By Simon Evans

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has backed United States coach Bob Bradley to make his mark in European soccer and expressed surprise that the American has not been offered a new deal by his country.

Bradley, who led the United States into the second round of the World Cup finals in South Africa where they lost to Ghana, has been linked with English Premier League club Fulham.

"I think he would do well, I like Bob, I like his approach, I think he has a steely determination about him and he goes into a lot of detail in his coaching," Ferguson told reporters.

Bradley has visited Manchester to study Ferguson's work at close hand and the Scotsman said a switch to a European club might be just what Bradley needed.

"He may want the challenge himself, I think that what he has achieved with the USA has been very good, he is a young man and I don't think there is anything wrong with taking a challenge in Europe or England for that matter," Ferguson said.

"I know he has been linked with Fulham and I don't think it is beyond his boundaries at all, I think he is very capable of taking on a challenge like that."

Ferguson's team lost 2-1 to Kansas City Wizards Sunday and could be without John O'Shea and Darren Fletcher who have niggling injuries for the game against the MLS team which is expected to draw a capacity 71,000 crowd to Reliant Stadium.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; editing by Ed Osmond)