As Bob Bradley reflects on his role as a trailblazer in deciding to manage Norway’s Stabaek, he has one of his former United States players to thank for landing the job.
According to Mikkel "Mix" Diskerud, who received his first U.S. cap under Bradley, Stabaek has been tracking the American coach since Diskerud joined the Yanks in 2010. Diskerud, now a member of Rosenborg, started his career at Stabaek and the team’s hierarchy asked about Bradley’s coaching methods when the midfielder returned from playing with the U.S.
"Since I came back to Stabaek from my first camp with the U.S. senior team , I told sports director Inge Andre Olsen about the experience, that coach Bradley and his ways impressed me," Diskerud said via email.
"Since then, Inge and I have had lots of discussions about coaching, coaching styles, personalities and leader traits within 'our profession.' Over the past 12 months, I have known that Director Olsen has followed Mr. Bradley closely."
Diskerud famously got his U.S. career off to a strong start by feeding Juan Agudelo with an assist on the U.S.’s game-winning goal.
The now 23-year-old only spent a short time working under Bradley as the U.S. coach was dismissed after the team’s disappointing 4-2 loss to Mexico in the Gold Cup final but he remains impressed with Bradley’s leadership skills and has followed his career since.
The 55-year-old Bradley had most recently led Egypt's national team, but his contract wasn't renewed after the country failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. The Bradley-led Egypt team lost out on a spot to Ghana, who were drawn in Group G for the tournament -- along with United States, Germany and Portugal.
Diskerud insisted to Olsen that he should hire Bradley, despite his former director's concerns that Bradley had spent the past eight years as a national team coach.
"We (Olsen and I) have discussed how coaching of national teams and club teams are different. I have said that I can only comment and rate the coaches I have had based on my personal experiences with them.
"I have said that the only way to figure out how specific coaches rate against each other is by having them coach under the same conditions.'Bring me Bradley first…and then you bring Klinsmann,' Mr. Olsen laughed once, finishing. 'and then we can check out how your favorites turn out in real challenge situations.'"
Stabaek raced through the Norwegian league system in the 1990s, climbing from the fourth division to the top flight, and won their only league title in 2008.
The club, based in a suburb of Oslo, won the Tippeligaen title in 2008 and, though they were relegated to the second tier in 2012, they have now secured promotion back to the top flight.