Report: Bradley on verge of leaving Roma for Toronto FC

Michael Bradley

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

According to one of American soccer’s most prominent soccer pundits, Toronto FC is set to unveil one of the most shocking signings in club history.

While plenty of attention has been heaped on the chase to sign Jermain Defoe, ESPN’s Taylor Twellman said on Wednesday that U.S. Men’s National Team star Michael Bradley could be heading north of the border as well, stating on Twitter that Toronto FC is closing in on signing the AS Roma midfielder.

If true, it would not only mark the return of Bradley to Major League Soccer but would be a huge coup for TFC, which is likely adding Defoe this offseason as well. TFC’s starting lineup next season could include Michael Bradley, Dwayne De Rosario, Gilberto, and Defoe, among others, and would elevate them to playoff contenders immediately.

Nothing official has been announced by either Toronto FC or AS Roma, and it remains unclear whether the deal is a permanent transfer or a loan.

Bradley had been rumored to be leaving Roma this month to find a club that could guarantee more playing time ahead of the 2014 World Cup, where Bradley is a sure starter for the USMNT. Roma also just signed midfielder Radja Nainggolan, which gives the Italian club at least five options in central midfield.

In his second season at Roma, Bradley has scored once in 11 games, with only five starts. Bradley missed nearly two months of action after suffering an ankle sprain on international duty with the USMNT.

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What do you think of these developments? Stunned to see Bradley move to TFC? Do you believe that it’s the right move for Bradley? Would you rather see him move to England?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, MLS Transfer News, MLS- Toronto FC. Bookmark the permalink.

527 Responses to Report: Bradley on verge of leaving Roma for Toronto FC

  1. Peter says:

    Leaving Roma for TFC?

    • Stir Crazy says:

      Hahahahahaha

      WTF??

      What a compete disaster this is.

      • George Friday says:

        No less than your spelling, sir!

        • Stir Crazy says:

          Right.

          Why do the morons always point to spelling? ALWEEZ

        • Good Friday? says:

          People who point out spelling errors wet the bed.

          • No says:

            People who point out spelling errors pay attention to detail, gain the trust of the people they converse with, and probably think better thoughts.

            • Stir Crazy says:

              What?

              Lol, “gain the trust”

              Stfu

              • No says:

                You stink. Stir crazy? Lol stfua.

              • Stir Crazy says:

                Gene wilder, Richard Pryor film. Based on how sophomoric you sound, the 16 yr old you are probably know anything about that.

                “I stink”, “gain trust (lol, on an anonymous commenting section?) and people “think better thoughts”. HA! Spelling is one thing, but your grammar, I mean really. And what does that even mean? The ppl will trust me if I spell correctly and in turn think better thoughts. ROLF

              • THomas says:

                get a room you two

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        He wants to play and the rumor is he was being squeezed out at Roma. In theory he could have slid over to a EPL or like team and had a decent chance of PT, but joining a team mid-season is a diceroll where TFC in preseason is a virtual guarantee.

        I’m also a little befuddled that the league that helped create him is insufficient for a holding pattern period. If he managed to get out of here once he can escape again. Look at Dempsey.

        • The Dude says:

          I love this move. MLS fans are full of contradictions: Make the league better! Americans should play in Europe! Well, you can’t have it both ways, and if this league is to improve, we need Americans playing in MLS. The fact is that Bradley, Dempsey, Donovan, Gonzo, EJ, and others wouldn’t be playing here if they didn’t think it was a quality league. So let’s applaud this move (if it, indeed, happens). MLS fans need to stop being so self-hating and accept the fact that this is a desirable, quality league.

          • james says:

            Unfortunately, the MLS does not have the higher caliber players that other leagues (primarily in Europe) have. Going into the world cup, wouldn’t you want your best players playing against upper echelon talent? If Bradley does in fact go to TFC, he will spend the months leading up to Brazil playing against lower level talent that will not result in an elevation in his game. Now, don’t take this as a knock against the MLS. I applaud TFC and the MLS for continuing to push for more ambitious signings. Through adding bigger and better talent to the league, MLS will continue to grow into a stronger league. Selfishly speaking though (US national team supporter here) I would like Bradley to move to an BPL or German team.

            • DGH says:

              Don’t know how I feel about this move, BUT the 2002 squad, which arguably was our best team, was made up of primarily MLS players…they didn’t seem fazed by the “upper-level” talent they played against.

              • The Imperative Voice says:

                As long as your players are healthy and not playing in the Scottish Third Division, I am a big backer of playing time. I see the historical benefit of MLS as providing a quality first division for our senior players. That helps raise the senior team, to a point, because players don’t have to be content sitting a bench in Europe to play in a decent league and draw a decent paycheck, which was the reality at the time of the A League. It has elevated us into a competitive international place where we used to be happy to be there.

                I think MLS stinks at youth development (the US age groups’ decline into the toilet parallels the shift from colleges + Bradenton — where players are valued on their own terms — to the MLS academies + reserves — where your value is only whether you can displace someone incumbent to the first team), and you can debate whether certain players can do better, whether the senior program might improve incrementally if more went abroad, but I think the baseline value of MLS is obvious historically.

              • sony says:

                DGH you don’t understand soccer.

            • Ross says:

              If he moves to an EPL or Bl team mid season it’s going to be hard for him to get regular playing time. That’s what he needs leading up to the WC.

              • DGH says:

                Oh really Sonny. You have no idea who I am or what I know about the game, so unless you have a meaningful comment and not just pathetic attempts at insults, then STFU. If you would like to contribute to the conversation, I would love to hear why my comment is so outlandish to you and your self inflated soccer-ego.

          • Joe says:

            I get what you’re saying here but the 6 months running up to the World Cup are so important. If true, he would be playing half of his games on turf against players that aren’t good enough. We all know that the MLS is not on the same level as Italy. Surely he could go to another club in Europe. This move just doesn’t make any sense. Look what happened to Dempsey when he came back. He didn’t accomplish anything in Seattle. He just faded away and jumped at the first chance to get back to Europe. He belongs in England and never should have left. Bradley will quickly feel the same way.

            • Weston John says:

              I was critical of Dempsey’s form when he came back to MLS at the end of last season, but I guarantee that Dempsey will be a different player this year in MLS after some rest and after assimilating to the new team and league.

            • TFCfan says:

              Turf? There’s four turf fields left in the league, New England + the Cascadia teams (Vancouver/Portland/Seattle). BMO hasn’t had turf since 2009.

              • MLSsnob says:

                But it does look like a glorified high school football stadium. Wish he was going to Red Bull Arena or even RioTino.

      • JoeW says:

        What a smart move this is by Bradley. Not so sure it’s a smart move by TFC.

        Bradley wants PT, game fitness and game sharpness. Some Euro-boys get all hot and bothered that Bradley is on Roma, or that Altidore is in the Premiership…irrelevant if they’re starting or if they getting a chance to build confidence and get in a groove. Altidore probably would have been better off for the WC staying in Holland. Bradley isn’t going to get major PT with Roma so a move makes sense. At TFC he’ll start.

        Now…for TFC, they acquire a guy who is going to miss a big chunk of the season. I would think he’d automatically be added to the January NT camp. And then he’ll probably seek to go overseas in a year after the WC.

    • Ian says:

      I highly doubt it, but here’s something to think about:

      Consider a scenario where every MLS team utilized all three of its DP slots, with at least one slots going to an American. Better yet, every team is given a 4th DP slot specifically for an American. What are the odds that a mass exodus (or whatever the opposite word is… a returnodus) of Yanks abroad could lead to a sudden and abrupt acceleration in the league’s quality?

      Everyone always talks about the catch-22 that is MLS: Without money, Euro-quality Americans won’t stay in the league. Without TV viewership, there’s no money. Without marquee players, there’s no TV viewership, and so on. Well, if every team actually used the resourced granted to it (3 DP slots, maybe a 4th), and incentivized USMNT players to return with big paydays, we could indeed see a sudden and abrupt increase in quality, which would, in theory, lead to more casual interest and TV viewership, and thus a positive feedback loop begins.

      Pie in the sky thinking: That’s what I do on my lunch break.

      • dan says:

        having an american/canadian dp slot for 4th is the key to all this but don doesn’t seem interested.

        the bigger question is does this hurt the quality of the us national team? bradley playing against the best in the world definitely helps his growth, being the best in the league does not. He might be at his peak and it’s time for him to teach rather than learn though but the prime phase of a talent learning, they should be in the best league possible

        • Ian says:

          Oh, there is no doubt in my mind that playing in MLS would dull Bradley, as I think it may dull Dempsey. Iron sharpens iron, as they say. If they’re playing against a bunch of low-quality dudes, of course they’re not improving, and they may be regressing. I suppose my scenario would be best played out AFTER 2014.

        • CG says:

          Yes, playing against the best in the world would help most people’s growth, but you actually have to be playing in order for that to work.

        • Northzax says:

          A designated us/canada slot would be a violation of us law. It is illegal to discriminate (pay-wise) between a us citizen and (for instance) a green card holder, and it is just as illegal to discriminate between a Canadian and a Mexican (which is why Canadians don’t count as domestics on US teams, while US players count for Canadian teams.)

          You can limit the number of non-us slots (obviously) but you cannot have a pay differential. A us-dp slot therefore would be impossible.

      • Todd T. says:

        I will say on the surface and for MLS this would make sense. The problem is that player development would be the trade off. Yes, I believe that many Americans go over seas for the money but it also affords them better coaching and a soccer culture that we simply do not have yet.
        I might suggest an amendment to your wishful thinking.

        How about MLS and US soccer set aside DP slots for managers/coaches. Hire the best managers for every team to train and teach the skills necessary to make better players. Half of their assistants would be american trainees. Sort of an apprentice program for coaching.

        Until then send our boys over there.

        • Ian says:

          I like that idea, but it seems money talks more for players than for coaches. Don’t get me wrong, Pep, Jose, Arsene, and all the big dudes are pulling in multiple millions at their clubs, but I think they do it more for the competition than the money. I think it would be very hard to woo a Mourinho-quality coach to MLS, no matter how much we pay him (within reason). I guess coaching is the next frontier in our league.

      • tony and cupcake says:

        Do Germericans count?

    • blokhin says:

      Is there is a worse way for a USMNT key player to leave a Champions League level squad for MLS, yet also manage to play over half of his games in another country and for a poorly run MLS squad?

      one side-note question to the JK boot-lickers:

      how does this move+Demspey to Sounders+LD staying in MLS impact how you view JK’s influence over the USMNT squad and his very clear directive to go abroad and fight and challenge for a place in a top caliber league?

