For those who don't know him, Gordon Bradley is a Sunderland (UK) native who came to the United States and both played in and coached in the North American Soccer League, afterwards coaching the US Mens' National Team briefly (on one occasion before he was even a US citizen), and going on to coach the George Mason University mens' soccer team for 16 years. He's been a colour commentator at times for DC United. He became a US citizen in 1974. In 1996, he was inducted into the US Soccer Hall of Fame. He's a man of charm, wit, and considerable experience and insight into the game of football.
I'm sad to say that I learned recently that he's been suffering from Alzheimer's and has recently gone into hospice care after developing complications of that disease. He's a bit younger than my dad would have been were he still alive, but I can't help but think of what Dad's illness was like for us and what Mr Bradley's family, friends, and former students and teammates must be feeling now.
Over the years, his observations of the game have made me laugh and made me think. He's a man I greatly admire for his knowledge of the sport, his geniality, his even temper (as evidenced by some of the anecdotes in this piece in today's Post), and his hard work. I'll be making a contribution to the Alzheimer's Association and the Capital Hospice (both linked to in this post from the DC United blog, and I've sent my best wishes and sympathies to his family.