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 By Ian Holyman

Bob Bradley: Swansea City job 'an important opportunity' for U.S. football

Bob Bradley has said his appointment as Swansea City coach is 'an important opportunity' for football in the United States.

Bradley, 58, became the first American to be appointed head coach of a club in any of Europe's five major leagues when he was named as Francesco Guidolin's replacement at Swansea on Monday.

Speaking after taking charge of French second division side Le Havre for the final time for Monday's victory over Sochaux, Bradley admitted he would have preferred a move next summer, but that the draw of the Premier League was too strong.

"Honestly, no," the former U.S. national team coach replied when asked whether he had hesitated in making the decision to go to Swansea. "In a perfect world, I would finish this season, go right to the end just like last year. But in football, you don't control timing.

"At this moment, the opportunity to go to the Premier League -- on many levels -- is special. I'm sorry to leave, especially at this moment, but it's still an opportunity for me, my family and American football that's important."

Bradley, who took over at Le Havre in November 2015, came within one goal of securing promotion to Ligue 1 last season, and leaves the side in fifth place in Ligue 2, three points off top spot.

"I told the players before the match I'll never forget the feeling of watching the team in the final game of last season. To miss out by one goal ... to see a team playing with passion, commitment to go to Ligue 1," Bradley, who has also coached in Egypt and Norway, explained. "That picture is part of my football memory and will never go away."

Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley, said at United States training camp in Miami on Tuesday that the job was a dream come true for his father.

"I'm very, very excited. Very, very proud," the younger Bradley said. "It's something, a dream that he's had for a very long time. To be able to coach a big club in a big league. I've never seen someone more fearless in the path and the choices that he made along the way.

"As somebody who is obviously very close to him, who looks up to him in every way, I couldn't be more proud."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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