      • Ian says:

        Seems to me JK has taken much more interest in developing young players than coddling established ones.

      • Jay says:

        Why would JK have any influence on where American players decide to play for their club career?

        He shouldn’t, it’s really none of his business.

    • USMNT Fan says:

      Bob Bradley would be disappointed.

      • Matt C says:

        Isn’t there a team in Norway where he could play instead. And guarantee himself 90 minutes.

    • Kevin_H says:

      Somebody QUICK tell Jurgen, so he can call up Bradley and set his priorities straight. Or at least to line up Bradley’s priorities with mine.

    • scott47a says:

      I came to this thread just to watch the explosion of heads among the “country before club” people.

    • Dennis says:

      I think there are two ways to feel pressure to improve, one is to be on a team where you must improve just to get on the field on game day (ROMA), the second is to be on a team where you are the one who must take the responsibility to perform well in order that the team succeed (TFC). I do not know which is better, but the second is more like his role as a leader for the USMNT than ROMA where his role is to support the players around him, not to lead them.

      • LeaveAReplyCancelreply says:

        and would elevate them to playoff contenders immediately….if they have the right coach. Its a great lineup where Bradley could really shine, however, the key is the coach

    • JayAre says:

      We need him in MLS badly if we want to get to the next level. Look at all the European Leagues, in the top 4 leagues England, Germany, Spain & Italy. The national team players hold most of the records in those leagues and we need our soccer stars to do the same here!!

    • Vince says:

      Stop judging. If someone offered to (at minimum) triple your take home pay, and guarantee it for the next 5.5 years, you’d take the deal. I would, too. Keep in mind MB4 has a young and growing family, and his career field’s earning power will only decrease from here on out, and this is a very sensible adult decision.

      Grant Wahl reports MB4 gets about 1.1mil (US; net) at Roma, for the next 1.5 years. TFC is offering around 5mil+ (US; gross) for the next 5.5 years. Do the math. Even after taxes, that will come to around 18mil+ take home pay until he is 31.

      I’ll not judge an athlete for securing his family and financial future. Take the deal, MB4.

      • Dennis says:

        Michael, from that perspective, take the money and after the WC, if you shine, use that as the starting figure in negotiations for a move elsewhere.

  2. KJ says:

    Lalas confirms as well. Or this is a very well orchestrated prank and they have lost any credibility they had. link to twitter.com

    • SilverRey says:

      At this point there is no difference between Twellman & Lalas. I don’t think there are many places that one goes where the other doesn’t.

      I’m still waiting for a real second source… (and really hoping it’s not true!)

      I’d rather have him come back to MLS after the World Cup.

  3. Spectra says:

    Excuse Me?? If he comes back for significant money it might be a turning point for MLS. They made a big statement with paying Dempsey while he still has a lot left but with Bradley they may be buying several peak years. I’m shocked

    • Rory Miller says:

      Dempsey had already climbed as high as he could on the world stage, but Bradley still has some rungs left on the ladder (not a dis to Roma, he just isn’t a star at Roma and being a star at a mid-table EPL team would be a step up than a fairly significant role player at Roma).

  4. Matt says:

    No. No. Just, no.
    It’s one thing for Dempsey, who had reached his peak and was arcing down, but Bradley is still rising in his career.
    It’s not like his WC hopes are in jeopardy if he doesn’t get more PT.
    I just don’t get it.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Dempsey was arcing down in his career a year after signing with Tottenham. LOL.

      • Matt says:

        Dempsey is 31…players rarely get better in their 30s. He had reached the highest he’d ever get at Tottenham.

    • Chad says:

      Agreed…just keep thinking wtf

    • DCLee says:

      Yes. Yes. Just Yes.
      If this is true and Bradley comes back it will not harm his development. He started it in MLS in case you forgot.
      Donovan has done fine and developed and has arguably been the best players for the USMNT at the last 3 world cups while in MLS.
      So relax and let these guys make the decisions they want.
      MB is a damn good player and will still improve in MLS so if he wants to get a bump in pay while taking on a new challenge then I think it is great for the league and him. It will not hurt our national team either as LD hasn’t by playing 95% of his career in the league!
      Not to mention that he will still get to challenge himself against quality player in MLS while challenging himself against the world’s best on the international stage.

      • RP says:

        LD would more likely than not have been better if he toiled in Europe the whole time.

        Dempsey’s form since heading to Seattle is another indicator.

        I would rather Bradley went to Stoke.

        • DCLee says:

          You mean Dempsey’s form coming from Tottenham, being injured and a summer off. Lets see if Dempsey is killing it then MLS is to weak for him but because he struggled after the move it is still the leagues fault. OK. I get it(insert sarcasm).

          and keeping talking about LD but he is one of the best players we have ever produced, has always been an outstanding national team performer no matter the competition and guess what. He did that while playing his career in MLS.

  5. Dinho says:

    Please say this is not true!

  6. dude says:

    I’m trying to think of a transfer that would be worse for a World Cup year. Nothing comes to mind.

  7. Jay says:

    If this is a short term loan, it makes sense. A full transfer however, does not.

  8. Onoda says:

    I don’t like this. He’s arguably our best player and should stay in Europe imo.

  9. GJJ says:

    Agree with everyone on here who thinks this stinks to high heaven.

  10. HIllbillyCharm says:

    OMG… I think I just threw up in my mouth…

    Say It Ain’t So!

  11. marlon says:

    NO NO NO. NOT YET. go save sunderland if anything

    • Joe Timbres says:

      Effin A Cotton, effin A. What a perfect opportunity to rectify Jozy and aid us in a WC year with the build up and repeitition day in and day out between our top striker and mid. Do it Poyet

  12. Kevin says:

    Why. Whywhywhywhywhy

  13. Todd Marsch says:

    That would be crazy, if true. I’m no euro-snob, but I’d much rather Bradley stay at Roma. While they’ve cooled off a little lately, they still look good for a UCL spot next season. We all would like Bradley to get more starts, but there’s no shame being the 1st midfield option off the bench for a team of that caliber, and he’s still getting pretty regular minutes.

    Also, his play has improved so much during his time in Italy, and you get the feeling he can still improve. Dempsey coming back to MLS is one thing, since he’s pretty much a finished product, but I don’t think Bradley will grow into the best player he could be in MLS.

  14. Jahinho_Guerro says:

    Finally the club “seems” like were going in the right direction.

    The fans deserve this!

    • Joe Timbres says:

      No, the Timbers do!;-) Toronto deserves to not be a dumpster fire for Euro retreads.

    • dude says:

      Deserve Michael Bradley? Deserve an underperforming midfield orchestrator in the group of death in Brazil? Why? Because you’ve underperformed in MLS, due to mismanagement? Yeah, take a bow.

    • mack says:

      I agree. I hate this transfer for the usmnt but love it for mls. I’m an skc fan and we don’t exactly go out and bring in stars but if these other clubs are able to develop the support we have through these huge transfers then so be it. During a world cup year fans will now get to see atleast 7 different teams with players from one of 3 different concacaf world cup teams. Its great for the long run and I don’t see it affecting Bradley in 2014 near as much as it will in 2018 but mls could be a much better league by then

  15. IgnerAnt says:

    Nononononononononononononononoooooooo

    C’mon, really? REALLY????

  16. Jon says:

    Leiweke for Prime Minister!

  17. nick says:

    jesus, you have to be kidding me….

    and we were all killing the potential sunderland move….sunderland looks like barcelona compared to this.

  18. Chris says:

    Yeah, I don’t get this move on Bradley’s end. For me it’s not so much that he’s coming back to MLS, but that he’s going to the most historically underachieving club in the league. RBNY, the Galaxy (barf) heck even DCU would make more sense. I guess TFC’s FO is really trying to get it going up there… Good for them?

  19. Aaron in SF says:

    Not good in a WC year…

  20. Sam says:

    OH GOD NO.

  21. biff says:

    This is total BS. I do not believe it. Either a bad joke or Bradley’s agent using the rumor to drive up his MB’s price for a move to Germany or England. A move to Toronoto or any other MLS team ain’t gonna happen.

  22. LBC203 says:

    MLS should be building up new American talent as a prep to get the best domestic nationals overseas in better leagues and thus, be better suited for international play with the USMNT . . . not ruining our established USMNT veterans like C. Dempsey as well as (rumored) J. Jones. and M. Bradley!!!!! They may get more playing time over here, but the level of play is mush poorer in the MLS and it’ll diminish their abilities to compete on a higher level like with the USMNT.

    • cps says:

      “…the level of play is mush poorer in the MLS.” Ok, well won’t these signings serve to improve the level of play in MLS? Are you afraid that when MLS becomes a better league you won’t have anything left to complain about?

      • LBC203 says:

        Their contribution to MLS in terms of play will be greatly diffused by the crap of players around them — I know you mention a handful of players that are actually decent — but . . . just look at Dempsey . . . he has not improved Seattle’s game. He just looks like a very frustrated man with his game being diminished to a flop and glare aside from a little showboating, a goal, and an assist!

      • RSLfan says:

        +1,000,000

      • dude says:

        Signed-

        People who don’t give a #$%^ that this is a World Cup year, and that we’re in the group of death.

        ps. They couldn’t have POSSIbly come a year or two later! Oh, wait…

      • Yevgeniy says:

        +1,000

      • Hogatroge says:

        The time to improve the quality of MLS at the expense of a USMNT player’s personal quality is,

        A) NOT in a WC year

        B) NOT when that player is only just now entering his prime.

    • RP says:

      Agreed. What’s the standard for when Dutch or French players return?

  23. AcidBurn says:

    As we all know…any player that goes to Toronto FC immediately becomes cr@p. Please, for the sake of the USMNT, say it isn’t so.

  24. the special one says:

    TFC! TFC! TFC!

  25. SBI TroII says:

    Noooooooo!!!!

  26. Christian says:

    I think Bradley coming back to TFC is good for MLS, but personally, I would like to see him go somewhere like Sunderland, Swansea, or a mid-tier English team where he can get minutes and play against some top players from around the world for the remainder of the season. Then come back to MLS after the World Cup. Just my opinion though.

    • BS says:

      Definitely agree, maybe he is coming to Toronto after the world cup but staying in Europe for the rest of this season? Regardless this is crazy.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Everyone keeps mentioning Sunderland, do they have even close to that kind of money ?

      • Yomen says:

        They will if Fletcher leaves like it sounds like he will soon.

      • dude says:

        Seltzer seems to think that Sunderland offered an equivalent offer earlier. Yeah.

