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OBITUARY: Gordon Bradley
April 30th, 2008 6:45AM



American coaching icon Gordon Bradley, the only person to have coached Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff, died on Monday at age 74. The England-born Bradley became coach of the NASL's Cosmos in 1971, guided the Cosmos to the 1972 title as player-coach, and was at the Cosmos' helm during Pele's arrival in 1975.

Bradley had a second stint as Cosmos coach in 1977, when Beckenbauer joined the team.

After three seasons as coach of the Washington Diplomats, for whom Cruyff played, Bradley was George Mason University coach from 1985 to 2000.

"He was one of the true legends of the game in our country," U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati told the Washington Post. "He was a giant. We would not be where we are today without the contributions of people like Gordon."

Bradley had a short stint as U.S. national team coach in 1973, when goalkeeper Bruce Arena earned his only U.S. cap.

"He was an inspiration to me because of his love for the game, and he always expressed it," said Arena, the former U.S. national team coach who, while University of Virginia coach, coached against Bradley's GMU teams.

Bradley also served as president of the American Professional Soccer League' Washington Stars and was a TV color commentator for D.C. United. He was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1996.

Bradley had suffered from Alzheimer's disease for several years. His survivors include, Vera, his wife of 49 years; sons Paul Bradley and Doug Bradley; and five grandchildren

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