Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gordon Bradley: 1934-2008

The Washington DC area lost a sports icon yesterday as Gordon Bradley passed away after battling Alzheimer's disease. He was a player, coach, executive, broadcaster and ambassador for the sport of soccer here in the United States. He played and coached in the old North American Soccer League in New York and Washington (Remember the Diplomats?)

After the NASL folded, he coached at George Mason University for a number of years, leading them to six NCAA tournament appearances and was a broadcaster for D.C. United telecasts. He also conducted a number of youth soccer camps in Northern Virginia. He was elected into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1996 and George Mason's Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006.

IMO he's just as much of a DC sports icon as Riggo and the Hogs are. I never knew or met Gordon but for over 30 years he was a presence here and one of the reasons I started following soccer. I used to take Metro to go to see his Diplomats play at RFK Stadium when I was in high school. John Feinstein talks about Gordon and the NASL here.

Behind the Badge has a nice tribute as well.

He will be missed.

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