Gordon Bradley former coach of The Cosmos and currently their vice president in charge of player personnel, will be named coach of the Washington Diplomats at a noon news conference today, The Washington Post has learned.
Bradley who will be 40 next month will replace Alan Spavin, who coached the Dips during the second half of last season after Dennis Viollet was fired. Spavin currently scouting in England, is expected to remain with the club in some capacity. Viollet scouting colleges for the Dips at present may leave the organization before his contract expires on Jan. 1.
Bradley who will sign a three-year contract believed to be for $175.000 was the Cosmos first coach in 1972, leading them to the North American Soccer League title that year. In 1976 he resigned to move into the front office but returned at midseason with the team floundering under Ken Furphy.
He resigned again at midseason last year and Eddie Firmani became coach. At the time, the Cosmos claimed that Bradley wanted to get out of coaching. Sources in the league say Bradley was unhappy with the organization, which has undergone sweeping personnel changes on and off the field in the last year.
"I am coming to Washington (Tuesday) to meet with Washington officials," Bradley admitted when reached in New York without confirming he would become the Dips coach.
"If I do decide to take the job and get back into coaching it will be because I see this as another challenge for me," he said. "When I first came over here (in 1967 as a player with the New York Generals) I was convinced soccer could make it in this country. I would like to see it make it in Washington and I think I'm capable of helping."
Two weeks ago the Dips were believed ready to sign Les Shannon, a successful English coach. Sources reported yesterday that Dips' general manager John Carbray decided to hold off and see if Bradley could get out of his contract with The Cosmos.
The Diplomats finished last season with a 10-16 mark, missing the playoffs after a 14-10 record landed them a playoff berth in 1976. Team dissension included Spavin blasting Carbray for dropping veterans Tony Macken and John Kerr at midfield. That incident is believed to have sealed Spavin's fate as coach.
Bradley is expected to make sweeping changes in the team's personnel and may try and bring some of the younger Cosmos' players, who are not receiving much playing time, to Washington. Bradley was responsible for signing Annandale's Gary Etherington for the Cosmos. Few of last year's Dips are expected to return under Bradley.