Former NASL coach Bradley dies

April 29, 2008

MANASSAS, Va. -- Gordon Bradley, who coached Pele and Johan Cruyff in the North American Soccer League, died Tuesday. He was 74.

Bradley was a major figure in the NASL. The Englishman coached the New York Cosmos in their heyday of the late 1970s, when the Brazilian superstar Pele played for the team and it drew crowds of 70,000 to Giants Stadium. He also coached the Washington Diplomats, where he worked with Dutch star Cruyff.

After working in the NASL, Bradley became a college coach, and he had a .606 winning percentage for George Mason, taking the school to the NCAA tournament six times. He also was 0-5 as the U.S. national team coach in 1973.

In 1996, Bradley was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Bradley played in England and Canada before joining the NASL. He became the Cosmos' player-coach in 1971 and, after being dismissed as coach, he later returned to the star-studded team.

Bradley is survived by Vera, his wife of 49 years; sons Paul and Doug Bradley; and five grandchildren.

Funeral services are pending.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press