      • Christian says:

        I don’t know anything about their money situation, but I said Sunderland because I think they’re a club who need help in the midfield. I like the way Ki Sung-Yueng has been playing, but he’s been more of a defensive midfielder for Sunderland so I think Bradley in front of him would allow Bradley to make his trademark runs up the field and find Altidore. It would also be fun to watch two starting USMNT players start for the same club in Europe and see what they can do together.

  27. AcidBurn says:

    I can’t believe Bradley is coming back to MLS because he is threatened by Radja Nainggolan. Unbelievable.

  28. jgnc says:

    Why is everyone so upset about this? To me, it is a sign that MLS is past the tipping point. MLS is trying to become a top league. If that is going to happen, it is going to entail relatively big time players coming to the league. I love this.

    • Joe Timbres says:

      Because MB is going to Toronto, and historically it is a collection of donkeys.

    • dude says:

      no its not…. the tipping point is when they can convince a top european player of bradleys age to make this move. Till then bringing back american players we sold for profit and buying back at a loss is uterly stupid.

      • Mike in Missouri says:

        dude, every league focuses on their domestic talent first. Signing and keeping our best domestic talent in their prime is a step we have to take before we sign European players in their prime.

      • dude1 says:

        God, I need to change my user name.

        This dude is not me, the other ones are.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Ditto.

    • BS says:

      Definitely agree, if they really want to become a top tier league in the next decade then they have to make big signings, no doubt about it.

    • Weston John says:

      I agree with this ^

      Want to be a great league? Keep (or re-acquire) your top domestic talent. Attract top shelf international players. Get some of the fans who are more interested in Europe to take another look at MLS.

      Love it.

    • Javier says:

      Guys that need to move back are Edu, Parkhurst, Lletget, etc. Guys that are rotting on the bench. Our 2-3 best player needs to be playing against the best for potentially a UCL team. Bradley can still get paid in Europe, a move to MLS makes no sense for him, much less Toronto.

    • Beto says:

      True that! The only reason why ligaMX and El Tri are good is because they follow this method. I really hope the short term impact on the national team isnt negative as this will certainly make the league that much better

      I remember saying a few years ago that MLS could become a top league overnight if all of the Americans/Canadians returned… I guess i just expected the b-list types like Edu or Kljestan to return before Dempsey and Bradley…

    • Nate says:

      Because MB is arguably the US’ best player, in his mid-20s, and he’s leaving a top league for a much much worse league. Like if your kid came home after a year at Harvard and said he was transferring to the local community college. It’s a waste of his talents. (And disclosure: I’m a fan of MLS. But I’m under no delusions that it’s anywhere near the top tier leagues in England, Spain, Italy, etc.)

  29. tommy says:

    Such great news for Toronto. It’s a great city with great fans and they never deserved to suck as hard as they have.

    Horrible news for Bradley. He has too much left in the tank to squander it like this.
    He should be competing for, and winning,a spot in a champions league club
    He needs to be constantly challenged to keep improving. Steel sharpens steel.

    (yeah. I’m looking at you, clint)

  30. ABC says:

    I don’t get this move. It’s not like he’s a player just sitting on the bench all season, he actually gets to play on a consistent basis. Him being challenged at the highest level of Italian soccer is probably more good than starting every game at MLS level – especially during their offseason heading into the World Cup selection. This doesn’t make any sense.

  31. Mueller says:

    Love it. MLS is growing. People are going to have to deal with it.

  32. cps says:

    I like it. Hopefully a 6 month loan, he plays a ton of games (that I get to watch on TV), stays fresh for the WC, impresses at the WC, and transfers to a top team somewhere. Even if he stays in MLS I’d be ok with it. We want top talent in our league, correct? We should be celebrating the signing of highly-regarded, proven players. They attract other great players and allowing the level of play in MLS to continue to improve.

  33. Mike says:

    I thought Bradley was the poster boy for the new type of Italian league midfielder. I’m not one to make accusations but Americans seem to never get a truthful shot in Europe.

    • Weston John says:

      You gotta admit that Pjanic and Strootman are fantastic players. Tough to say that MB didn’t get a fair shake when you have that type of quality in front of him on the depth chart. That is not even to mention DeRossi who is kind of a living legend in Italy.

  34. Sean says:

    I, personally, think MB is too smart for this. Unless Toronto are offering an amount of money that’s obscene, I don’t see what he can gain at his age. The league still has a salary cap that prevents real advancement in overall quality of play. I could see TFC trying to sell him on becoming LD2.0 for MLS but I don’t think he’d buy that considering he’ll have a hard time being as impactful or achieving the same stats.

    Besides MB belongs in NY.

    • ATX_Colin says:

      If this is true, then MB90 is taking the easy way out, which doesnt seem to fit his character. Im not buying the sell of this is good for the MLS, and its def not good for the USMNT.

      It would be a cope out for him to go to TFC at this point in his career. Donovan 2.0 indeed, in the since he will be running away from Europe. Dont Run away MB90.

    • RP says:

      Good point re NY. If he was a big signing for the start of NYCity. Then I’d buy this.
      As it is, WC year and going to Toronto, I don’t see the upside. Frustration on the field is what I see. And a lack of sharpness this summer.

  35. Dan in New York says:

    In general, this stinks. But from a practical standpoint, what’s Bradley going to do in the interim? MLS season doesn’t start till March.

  36. Mike in Missouri says:

    MLS signs only older established veterans–MLS is a retirement home.

    MLS signs outstanding players still in their prime–MLS will ruin them.

    Which one is it?

  37. Maykol says:

    He’s gonna give up a shot at champions league football for mls?????? Go home Bradley you are drunk

  38. BS says:

    Is it me or should everyone just take a step back and relax a second…

    Its not the end of the world if players come back to MLS, if Americans can now come back home and get paid more power to em. Obviously the level in MLS is lower than Champions League football but its drastically better than where it was even 5 years ago.

    For what its worth though, this totally doesn’t make any sense.

  39. John says:

    First off are people in Toronto really going to care about Bradley? Of coarse I think he’d sell tickets anywhere in the states but do Canadians care about him?

    • MLSfan says:

      This was my first thought… and I’m from Toronto, too!
      Any casual soccer fan in Toronto likely doesn’t know him.
      Any MLS soccer fan in Toronto definitely knows him.

      I’m still happy to take a Serie A player on the team, though.

    • junction jim says:

      This is league where TFC isn’t a draw when away, the league needs fans in the seats for every game and he will be a draw outside Toronto.

  40. iggy says:

    So he wont sign for the crappiest team in the EPL, but will for one of the crapiest in MLS?

    I hope it aint so

    • AcidBurn says:

      I would say, given that Toronto FC has never made the playoffs in seven years, that it is the crappiest team in MLS.

      Seriously, he wouldn’t accept Sunderland (and playing with Jozy) 6 months ago but now he will go play with the worst team in a league 3-4 tiers below?

    • Beto says:

      Sunderland would have a difficult time making the MLS playoffs. The gap isnt as big as you think

      • RP says:

        Sunderland would win MLS cup.

        How many SKC + RSL players would start for Sunderland? – Cause if they could, they’d be in Europe somewhere already getting paid at least double what they are.

        • Alexandria says:

          Ha, ha ,ha this is the funniest comment. Sporting KC would wipe the floor with sunderland. Thanks for the laugh.

      • SBI TroII says:

        Don’t believe everything you think.

  41. Indigo Montoya says:

    As long as he’s healthy and plays well, he’ll probably just bounce after the WC.

  42. quozzel says:

    Seriously…why not? It hasn’t hurt Robbie Keane or Landon Donovan any to play for MLS. They make loads of cash, they still play – and produce – for their respective national teams, and they play every second for their clubs that they’re physically capable of playing.

    Michael Bradley hasn’t gotten his due in Europe. That’s a simple fact. He’s produced every time he’s on the field for Roma…but they pay him, I think, about a half a million dollars, and now he’s barely playing…and they’re still buying more midfielders on top of that.

    In contrast he can probably sign a DP deal for Toronto that pays him more than even Clint Dempsey was making, get a striker in Defoe who can still bury the rock when he gets service, and now he too will get to play every second he wants to.

    This signifies serious intent on the part of both MLS and Toronto, and it brings one of our true “World Class” players back home. It certainly elevates TFC enormously…and it puts another major face – and major Name – on what is still largely a faceless collection of MLS players, as far as the casual soccer fan is concerned.

    Ultimately, America will be taken seriously as a soccer nation when the quality of MLS rises until it’s the equal of the European leagues.

    Signing Dempsey and Bradley is a huge, huge step in that direction. Wouldn’t shock me a bit if the next guy into MLS is Jermaine Jones, either.

    • KTC says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Grow the league by having the best players possible.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Preach it brother ! Amen.

      Waiting for Jermaine Jones. The owner of the Sounders called out the rest of the league when he signed Dempsey, said it in words…and action.

    • BS says:

      I definitely agree, and in all honesty if MLS clubs are going to start paying up now for Americans, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see others also coming home in the next few years as well.

    • Upgrade says:

      I don’t like how everyone looks at Europe as the standard for soccer excellence. After all, some of the world’s most gifted soccer players have come from South American nations.

      Indeed, M.L.S. needs all the “World Class” players they can get. This league needs to first dominant their own regional tournaments to gain worldwide respect, in addition to the USMNT performing well at World,Gold and Confederations Cups.

      • RP says:

        The best South American players go to Europe as soon as possible.

        This is like having the town’s best players staying and playing in house, rather than going to the select or Academy set ups.

        • Ali Dia says:

          They go as early as possible because the countries are extremely poor. Not to contradict your point, but it is not simply about the quality of the soccer in the case of South Americans but also more money. MLS can now pay competitive salaries for top talent. They might not be as rich, but the gap has closed considerably and continues to do so.

        • Zac says:

          That is actually becoming less the case with Brazil because they are having a large boon in their economy and some of their bigger talents, among others, are going back home. If MLS can begin to afford the talent and increase the league, more power to them! However, I do agree with those that have said they would rather he be on home soil if he indeed does return to MLS.

    • Rey Pygsterio says:

      Time to start watching MLS, Euro snobs. It is there.

    • iggy says:

      Why not, becuase LD and RK were already as good as they were ever going to get when fully committing to MLS in the last 2 years.

      MB could still improve quite a bit through playing and competing with a whole other caliper of player.

  43. Upgrade says:

    If he is in fact returning to Major League Soccer I would have preferred him going to another team. However, Toronto F.C. will be a much better team if they can get all their new and current players on the same page for this upcoming season.

