Recently retired LA Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter has moved directly into coaching. But to the surprise of many, it won't be in America.
He was confirmed as the new manager of Hammarby IF in the Swedish second division today -- article from the AP is here, press release from Hammarby's website is here (in Swedish). There's also a video of a press conference that introduced Berhalter to the media; I haven't watched it yet but I imagine that Berhalter's answers are in English unless he has some language skills I haven't heard about.
Hammarby won a Swedish league title in 2001 but slipped down the table over the rest of the decade, culminating in an institutional crisis and a relegation in 2009. They've been midtable in the Superettan (the Swedish 2nd division) over the last two seasons. American soccer fans might remember the club as it was here that Charlie Davies' career took off.
There have been a few US managers who have been linked to European clubs in the past, but they have been people like Bruce Arena or Bob Bradley, and certainly not someone like Berhalter with a year's experience as a manager's assistant. But AEG, who own the LA Galaxy, also have a 49% stake in Hammarby, and former Galaxy player Chris Klein sits on the Hammarby board. So Berhalter was able to make use of the connections between his former club and his new one to obtain his job. Nothing wrong with that, but it's up to him to make the most of an opportunity that probably would not be given to him otherwise.