Less than a week after leaving LAFC, Bob Bradley has landed a new job, being named Wednesday as head coach and sporting director at Toronto FC where he will be reunited with son Michael, the team’s captain.
Speculation that Bradley would eventually land in Toronto began in the final weeks of the MLS season when the coach, whose contract expired when the schedule did, was still with LAFC. But Toronto waited until the conclusion of the Canadian Cup, which ended Sunday in a 1-0 loss to Montreal, before officially parting ways with interim coach Javier Pérez and general manager Ali Curtis.
Bradley, 63, now replaces both men.
“We are excited for Bob to get to work,” Toronto FC President Bill Manning said in a statement. “We are entering an extremely important offseason and know we have a team that needs a significant makeover. Bob has experience putting teams together and in getting them to perform at a high level. He understands the expectations and standards of TFC and is ready to take on this challenge.”
Toronto is coming off the second-worst season in franchise history, one in which it went 6-18-10 with a -27 goal differential. A year after finishing second in the Supporters’ Shield race and two years after playing in the MLS Cup final, the team missed the postseason entirely.
Bradley, known as Bob the Builder for his work turning around struggling and expansion teams, took LAFC to the playoffs in its first season, broke the regular-season record for points en route to a Supporters’ Shield the next year and last season reached the CONCACAF Champions League final. He became the only MLS coach to beat three Liga MX opponents in a single tournament.
Bradley won an MLS Cup with Chicago in the Fire’s inaugural season and also coached the MetroStars and Chivas USA to the playoffs. In 2010, he guided the U.S. to the round of 16 in the World Cup before beginning a mini world tour that saw him lead the Egyptian national team and clubs in Norway, France and England.
Through his first three seasons with LAFC, no team in MLS had more regular-season wins, points or goals. But all that success produced just one playoff win in four years with the team, riddled by injuries to key players and inconsistent performances from others, finishing 12-13-9 and out of the playoffs this year.
Bradley, the third-winningest coach in MLS history, coached under general manager John Thorrington at LAFC. He will have both jobs in Toronto.
Bradley is Toronto’s fourth manager in less than a year. Greg Vanney left the club last December for the Galaxy and his replacement, Chris Armas, lasted just seven months. Pérez then finished out the season as interim coach.
LAFC, meanwhile, continues its search to replace Bradley, who went 58-34-32 in his four regular seasons.