  44. KTC says:

    Having the nations best players playing here in America is key for gaining reginition around the world. When our best players want to leave our league as soon as possible, why would good players from other countries want to come to MLS? Everyone wants our players to jump overseas to get better. Why not try grow MLS into one of the top 5 leagues in the world? Great move for MLS if it happens. Dempsey already back, Jonest possibly next. At this point call up Jozy to get his confidence back on track.

    • John says:

      I agree the biggest thing holding back MLS is its preception, and where it’s quality really is. MLS also has very few oppurtunities to prove where it is. To me it appears MLS knows this and is willing to push in alot of chips behind the US national team. Could be risky but could also really pay off.

  45. cps says:

    Serious question: Is there another country that doesn’t want their domestic league to become better and more exciting? Or is this a uniquely American phenomenon?

    • KJ says:

      It has nothing to do with that. We just want our national team players to play in the best leagues in the world. MLS is not at that point right now. Is that such a problem?

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      American whiners only. There is no way other countries are this insecure.

    • RSLfan says:

      Hilarious…

    • wood chip zip says:

      I just dont want Bradley at Toronto. And isn’t DC United first in the allocation order? Did they get a shot at him?

    • Yevgeniy says:

      That’s very true. It’s only an American phenomenon

    • Ali Dia says:

      I like your question because there are moments when this actually feels true. But in this case, your question is unfair. For example, I’m sure people in the Ivory Coast would love to be able to see Drogba play in their domestic league (I assume they have one). But they know it’s better for their national team’s chances that he (and pretty much every other Ivorian NT player) play at the highest level, which means going to Europe.

      I think the problem here is that MLS (unlike the Ivory Coast example) is actually on a path where it is signing bigger and bigger players, ever closer to the prime of their careers. What used to be a 39 year old Lothar Mattaus became a 32 year old David Beckham and most recently a 31 year old Clint Dempsey. There are now many examples of players who played in the UEFA Champions League who are now active contributors in MLS.

      But bringing our most indispensable player back now, as he enters his prime and is playing for a top side in a top European league… for some it definitely feels a little bit “too soon”. Lump that in with the fact that MLS is not in season, Toronto is in Canada, and TFC has been historically awful…. it’s easy to see how this could be uncomfortable in the run-up to a World Cup where Bradley will be our most valuable asset.

      Personally, it’s a little early for me. And I’d be more excited if it was to an American team with a better track record and personnel in place. But it might not be a total disaster. And it is good for the league in the long-run.

      • cps says:

        Thank you for the thoughtful response. I think the real question is whether MB is better prepared for the WC by playing regularly in MLS or by playing limited to zero minutes with Roma. Has playing in LA made Donovan less valuable to the USMNT? Will MB playing in MLS versus seeing limited minutes with Roma diminish the USMNT’s chances of winning WC matches? I don’t think it does. So if it’s good for MLS and IMO not at all detrimental to our WC chances, I’m all for it.

  46. Rocco says:

    cdn1.sbnation.com/assets/3813633/michael-scott-no.gif

  47. Ryan nanez says:

    Last time we did well in the World Cup the majority of our players played in MLS…. Just saying. I’m trying to stay optimistic because I think this would be the worst move ever.

  48. Sharkbait says:

    A whole lot of thoughts running through my head right now. Personally I hope this doesn’t happen. I have about 6 different trains of thought right now and I don’t even have a clue where to start. It’ll be absolutely mind boggling if it happens.

  49. Don Julio says:

    Just like Dempsey, he wanted to play champions league…..CONCACAF champions league

  50. Rey Pygsterio says:

    You Euro snobs must be having a really hard time dealing with this.

  51. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    1. Funnier than heck. Now that Dempsey is way past his prime. LD never left. Bradley was the one guy everyone loved as their number one. He is now past his prime I guess.

    2. MLS just got even more interesting. Am I the only one going to games to watch these guys play ? If so you guys are id iots. I can’t wait for this to happen and to see him play. March 15th !!!

    3. JJ next ? yup. Altidore has to be thinking of leaving. How many games has he won this year, 3, 4 ? That has to be brutal, week in and week out.

    • AcidBurn says:

      No kidding about watching these guys play in MLS. Soon SBI will need to have a “USMNT in MLS: Weekend Rewind” section each Monday.

    • ATX_Colin says:

      going the MLS is the easy way out, period.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        Keep avoid it then. Don’t go the easy way out.

        I will be watching Dempsey/Evans/Yedlin beat Zusi and Bradley in March.
        I can hardly wait. MLS is easy. The only thing hard about watching that will be the wait…so I guess you are right.

        • ATX_Colin says:

          I am right, and the fact that you want him to go to the MLS just so you can watch him proves my point. Me I would rather see him grow as a player and in turn help the USMNT, going to TFC so he gets paid and coddled by adoring fans will not accomplish that, but at least you will be happy.

        • Mr. Bojangles says:

          You have the best name on this board.

          WHY ISN’T IT IN ALL CAPS?

  52. Rey Pygsterio says:

    As soon as the money is there, every soccer player in the world is going to want to play in MLS. The question is when will the money be there. NYC FC could be the biggest club in the world if not for the salary restrictions.

  53. Mike R says:

    Dumbest move ever

  54. Amuse says:

    For the people saying no, think about this. Ld is one of the best usmnt players of all time, and guess what, he didn’t play in Europe. The fact is Europe has become a place for players with a lot of potential to go and never use it, never play, and be treated like a second class player. It is better for him to come back before the World Cup and get real playing time. Mls players have been showing strong for the usmnt. It’s because they are all starters on their teams. I wish Portland would figure it the fuck out and spend some money and get some world class stars. We get passed up for Dempsey and now Bradley, we have no usmnt players. It does not even feel like a American team. It would be nice to have a timbers star to watch in the World Cup. Instead we have chara and Valeri as DP’S. Valeri is awesome and chara is great as well but are they dp quality stars. No. Maybe Valeri and chara is great as a dm but never scores for us. We need a player like Bradley who can create from the middle and score. I love our team but we should have at least two more world class dp players on the timbers. Instead they are bringing in gaston Fernandez to fill our third dp spot. He has not proved anything and in a second rate league. He is not even a top scorer and never plays and is injury prone. He is old and I am sorry not worth the money. Portland with all it’s awesome fans and best home crowd in Mls deserves better than gaston. The city and fans deserve greatness. Greatness is not a all-star game vs bayern Munich. Greatness is having the best damn team in Mls and winning trophies. Portland sells out every game and half of the other teams in the legue can’t give away tickets. Where the fuck are they spending the money. Not on game changing, top flight players, so mad right now

    • Ghost of JOB says:

      Nice rant, but sheesh, don’t sell yourself short…

      “We get passed up for Dempsey and now Bradley, we have no usmnt players”

      Last I checked, you had Michael Harrington!

  55. Cylo says:

    Wow this sucks. His our biggest player playing for a big club and his going to sign to the MLS. Geez it gets worst for team USA

  56. AcidBurn says:

    Reality here…Toronto FC already has 2 DPs (Laba and Gilberto) and assuming they sign Defoe would be the 3rd. Not enough DP slots for Bradley.

    • Jack says:

      I heard rumors that Laba is either on his way out or will renegotiate his contract so he is no longer DP status.

    • KTC says:

      This is MLS, where the rules are made up as they go. They will make it work if all works out.

    • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

      The preceding comment by AcidBurn was not nearly silly enough for the month of January. I DEMAND that it be removed immediately! I am outraged!

  57. AC says:

    Is it April 1st already?!?!….Obviously a great coup for MLS if it is true. Just never, ever, ever, ever, ever saw this coming

  58. A.S.A says:

    Okay I don’t want this to happen and I don’t think it will. But the fact that this is even a discussion shows and proves that MLS has a huge future. Now if this guy wasn’t American and had the same pedigree has Micheal Bradley we’d all be all clapping for the MLS saying it has finally almost arrived. Getting a respected young midfielder that plays for a top club and would start for his country in the world cup would be deemed as a turning point for the MLS but since he’s American the whole thing changes.

    • tim says:

      Yeah the whole thing is different since he’s an American. He’s coming to MLS for playing time, not because it’s the best competition he can find.

      If our MNT is going to do well, they have to be playing the best, not just shaking off the rust.

    • Upgrade says:

      As long as Major League Soccer plays their cards right the sky is the limit. Being the premier United States based soccer league (and Canada) they have the tools, in the future, to rival some of the strongest leagues around the world.

  59. MLSsnob says:

    …what Ives just said hasn’t sunk in yet…give it some time…

  60. AC says:

    Funny how so many are bashing MLS even though Gonzalez, Besler, Rimando, Evans, Zusi, Donovan, etc, etc, etc play in MLS…..It seems many are so desperate for an American star overseas, and forget about the growth of the domestic league. Growth had to happen with the eventual coming of players in their prime. There will still be great American players going abroad as well. I think people still forget how young MLS is.

  61. AcidBurn says:

    Toronto FC has been in MLS for 7 years. Has never even made the MLS playoffs.
    Has never won more than 10 games a year.
    Has won 5,6,and 5 games the last three seasons.

    Really? MB90 is coming to this? Nothing better came along?

  62. John says:

    Well someone sign Jones too and get them into camp as soon as possible.

  63. biff says:

    Mikey-Cakes has a bad ring to it and I repeat, folks, is not going to happen. This is a BS rumor sparked by a tweet with absolutely no basis in reality and I would bet big money, say a couple of bucks, that an MB move back to MLS will not happen at least for three or four years. Has everyone forgotten that Daddy Bradley just took a job in Norway? Do you really think a week after BB takes a job in Europe that MB is leaving Europe for home? No way.

  64. ATX_Colin says:

    “Go on take the money and run.”

    Bradely is to good for the MLS, I hope his competative juices dont allow this

  65. Ian says:

    SHAMBOLIC.

  66. Joe Dirt says:

    I call bullsh-t.

    No way on earth that TFC could pay the transfer fee that Roma is asking. They rejected a 10mm plus bid from Sunderland over the summer saying they value him much higher. This is just a smoke and mirrors act that Bradley’s agent is using to get other bidders to be more aggressive on their transfer fee. No way on earth Bradley ends up at TFC.

    • iggy says:

      hopefully., but transfer values go down when the player wants out (save exceptions like Bale and CR7).

    • TomG says:

      Could be just a loan I guess.

    • quozzel says:

      At some point in a soccer player’s career, the time to cash in is Right Now.

      Bradley needs regular playing time – and he needs it Right Now. So does Jermaine Jones. (So too, actually, does Altidore.)

