Bob Bradley leads Normandy landing

It isn't every day that a former World Cup coach arrives to coach a Ligue 2 team, so the French press treated Bob Bradley's signing at Le Havre as a big deal. "Normandy Landing" was the headline in France Football -- General Omar Bradley led the Normandy invasion in 1944 -- while L'Equipe referred to Monday's Le Havre-Brest match as "Bradley en prime time." A 0-0 draw in a match broadcast live on Eurosport did nothing to take away from new enthusiasm at HAC.

Ligue 2, Top 5:
29 Nancy
29 Dijon
27 Metz
24 Le Havre
22 *Red Star
*One game in hand.

Le Havre had plenty of chances but could not beat Brest keeper Joan Hertock. The draw extended HAC's unbeaten streak to six games and left it in fourth place -- a jump of 11 places since the end of September when a coaching change was made.

After HAC - Brest (0-0), Bob Bradley's interview by HAC

Le Havre director general Arnaud Tanguy told L'Equipe that it wanted to wait to find a replacement for Thierry Goudet, fired at the end of September, and was surprised when Bradley's resume crossed his desk.

Bradley, who has been joined by former U.S. national team trainer Pierre Barrieu, has been at Le Havre for less than a week, but HAC players said they have already noticed a change.

"We've felt a change in practice with some very intense training sessions," midfielder Alexandre Bonnet told L'Equipe. Forward Mathieu Duhamel described practice as "intense but very varied."

Le Havre's goal is to return to Ligue 1. It was last relegated in 2009 and since then finished no higher than sixth in the 20-team Ligue 2. It was seventh in 2015.

Le Havre's inability to be a consistent contender is in contrast to its reputation for producing talent. Ibrahim Ba, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Lassana Diarra, Vikash Dhorasoo, Charles N'Zogbia and Paul Pogba have all gone to be French internationals. Diarra and Pogba started in France's 2-0 win over Germany played as the Paris attacks began outside the Stade de France.

Le Havre plays in one of the newest stadiums in France. The Stade Oceane, opened in 2012, seats more than 25,000 fans. A crowd of 5,965 fans turned out on Monday night for the game against Brest.

American businessman Vincent Volpe, who has worked in Le Havre for 25 years, bought a majority interest in Le Havre earlier in the year and plans to invest $11 million in the club with the goal of winning promotion this year or next.

Bradley will get his first test of how viable Le Havre's chances of winning promotion this season are on Saturday when it travels to face first-place Nancy on Saturday.

2 comments about "Bob Bradley leads Normandy landing".
  1. Andrew Kear, November 25, 2015 at 10:08 a.m.

    Bradley brings success to European clubs, while Klinsmann drags the USMMT through the mud.

  2. Ric Fonseca, November 25, 2015 at 3:57 p.m.

    Well, one can't make a good chicken salad if one only has chicken.... for the ingredients.

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