Gordon Bradley, coach of the Washington Diplomats for the last three seasons, a man whose role was considered crucial to the success of the new Diplomats, will not be associated with the new team.
Yesterday, Bradley told Duncan Hill, general manager of the club that moved here from Detroit two weeks ago, that he was not interested in a position unless he would be involved in the day-to-day operation of the team.
"Since the team has both a general manager and a coach (Ken Furphy), there really isn't a job in the organization that I can justify getting myself involved in," Bradley said. "I just feel that my knowledge of soccer, especially in the North American Soccer League, warrants a position of more authority than what has been offered me.
"I don't have any hard feelings towards Duncan. This was a difficult decision for me to make because I've grown very attached to Washington during the last three years and it will be hard for me to leave."
Hill said he was disappointed by Bradley's decision but understood it.
"If we didn't have a commitment to Ken, Gordon would be the coach. But Ken deserves the chance to coach this team when we finally have some money to get him players because he worked hard to keep it together when we didn't have the money.
"I think Gordon could have been very successful if he had become involved in the community-relations area for us but he didn't want to switch his emphasis at this point in his career. I understand, but I'm very disappointed. I wanted him involved with the club."
Bradley said he plans to take a vacation, and then will contact Madison Square Garden, which is still paying him. Bradley has had several offers to work for other NASL clubs since the old Dips folded last November but opted to remain in Washington to try and put together a group that would field a team here next season.
But three weeks ago, Hill, with the backing of NASL Commissioner Phil Woosnam, put together a whirlwind deal that brought the Detroit Express, on the verge of going under, here for the 1981 season.
"I'm please that there is going to be a soccer team in Washington," Bradley said. "I really wish them all the luck in the world. But I really feel terrible because I was ready to roll up my sleeves and really go to work, if not this year, next year."
During his three years in Washington, Bradley had much to do with the area's rise to soccer prominence. With Johan Cruyff, who was here for only six months, Bradley was the symbol of the old Diplomats, an organization that made giant strides toward full credibility last season.