      MLS is willing to offer big dollars right now. Other teams in Europe, apparently, are not.

      MB’s stock is likely to never be higher, unless both MB [i]and[/i] Team USA absolutely kill it in the World Cup. Which just ain’t gonna happen if he’s rotting on the bench, even if it’s at Roma.

      So again…why not?

    • junction jim says:

      Look up TFCs owners, MLSE is owned by both Bell Canada and Rogers Communications, they own the Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs and Rogers owns the blue Jays. I remember an article in Forbes about the leafs being worth $1,150 million alone, they have the money.

  67. dude1 says:

    Let’s review.

    MLS will grow if, when they’ve achieved their highest level abroad, players like Dempsey, Bradley, and Jozy bring their experiene, talent, and brand power back to the states. This was something I was excited about happening.

    For Dempsey, a year after the World Cup, at least.

    For Bradley, when he’s past 30.

    For Jozy, when he’s past 30.

    But more than anything, NOT IN A WORLD CUP YEAR.

    Jozy tried for a tougher league, but ended up making a bad move to a stable club that suddenly went to #$%^. Dempsey did it for family, but the lack of a chip on his shoulder and the weight of being the biggest deal in a league has hurt him. Bradley should stay the #$%^ away, don’t want to hear his name and MLS mentioned till he’s got some Champions League games and some further respect for what an American midfielder can do abroad.

    This is abysmal timing. Abysmal. We’re in the group of death in the World Cup. I’ve been a fan of DC United from the very beginning, but the World Cup is way more important than anything that happens in the league. The World Cup is US Soccer. It’s what catches the eye of the nation, inspires young players to take the leap. The World Cup is a shot in the arm for the league, and that balance is being wrecked right now, because players want more money, and more stability. That’s called settling, and to do it this year, that’s an awful decision.

    • ATX_Colin says:

      word

    • AcidBurn says:

      Well said.
      Can’t wait until Demps, MB90, Jones (once he comes) and all those USMNT players looking for that payday wonder why Germany and Portugal players seem so fast and strong, after they get used to dominating MLS.

      World Cup is 10 times more important.

    • usaalltheway says:

      “The World Cup is US Soccer. It’s what catches the eye of the nation, inspires young players to take the leap. The World Cup is a shot in the arm for the league, and that balance is being wrecked right now, because players want more money, and more stability. That’s called settling, and to do it this year, that’s an awful decision.”

      THIS times a billion. It’s the ugly reality that cannot be underestimated.

  68. Rich D says:

    This window could represent The Don settling all family business once and for all. If you look at how things are lining up right now you can see that the MLS is bringing the best national team players back to the league. I believe next year there will be a new collective bargaining agreement in which the players and owners will hash out a new agreement that will raise the salary cap and give increases in pay to all players ushering in a new era for the league which should bring in more domestic and international players from overseas as well as boost home grown talent. The stars are lining up for the league to make a jump. This improvement will undoubtedly help raise the level of the national team as well.

  69. Good Jeremy says:

    Shirley this is a placed rumor… right? He could start for most teams in Germany, England, Spain, France, etc. He could also earn plenty of money doing so. England is pretty deep in defensive-minded midfielders, but how many teams in the other top leagues could use Bradley? I’m guessing most that aren’t the superclubs and yearly championship contenders.

    The Dempsey transfer in a WC year was shocking enough that I could actually see this happening.

  70. John says:

    Last World Cup only 2 MLS players started against England in the opening match. To me it appears MLS wants to take a chance and try to change preceptions using the US team this summer. Looking at the group it’s probably a pretty risky gamble.

  71. bryan says:

    i hope this is nothing more than a negotiation tactic. i love MLS, but we need Bradley playing in Europe in one of the top leagues. which he is capable of.

    • biff says:

      Sounds like a negotiation tactic to me and if so, then that would mean Twellman got duped into spreading bad information and if that happens Twellman should out the source of the bad information.

      • bryan says:

        i was watching espnfc last night and they were talking about Bradley. and TT chimed in, “i can confirm MB is negotiating to leave,” and i basically just chalked that up to BS. TT says things to hear himself talk sometimes. but now this?!

        one thing is for certain, the 13th is going to be an interesting day.

    • biff says:

      Below is a link to a story on MLSsoccer that contains a link to a post by Greg Seltzer, who says “this is super-kooky to me on several levels…” Setlzer goes on to say that if someone is playing games with bad information then “I am not amused.”

      link to mlssoccer.com

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      bryan: Agreed. The USMNT needs MB playing in top leagues. US player development needs MB playing in top leagues. And the MLS will be worse off if MB comes back.

  72. Madden's Chin says:

    LOL

    LO)LOLOOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

  73. Yevgeniy says:

    The comments section shows that there is such a high percentage of USMNT fans who are absolute eurosnobs and MLS haters! It’s one thing to recognize that the league is at a much lower level than EPL, Bundeslig, or La Liga (which is something thatno doubt is recognized by fans in Belgium, Austria, Ukraine, Denmark etc.), but it’s completely different to sit there and actually wish for the domestic league to fai and to be disgusted by its successesl. I just can’t imagine fans in Belgium being upset over Fellaini having signed for Standard Liege let’s say. This move, if true, is somehitng that needs to be celebrated. Every time a Dempsey, a Keane, a Bradley join the league, the average level goes up. In the long run no national team can succeed consistently without a reasonably stong domestic league.

    Hopefully more of you give our league a chance. Go MLS!!!

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Not a eurosnob. But it’s undisputable that TFC is step or steps down from Roma from a competitive standpoint

    • AcidBurn says:

      Fine with MLS upping its level. But not 5 months before the freaking World Cup.

      • Yevgeniy says:

        Even if you believe in the long run MLS is not good for his quality, 3 months of starting and playing all the time won’t be much worse than playing 30% of the time for Roma

    • dude1 says:

      It’s one thing to be an MLS. To have your head in the sand about the nature of growth of the US game when it comes to international play, how it effects the national team, and consequently how those two affect MLS in a circular fashion… that’s isolationist thinking at its best.

      • Yevgeniy says:

        Please remind me how US-2002 team did and how many players were in MLS back then

        • dude1 says:

          The reward of 2002 was getting more of our talented players to Europe, which is the way we actually improve. We’ve progressed to the point that many of our younger players are playing in top academies, which brings hope for 2018 and beyond.

          But right now, Bradley and Dempsey dropping down a level right before the hardest games of their lives is a bad thing, and if you can’t see that, I can’t help you.

    • usaalltheway says:

      Yevgeniy,

      We al understand you have a high opinion of the MLS. It is a decent, growing, ever-improving league.

      That being said, for MB90 to make this move now makes no sense for the following reasons;
      1) Just three months ago, Sunderland offered 10 million for the guy. A bottom of the barrel EPL team is willing to spend money on him. Why not another team in a similar league in a similar situation?
      2) Thus far in his career, he has been constantly going up and up. He is entering his peak, right before a World Cup. It makes no sense for his career, or the USMNT, for him to move to a lesser league now.
      3) Playing limited minutes against the best of the best is definitely better than playing regular minutes against comparatively weaker teams. Case in point; Dempsey.
      4) Perhaps, as another poster pointed out, this is a ruse to garner more attention and more money from another team, if it is true that Roma doesn’t want him anymore.

      The reality is still MLS < Germany, Italy, England, Spain and even France.

      Does anyone out there really believe that MB90 couldn't get on a team from at least one team from one of those leagues?

      If this is true, this is terrible news for his career and the USMNT. It might be great for his family and his pocketbook (nothing wrong with neither of those things) but for fans, it's a nightmare. It couldn't be at a worse time or with a worse player. He is our best player and we need him at his best. Going to the MLS will not give the USMNT that, AT ALL. If you think so, you are not being honest with yourself.

      • Yevgeniy says:

        Thanks for a thoughful respons! And you have to believe me that I am as much of a USMNT fan as anyone (ok, as much as most). Went to Columbus and even going to Manaus! :) I love MLS, but it’s not some sort of a blind love. Of course I agree that “MLS < Germany, Italy, England, Spain and even France". In fact, I am happy to add Russia, Turkey, Holland, Liga MX to your list and potentially a couple of others. But I don't agree that MB moving to MLS will cause him to be a worse playerm especially in 3-4 months. It may, but you can't disagree that there are potentially huge benefits in starting all the time, having your confidence high etc.I also think that MLS players will be in better physical shape by June than their counterparts in Europe of equal class. This is due to having a break till early March and not killing everyone a la EPL. You are making a case out of Dempsey, but the jury is absolutely still out on him in Seattle. Not sure if you follow MLS, but it's very typical for someone to not do well in the first partial season (Henry and Cahill). Besides, you really cannot become a worse player in 2-3 months playing against lower competition. What if someone gets injured and is out for 3 months? Are they going back to zero? No. Did playing in MLS hurt Donovan? When the dust settles, he will surely be considered the best ever US player up to and including his generation. And finally, it just really rubs me the wrong way wen US Soccer fans go out of their way to mock their own league. The more players like MB come back, the better the league, the higher the quality o competition they will face every week. I am also happy to be able to see him play live in front of me and my kids as opposed to having to find some channel that has Roma playing in some half-empty 1950's stadium in Verona.

        • DCLee says:

          +100000000 Couldn’t agree and identify more with the comments above by Yevgeniy!

        • usaalltheway says:

          You make a very salient point with regards to physical conditioning by June. MLS players are in a better position.

          As for the Donovan argument; He is an outliner, not the average player. There is an expression that goes something like, “One bird does not make a spring.”. Just because Donovan did well, does not mean that Bradley can do the same.

          I honestly don’t watch much MLS but whenever I do I usually regret it. The talent level and quality of play isn’t there for me. I have seen some great games but all in all, it’s very underwhelming. I don’t want to be seen as “mocking” the league, but it’s hard to overlook the reality of it. Again, I don’t watch much, so I very well could be off basis.

          Another point I forgot to make; this move seems highly “un-Bradley-like”. Bradley always aims higher.

          I see your point of view but I can’t agree. I don’t see the argument for this move. At least not now and especially not to Toronto. Maybe the Timbers (hint, hint ;) ) but not Toronto.

          • Yevgeniy says:

            First of all, having re-read my post, I apologize for multiple typos. I am too used to having a spellchecker, so I didn’t proofread. Secondly, I am glad you see my point at least to some degree. At least you do watch MLS sometimes. I know many fans in US who have watched ZERO MLS games in the last 10 years, but have strong convictions about it’s (lack of) quality. There is definitely room for improvement, but the level of mockery by half of soccer fans is not deserved at all. Let’s afree that the level is equal to Belgium (Anderlecht is much better than Kansas City, but top-to-bottom it’s a toss-up I think). You just don’t ever hear Belgian fans put done their league, ignore it, get upset at someone moving back etc.

