national team. For the last four years, his son, Michael, featured prominently on his team. This past summer has been one of distinct change in both men’s lives: Bob was relieved on his duties in August and Michael was married. Similar to his father, the welcome mat at Borussia Mönchengladbach was suddenly lifted under Michael’s feet. The younger Bradley needed to find a new club before the August transfer market deadline expired.

In a surprise move for an American player, Bradley signed with Chievo Verona of the Italian Serie A. His father, Bob, is reportedly in final negotiations for the Egyptian national team job. Two men with the same DNA. Two men who love the same sport. Two men who are taking roads much less traveled than their peers. Two unlikely trailblazers.

To read my full commentary, please visit Beyond The Pitch.

Napoli's Columbian defender Juan Camilo Zuniga (R) vies for the ball with Chievo's US midfielder Michael Bradley during their Italian Serie A football match on September 21, 2011, at Verona's Bentegodi stadium.
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Michael Bradley in action against Juan Camilo Zuniga of Napoli
in his first Serie A start on 21 September 2011.

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