What began as a three-sentence social media post Saturday afternoon has morphed into an international story that multiple sources told the Union-Tribune couldn’t be further from the truth.

Former U.S. national coach Bob Bradley will not be the first head coach of Major League Soccer expansion franchise San Diego FC.

Tom Penn, the club’s CEO who hired Bradley when he launched LAFC in 2018, recently said the next item on his agenda is to find a head coach. And then came an X (formerly Twitter) post in Spanish from Gustavo Mendoza of Fox Deportes saying SDFC “already has a (head coach) … and it’s not Miguel Herrera or Hugo Sanchez” because the MLS club “has chosen Bob Bradley.”


By Sunday afternoon, numerous soccer websites were off and running with the unverified report, some indicating it is a done deal and Bradley would be on the sideline for the club’s inaugural game in February.

Not true, the sources said.

The connection with Penn makes some sense. Nothing else does, however.

Bradley is 66 and in the twilight of a career with mixed results. He won 2000 MLS Cup with the Chicago Fire but hasn’t achieved a similar level of success in four other MLS stops, most recently with Toronto FC. Currently, he is in his second stint with Stabaek, which was relegated to the second tier of Norwegian soccer and sits in seventh place.

Penn also has said he wants a coach willing to implement the unique style of play employed by the Right to Dream academy instead of fitting a roster to a coach’s preferred system, and Bradley on paper is the antithesis of that — a veteran set in his ways with a defined tactical approach.

Another potential factor: SDFC so far has a decided Latin flavor, with Mexican winger Hirving “Chucky” Lozano introduced earlier this month as its marquee player and several key front office hires with Mexican roots.

An SDFC official said the search for a head coach is ongoing but provided no other details.

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