          • Yevgeniy says:

            Ohh, and YES, absolutely, I am somewhat disappointed that it’s Toronto and not my team or at least an American team. When TFC was asked to bid on Dempsey, they said that it probably made sense for him to be in US. For some reason, they didn’t think it applied to MB :)

  74. A.S. says:

    Another USMNT player who couldn’t cut it at the top levels in Europe so came back to MLS. Sigh.

  75. FRANK says:

    I CANT GET BRADLEYS GAMES SO HE SHOULD GO TO MLS IN CANADA I CAN WORK MLS STREAMING BUT NOT THE OTER STREAMING WEB SITE
    I THINK JURGEN KILNSMAN WILL CHANGE HIS MIND AND LET HIM GO TO THE NEXT WORLD CUP SQUAD

  76. Brad says:

    *head explodes* due to conflicting interests……

  77. A.S.A says:

    I’m starting to think this is a placed rumor to get him better offer and salary.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Me too

    • usaalltheway says:

      What a great point!

      That would make much more sense than actually going.

      Remember; Sunderland offered 10 million. At this point in his career, going to Sunderland would be better than going back to the MLS.

  78. TomM says:

    I haven’t seen this much activity since the old Adu threads.

    I’m with the majority- I shudder for the USMNT (unless he’s indeed LD 2.0) but think this is a great move for MLS, and it will certainly increase the number of games I watch.

  79. crosebud says:

    I hear both sides of this. I think it’s great for MLS to develop as a league and they should fight for the rights to all of the best players they can get their hands on.
    On the other hand Neymar don’t play in Brazil. Messi Don’t play in Argentina. We all want to see our boys compete against the best in the world week in and week out not just once every four years.

    • Yevgeniy says:

      That’s very true. My stance on this as as follows: If you are good enough to start or get at least 50% of available playing time for a Top 30 team, you should be there. If not, you should be starting and getting respect and money in MLS. Messis and Neymars don’t play for Roma, Sunderland and AZ

    • Ben says:

      Bradley, a player a really like, is definitely no Neymar or Messi.

  80. Birgit Calhoun says:

    Bradley is a decent player, but he isn’t as big as he thinks. At Roma he can at least play with people who know how to play. In Toronto he’ll have to tell people how to play. This move is a bad move. He may be the general over there; but he won’t be the general over here. And having to put up with Toronto having to figure out how to win, he be spending his time in a transition period. Sounds like a Dempsey move all over again.

    • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

      Yea because DeRo and DeFoe have no idea what they are doing.

    • josh says:

      “At Roma he can at least play with people who know how to play. In Toronto he’ll have to tell people how to play… He may be the general over there; but he won’t be the general over here.”

      Seems like he will have to be the general over here, if he has to tell people how to play…

  81. Erik says:

    While I enjoy the growth of MLS and the talent that it has brought to light, for one to say that this move for Bradley is great for his future growth seems a stretch. Landon Donovan is being brought up as a positive example, but one could do the opposite and list many players who have succeed due to their willingness to move abroad and stay abroad regardless of stiff competition for playing time. While I agree that the level of play in the MLS has improved vastly over the last decade, let’s not pretend it is to the level of the Serie A. If one needs further proof please see an mid-season MLS All-Star team getting thrashed by a preseason, tan-soaked Roma squad this summer.

    As has been pointed out before though, what does this mean for Bradley’s immediate future? Is he taking the next two months off before MLS season gets going?

  82. Dangles McGambles says:

    For young players, it is important to constantly challange themselves with better competition. I think Bradley has reached his peak; therefore, I don’t think playing in the MLS will all of a sudden make him a worse player. I’m confident that MB wil be the same player at the world that he is today even if he plays for TFC next year.

  83. Al says:

    I was waiting for the first journalist to sensationalize one insignificant tweet by a “guy who knows a guy”. Mr. Ives wins the award. Way to get those clicks!

    • Falls City Outlaw says:

      Sometimes such things are sensationalism, but journalism (and breaking news) consists of a guy who knows a guy who knows what he’s talking about.

  84. Dinho says:

    This is real…. WOW!

    link to thestar.com

    Lewicke always got his man/men for the Galaxy. Starting something new in TO.

  85. Stir Crazy says:

    MLS is second to the USMNT in Priority

    Hell by ppl logic who think this is great, we should just bring everyone playing in the best teams in Europe. Jozy, Jones, Edu, Kljestan, Shea we should see the league boom right?

  86. adrenaline11 says:

    It could be a permanent transfer but a loan to a European team until May.

  87. adrenaline11 says:

    It could be a permanent transfer but a loan to a European team until May. This would give TFC until the July/August window reopens to figure out what the do with Laba; That is, whether they can pay down his salary with allocation, loan him, trade him or sell him.

  88. Boyd says:

    I know this is a blow to Eurosnobs but it makes sense.
    Bradley is not as good as some people think and MLS is not as bad as some make it out to be.
    Playing every week in MLS beats the hell out of riding the bench in Italy in a World Cup year.

    • Madden's Chin says:

      This is a salient point.

      Nobody questions Bradley’s importance to the USMNT. But it seems that really blinds people to his actual talent level on a global scale.

      He’s an above-average championship to lower first division quality player. Nothing wrong in that, but it’s pretty clear that he isn’t valued by any important teams. He’s being pushed out at Roma already.

      That being said–this is an Oceans 11-esque heist by MLS.

  89. TomG says:

    Hate this. Want to be circumspect and find the sense, but I can’t see it. It’s too big of a drop off. If he wants playing time before the WC, there has to be some club that’s on a higher level that he can go to on loan. Omguess it’s just a flat out financial security move. I guess you can’t blame him when he only has ten or so years to make as much mney as he canard hasnt had that big pay day yet, but it’s still disappointing.

  90. away goals says:

    yo where the rob ford jokes at

  91. bryan says:

    number floating around saying the cost to TFC would be $100M for both Defoe and Bradley. that is truly incredible if true. this is taking into account transfer fees, salaries, etc.

    • Matt says:

      Wow. Roma’s been asking around 10-15 million for Bradley.
      Can’t imagine Defoe would get more than a 10 million transfer.
      That would mean some serious salaries…

      • bryan says:

        yeah, it’s pretty crazy:

        “It’s understood that the combined value of transfer fees and salaries for the two men would reach $100 million.” – The Star

        link to thestar.com

        • Joe Dirt says:

          Dude, Cristiano Ronaldo went for 100MM. It’s either the dumbest transfer business of all time or more likely, it’s fake.

          • bryan says:

            no, he did not. Bale did. further, that fee was JUST the transfer.

            the $100M for Defoe and Bradley is for BOTH transfer fees plus BOTH salaries for however many years each sign for. use your head. Defoe is rumored to make his $7.9M per year salary at TFC. it is likely a 4 year contract. that alone is $32M.

            and from what it sounds like (including ESPNFC which just aired), TFC offered big money to Roma. Roma were demanding 8-10 million EURO, so lets say TFC offered 15M Euro. that is slightly over $20M.

            so now we are at $52M and we have yet to factor in MB’s salary or Defoe’s transfer fee.

  92. BFBS says:

    Please Mikey, don’t do this. I love MLS, and think you are the best player to have ever worn a USMNT shirt, but at this stage of your career you belong together like Thomas Hitzlsperger and Irina Shayk.

  93. chesterton chris says:

    MLS has improved to the point where a good player can keep competitive for international duty…or
    playing for a mid-table Euro team. Several players have proved this…..so if our team is made of good players that can walk into mid-table Euro teams we’ll be in the same spot we’re in now. People need to get off the ledge and watch MLS some more….no difference between average MLS game and WBA vs. Hull City……

    • DCLee says:

      Thank you! The voice of reason. +1

    • Paul says:

      I believe your supposition is incorrect:
      (1) there are varying degrees of international duty – playing average CONCACAF is not the same as average World Cup CONMEBAL or UEFA;
      (2) I lived in Europe before coming back 1 year ago and I will tell you that the average skill level in mid-table Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, BPL and Ligue 1 is higher than mid-level or top MLS (if you cannot see that…then that in itself is an issue). How many teams will beat Newcastle, Southhampton, Lazio, Sevilla, or Milan consistently? Btw, they are all mid-table.

  94. bgnewf says:

    As a Toronto FC season seat holder since year one I am pleased as punch to hear this. The fact that so many of our American friends are getting their collective panties all twisted over him coming to MLS, much less a CANADIAN MLS side, just makes this (if true) all the sweeter.

    • Tyler says:

      We would be a lot more welcoming of this development if Toronto was actually the “good” Canadian MLS team.

    • Upgrade says:

      Panties twisted?

    • Ian says:

      Easy for you to say. Your national team is utter garbage. No offense.

    • SC says:

      Congrats to all TFC family, can’t wait for you come open your season here in Seattle. The hype on that match-up is going to over the top epic!

      To all the people who say Clint Dempsey fell off in seattle, realize that the Sounders had several other issues than CD’s supposed lack of form. If anyone thought he could instantly put the team on his back to the Cup, get over it.

      Now if we can just figure out how to get Jozy Altidore here to start up top with Martins…

  95. quitetheschemer says:

    As an American who has lived in two European countries, I can tell you the reason why American players don’t want to play in Europe if the money is right in MLS. Discrimination/ Anti-American sentiment combined with some aspect of homesickness. Its really that simple. European’s look down on Americans(Think about Bob Bradley, if he was European he would be coaching a Cardiff City or something, but instead he’s coaching Stabek in Norway). Often they’re intentionally rude, disrespectful, and dismissive despite your best efforts to be courteous and respectful of their culture etc. If you can make the same money playing in your country of birth, where kids don’t harass your kid at school because he’s “different”, and play week in week out its a no brainier right? Especially if you have proven yourself in Europe to some extent already, as Bradley has already done. I know a lot of Europeans that are great people, but you cannot spend a significant amount of time on the continent and not feel the rampant ugliness of anti-Americanism rear its ugly head.

    • Ben says:

      Yeah, people don’t seem to realize that Europe has their “hicks” as well, and they look at the US just as our hicks look at Europe.

