Jurgen Klinsmann hails Bob Bradley's hiring at Swansea City as 'fantastic'
MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- U.S. national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann has hailed the appointment of Bob Bradley at Swansea City, saying it is "fantastic" that there is an American coach now in the Premier League, and that Bradley "deserves it."
Klinsmann succeeded Bradley as U.S. manager back in 2011, but he noted all of the places that his predecessor has coached since, including stints with Egypt, Norwegian side Stabaek, and French club Le Havre.
"There are plenty of very, very good American coaches that can coach overseas, so no doubt about it. In Bob's case he's so experienced," Klinsmann told reporters ahead of Friday's match against Cuba.
"He went the tough route. The places he coached after the [U.S.] national team has been impressive. He didn't shy away from different cultures, different countries, different languages, different approaches. He deserves that chance."
Klinsmann's sentiments were echoed by Bradley's son Michael, who is currently with the U.S. squad.
"I'm very, very excited; very, very proud," he said. "It's a dream he's had for a very long time, to be able to coach a big club in a big league. I've never seen somebody more fearless in the path and the choices that he made along the way.
"From somebody who is obviously very close with him, who looks up to him in every way, I couldn't be more proud."
Klinsmann added that the elder Bradley's success will hinge in part on the support he receives from owners Stephen Kaplan and Jason Levien. Given that both owners are American, that seems likely, but Klinsmann insisted nonetheless that it is imperative they stand behind Bradley through the inevitable ups and downs.
"In the Premier League you need to be backed up by your owners, you need to have their trust, you need to have people around you who are with you when things go wrong, because things aren't always going the right way," he said.
"Hopefully they give him that trust. You need time and you need to have the backup from the people around you to make changes the way you want them."
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.