    • Ian says:

      Interesting perspective, thanks for sharing. I’ve been to Europe several times and had nothing but positive experiences, but one cannot know what it’s like without living in a country and dealing with people in day-to-day business. I suppose the country matters quite a bit. I know several people who’ve lived in Spain and France, and as far as I know, did not share you negative experience.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Lived in Europe on multiple occassions and I must have missed the phenomenon you speak of. Or it doesn’t exist outside of your imagination.

      • Ben says:

        Chances are, especially as it is slowleftarm, you missed it.

        • quitetheschemer says:

          Chances are he missed the phenomenon of the nazi salutes and the throwing of bananas on the field as well. Or is this just in my imagination.

          • slowleftarm says:

            Yes, I attended dozens of games and I never heard or saw that. Of course it happens but your portrayal of Europe as some sort of crazed facist dystopia is pretty wacky and certainly out of touch with the reality I’ve experienced.

            • quitetheschemer says:

              All im saying is that people are quick to forget the off the field aspect of playing in a foreign country where you might not speak the language that well and have to live there with your family etc. Especially when you have to deal with certain aspects of living abroad that you wouldn’t have to deal with if you were in your home country. You’re essentially an immigrant there, and the hurdle of acclimating to a new country is quite difficult for some people. So if the money is triple what it is in Europe, even if the league is of lower quality, i think that MLS is an attractive proposition for alot of Americans playing in Europe. Its not just about life on the field, life off the field is important too. I think people assume that Europe is something it is not, and that’s perfect. North America isnt perfect either, but the fact that you dont have to essentially be a foreigner in a foreign land makes the proposition of a move back to MLS quite persuasive for an American player with a young family. People were going crazy about the Riquelme move to Boca Juniors as well, but if you put it in some context, the move actually makes alot of sense in my opinion when you think about it holistically, same is true for a Bradley move. I think if the salary cap was improved to about 5-6 million you would see the Josh Gatt, Kjlestian, Jonathan Spector types moving back stateside as well.

    • ATX_Colin says:

      I dont think MB is that sensative.

    • Edmondo says:

      I buy homesickness, but that is about it. Ignorance is everywhere. It sometimes varies to the degree and/or how it is expressed. If you want to have a discussion about anti-foreigner bias, we can talk about what I experienced when I moved to the US as a child. I experienced less in Europe ( I lived in 3 countries in Europe — 2 as an adult).

  96. Ben says:

    The timing of it is the only thing I really don’t like. Bradley could stick with Roma for the rest of the year and then make a move in the Summer. Suddenly, he isn’t going to get a lot of playing time or even training time with real games on the line before the World Cup. However, in the big picture, MLS needs to retain American talent if it is going to grow.

  97. What a ridiculous transfer! He should be able to go a better league than Serie A and MLS.

  98. away goals says:

    For everyone saying “why not move to a mid-table club somewhere else instead?” do you all not remember his spell at aston villa?

    There aren’t a lot of foolproof transfers out there.

  99. John says:

    Now if Jones can’t get a simuliar deal he really is going to be mad, haha

  100. usaalltheway says:

    This has to be the worse possible soccer/football news of the New Year.

    Bradley is at his peak, or moving into it. No way he takes this huge step backwards. Even a lower end BPL team would be better than back in the MLS.

    Remember when Sunderland was calling his name. That sounds SO MUCH BETTER than the MLS.

    Please, for the love of God, don’t do this if it’s true Mikey! You are better than the MLS.

    • away goals says:

      People were really excited the last time bradley joined a BPL team too. How’d that pan out?

      • usaalltheway says:

        He didn’t go to “join”. He wasn’t signed. They were looking at him as a player. It didn’t work. Since then, he has proven everyone wrong.

        Stop with the BS man. Bradley could easily play in a top league for mid level team.

        Why do so many people on here actively root against Americans doing well in European leagues. What is that all about?

        • Anthony says:

          THANK YOU!!!

        • away goals says:

          lol okay man.

          The fact is MB went to aston villa for four months and made 3 league appearances. That’s what happened.

          It’s possible that during that time he was the best center midfielder on the team, but for whatever reason (incompetent management, anti-american bias, training issues) he didn’t play.

          If something has happened once, it seems really naive to believe it can’t POSSIBLY happen again. There are factors outside of a player’s control that affect his career.

          So he could take his chances with another team like villa (midtable in a top league)… or he could be a lock for playing time at TFC in the three months leading up to brazil.

  101. DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

    Oh Canada!

    And I thought DC was improving!

  102. alex says:

    The key thing many here are missing is Bradley PLAYING what good does staying in Europe do for the world cup if he’s on the bench. This move is guaranteed playinf time. We dont need him to be tired, we need him in form confident and ready. I cant wait hope this deal is real.

  103. Marcello says:

    This reporting is a little different on “tuttomercatoweb.com” web site which is Italy’s leading transfer news site.
    All it stated was that Toronto FC were allowed to make an offer for Bradley, but only if it’s a legitimate offer of around 8 million Euros. They are given Bradley the green light to make his decision.
    Up to this point Roma was adamant in stating that Bradley “was not for sale whatsoever”.
    So my guess would be that Toronto FC must have made or plan to make a ridiculous money offer for him.

  104. Rbny4ever says:

    I won’t believe this till I see him in a Toronto uniform. This would be a career killer for Bradley, he
    was doing well with Roma and regardless of the money Toronto’s offering this just wouldn’t be a good move. On another note if this does happen then I guarantee we lose every game at the World Cup. USMNT players should push themselves to play at the highest level and MLS is certainly not the highest level

    • Dinho says:

      Believe it. It’s done.

      I disagree, however, that this changes our chances at the WC. Of the remaining 4-5 months before the WC, he will spend a good amount of time with the USMNT, where the level is adequately high. In the long run, however, this does not bode well for MB’s development.

  105. slowleftarm says:

    Seems to me the only people this hurts are eurosnobs.

    • ATX_Colin says:

      and our world cup hopes

      • John says:

        I fail to see how it’s really connected

      • slowleftarm says:

        So you really think Bradley is going to play worse at the World Cup because he plays for Toronto now instead of Roma? How does that work? He actually gets worse at soccer because he isn’t in Europe any more? Do you really believe that?

        • Dinho says:

          He doesn’t “get worse” overall, but his form will likely not be as sharp.

          Competing day in and day out with Serie A players for playing time will cause you to push yourself and your ability significantly more than playing against someone who you know is below you in the pecking order.

          MB will still play well. He’s a good soccer player, period. But it is possible that he won’t be at his best.

          Sad, but true.

  106. Bean says:

    Obviously if this comes to pass, Bradley was not happy in Rome, or thought that it wasn’t working out, or that the Toronto deal will make him wealthier. Bradley will do what’s best for his own personal goals.

  107. No says:

    All you whinging tits will be the first in line to buy tix when TFC comes to town.

  108. John says:

    The writing was on the wall with the Nainggolan move by Roma.

  109. Joe A. says:

    Its dempsey all over again

  110. John says:

    Doug McIntyre ‏of ESPN on twitter -
    Source tells me that Michael Bradley to @torontofc is a done deal. Just, Wow.

  111. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Bad for MB, but even worse for MLS.

    The league does not need a few players with massively expensive salaries on teams where other starters make only $50k/yr. The league needs to bring in more money, and I’m not convinced that bringing in American stars (Deuce, MB) will really garner long-term interest from more North American viewers, nor will it encourage more viewers from other countries to tune in.

    In economic terms: the MLS needs a middle class.

    • Anthony says:

      could not have said it better.

    • Matt says:

      And the only way they get to that point is to up TV ratings and increase the salary cap. The best way to do that is to sign the best players to raise the leagues profile.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        Matt: I disagree. For the price of one very expensive Bradley, a team could afford a couple very solid players—DP-level players (e.g., Osvaldo Alonso). Who wants to watch a few great players like Bradley surrounded by mediocre players?

        Before you answer: “me!” remember that this isn’t about winning over American soccer fans (because they are already won over). It is about winning *new* fans.

        • Yevgeniy says:

          I can bet you that no more than 30% of people who consider themselves American soccer fans also consider themselves MLS fans. So, it’s a huge battle to win over 70%+ of the American soccer fans

  112. Isaac St. L. says:

    Look at almost every interview, the difference between the MLS and the top leagues in Europe is “speed of play”. And what does everyone say is the difference between club and international play? The “speed of play”. This is horrible news for the USMNT. Having all your top players play in the same league is not good, see England. (Grant it, having your entire team play for Braca and Real Madrid seems to work out fine.)

  113. ThaDeuce says:

    Why isn’t DCU getting dibs on this?

  114. HillbillyCharm says:

    it would be hard to turn down $6.5 million a year vs riding the pine in Europe… and Roma couldn’t get a higher transfer fee from anyone else…really a no brainer on both parts…

    so I’m guessing a press conference in Toronto later this week followed by him reporting to the USMNT January Camp is the best course of action…

    • Paul says:

      Like I said ( below), I think it’s great for him personally, but horrible for him professionally as well as horrible for US soccer

    • Paul says:

      Additionally, I was told years ago, that I should not always let money guide my choices. I think that he could have gone a loan to someplace in Serie A to get playing time. Then Roma could have shopped him in the Summer when more teams are spending

  115. DC John says:

    This is awful. Now we (US) have 0 actual American players playing in Europe for decent teams. First Dempsey bolts for money and mediocrity and now the most high profile American player in Europe runs to Toronto?! Why not go back to the Bundesliga or try to land at a mid-table EPL club? This is even more depressing than Dempsey because Bradley’s just entering his prime :(

  116. JSmiley says:

    Does this mean the Toronto mayor will be at the TFC matches?

  117. crosebud says:

    So the best of the “Yanks Abroad” now is……..

  118. SBI TroII says:

    IanDarkeESPN Ian Darke
    RT @RaeComm: Lex Luther hits Toronto, eh?
    ___________________
    Ian Darke wins.

  119. John says:

    I was kind of surprised to look back and see the 2010 US squad only had 4 MLS players and only 2 started in the opener against England.

    • GW says:

      Why were you surprised?

      The best American players have always tended to try their luck abroad. Not to mention they are also interested in being able to afford luxuries like clean clothes, rent, and decent food.

      What would be more telling of the importance of MLS would be how many of the 2010 squad had serious MLS roots.

      I see 6 out of 23, Dolo, Spector, Demerit, Gooch, Benny and JF Torres being the only guys that I’m fairly certain had no serious MLS roots, at that time. That is about 27 percent; call it about a quarter of the team.

      2010 USMNT WC SQUAD

      Tim Howard, Jonathan Spector, Carlos Bocanegra (c),Michael Bradley, Oguchi Onyewu
      Steve Cherundolo,DaMarcus Beasley,Clint Dempsey,Herculez Gomez,Landon Donovan
      Stuart Holden,Jonathan Bornstein,Ricardo Clark,Edson Buddle,Jay DeMerit,José Francisco Torres,Jozy Altidore,Brad Guzan,Maurice Edu,Robbie Findley,Clarence Goodson,Benny Feilhaber,Marcus Hahnemann

  120. We don’t know all the details but on the surface this seems like a bad move. I think the MLS i s greatly improved but how would Sporting KC fair in Serie A? We are an improving country in the sport but until we have several players at the top levels I don’t think anyone I will be satisfied…and the MLS is not close to that top level.

  121. Paul says:

    This is horrible move for the US Soccer in general. It may be great for Bradley and his family, on a personal level if what I am hearing is true ($6.5 mill/yr & guaranteed playing time). My reasoning is while you want to improve the technical, tactical and speed of play in your league, this is not the way to do it. It does not matter how good the 3 designated players are at a club as much as it matters how good the other 8-12 players are as well as the strength of the opposition.

    The issue is the MLS does not develop enough high quality technical and tactical players to bring up through system nor does MLS not pay enough to attract a significant number of high quality players on each team (the clubs that do have the money are restrained and only spend it on 3 designated players). Given that situation, why would you want your key players competing against sub-par players with sub-par teammates just prior to the World Cup.

    This is a MISTAKE! This is coming from a HUGE MLS fan. This is not Dempsey who is done improving and is on the other side. Bradley has not hit his peak yet.

    • slowleftarm says:

      The idea is to improve the league by signing better players. You’re right that eventually all of the players need to be better, not just three per team but this is a start. If MLS can get some more TV dollars coming in (and moves like this certainly help) then eventually the salary cap can increase and more money can be spent on non-DP players. It takes time but this is a great step forward for the league.

  122. sal says:

    Can’t say I didn’t post that Bradley was going to leave as soon as Roma made a bid for Nainggolan almost 2 weeks ago while everybody was saying that there was no difference between him and the rest of Roma’s midfield. In reality as a Roma fan, he is expendable. He’s a model professional but nothing more than a competent defensive midfielder who often gets caught out of position, and offers little more offensively than simple sideways and backwards passes (goal against Udinese notwithstanding).

    That being said MLS is a surprise. Apparently an 8 mil Euro offer and big contract for Bradley from Toronto. Roma will never be able to match that. However, I’ve still been reading Wolfsburg in the mix so who knows anything can happen.

  123. GW says:

    This is a wonderful move because of the hysterical posts it will generate on SBI and other forums.

    If it happens then it is unlikely to have any negative effects on MB90’s WC performance. He’ll get the PT he feels he needs. And he should know, based on his Aston Villa experience. He’s not going to become dramatically better even if he starts the next five months at Roma or another “big “ club.

    Unfortunately , while Serie A helped make him more consistent, if he is rotting on the bench at Roma then he could lose that edge, mentally and physically, in the next four or five months and have a sub par WC. Then we will be calling him MB30-20.

    MLS is step down but it beats inactivity and the resultant loss of form and confidence. And it has more certainty of playing time than moving to Sunderland or Stoke. And I don’t think AZ or Stabaek can afford him. Plus he is fluent in Canadian.

    And if he has a good World Cup, well, I hope he has an “out” clause in his contract.
    What this really tells you is that it seems like everyone in the US player pool is all in and is taking this WC about as seriously as a heart attack.

    Fascinating.

    • John says:

      If you don’t like the move to MLS why would a move to Stabaek or AZ be any better?

      • GW says:

        I did not say I did not like Mikey moving to MLS.

        I said it would be a step down, which refers to the quality of the opposition he would face and the quality of his teamates. Dero is not to be confused with DDR.

        I like the move in the sense that it should generate lots of controversy.

        Mikey is a big boy and he knows better than I do what his career priorities are. He certainly knows more about the difference between playing in MLS and Europe than most so called experts ( such as Taylor, Alexi, Eric and the rest).

        And after the World Cup I don’t care what Mikey does. If he wants to visit Cambodia, I’m fine with that. LD will tell him where the best spots are.

        I did not say moving to AZ or Stabaek would be better or worse.

        I said they probably couldn’t afford him.

        Those clubs were mentioned because AZ knows Americans can be useful and AJ might be a good guy to team up with MB30-20.

        And Stabaek was mentioned because the manager there is ambitious and could use a reliable midfielder that he trusts. But again I doubt they can pay his wages.

        You could throw in Nuremburg who are in relegation trouble, have Chandler and are managed by a guy who knows MB30-20 very well. He’d probably make him MB90 again.

        At all three clubs Mikey would probably get his #1 priority, regular playing time.

        As far as I’m concerned the end result of all this should be a net positive for the USMNT WC effort, which is all I care about. Roma and MLS are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          GW: these are two of your more interesting and intelligent comments in recent weeks. Nice work.

  124. slowleftarm says:

    Looking at it from the perspective of MLS, this is great. People seem to forget that in order for MLS to improve the league needs to sign better players. For some reason, certain people want those better players not to include Americans. I don’t understand why. While it may be helpful to play some time in Europe, I think Landon has proved you can become an excellent player in MLS. I’m all for MLS signing the best players possible, both American and foreign.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      MLS needs to either add more Dps or increase cap

    • iggy says:

      Fine when the better players include Americans, but when its ones who have such potential to rise to very high levels in Europe, its disappointing not to have that fulfilled. Yes LD has been successful, but maybe he would have been even better had more Americans paved a better path for him in the EU.

    • GW says:

      “I think Landon has proved you can become an excellent player in MLS.”

      No, he has not. He proved HE could do it. But Landon might well have been an exceptional soccer player not matter where he came from or where he played.

      It’s fascinating how Landon’s singular, exceptional excellence is so taken for granted by people like you. Maybe you’ll appreciate him when he is finally gone.

      Name me all the other US soccer players at or near his level of excellence to come out of Ontario, CA in the 80′s?

      • slowleftarm says:

        Why would it be limited to Ontario, CA? Landon is awesome and I for one certainly do appreciate him and the USMNT will find him impossible to replace as things stand. My point was if a player has the ability, he can become a top player without spending extended periods in Europe, as Landon has demonstrated. That’s all, calm down.

        • GW says:

          Mr. arm,

          You really do not understand Donovan’s exceptional nature do you? Remember the old saying that the exception proves the rule?

          Name me another American player with Landon’s ability who did not spend “extended periods in Europe”and has accomplished as much as he has? Who else has demonstrated that “he can become a top player without spending extended periods in Europe”?

          And keepers don’t count.

          Because he was a child prodigy and was so much better than any other American, the USMNT became LD’s personal playground. So he always had access to the best that America had to offer at the time in soccer terms. Arena famously was quoted as saying the problem with LD was where to play him since he played every position well. LD, Reyna and JOB are the only non keeper Americans I have seen who have had near dominant performances at the World Cup and Donovan did so at 2 out of 3 World Cups.

          What you and most everyone miss about him is that he is and always has been really, a USMNT player first, last and always.

          The club he happens to play for is there to keep him in shape for the USMNT and the World Cup.

          Landon himself has said himself that growing up he always believed the most important thing in the soccer world was the World Cup. He arranged his career so that performing well in the World Cup was priority #1.

          Mikey and Deuce move to MLS to get PT to prep for the World Cup? BFD. LD did that almost 14 years ago when he forced a loan back to the Quakes and never left.

          Here is what you miss about LD’s exceptionalism. Mikey and Duece had to hone themselves to a sharp point in Europe to get to the level where they can do this and still be considered for the USMNT World Cup team.

          Landon could just turn it on and off w/o the benefit of the consistently higher level of coaching, training and competition that those two needed to get the best out of them.

          In other words, Landon is that rarest of things a “natural”. And you think that is an easily repeated thing. How arrogant.

          I don’t believe he would have gotten better moving to Europe because it’s clear now that was very unlikely to be happy away from home. And an unhappy Donovan is not a good Donovan. The man is a true Diva but the thing about true Divas is they can behave that way because they produce. Perhaps if he had met Moyes or even SAF earlier, who knows, but he did not and it’s a shame because I can’t imagine how much greater he could have been with the benefit of the proper situation.

          Maybe he might have been spoken of as one of the best players ever instead of just the best American player ever. He’ll always be a B+ instead of the A he might have been. But B+ is still pretty damn good.

          So how could a B+ player be so good in a World Cup full of A players? Because it’s a Cup tournament, seven games at most if you make the final. And as Cup competitions all over the world have shown, a well organized, disciplined, fit and hungry underdog can often do well.

          If you are a talented American teenager now the opportunities to become a high level player are much, much better than when Landon was growing up. However if you think this “system” is likely to churn out a bunch of LD’s or even one more, w/o any serious European component, I see little evidence of that. American players are getting better all the time but LD is one of a kind.

    • Anthony says:

      Three things here:
      1) I agree that MLS has to add DPs or improve the salary CAP until or in conjunction with better youth player and junior player development – that will only increase the product on the field

      2) While everyone wants to increase the quality of the product on the field, this is not down by having 2/3 high-priced DPs on the field or each team. As with most things, the outliers are just that…outliers. You have to increase the quality of the middle-class player. Looking at the median player (or in statistics median or any group) will tell you most of what you need to know about the quality of the product. Adding 2/3 DPs is simply applying wallpaper over the cracks. If I were the MLS, I would raise the salary cap by 2 million which help address this instead of granting big money DPs ($5.5-6.5 million/year). Additionally, whatever your told salary cap & D spend is, require that you must match a certain percentage (e.g 25%) on youth development.

      3) I agree Landon is an excellent player, but he is an exception. I would put some serious money that he would have been a better player had he (1) played against better competition (2) with better players and (3) better technical and coaching staff over the previous 10 years. I really do not see how one cannot agree with that. For the good of the USMNT, I want our elite of the elite in those environments. That is why it is disappointing that MB90 is back. Don’t you think that Chievo, who is sitting in 15th would not want him back. The problem is that AS Roma is demanding a lot.

  125. slowleftarm says:

    People are forgetting another thing. Apparently Bradley’s salary at Roma was 800,000 euros ($1.1 million). I guess all you eurosnobs expect him to turn down a chance to make six times that much?

    • Sal says:

      That was last yr it’s at 1 mil euros now, maybe more. It’s supposed to increase every yr he is under contract. Buy yes, no way roma should match it.

      • slowleftarm says:

        Ok so even if he’s making $1.5m, he’s going to be making 4 times that at least. I think this should make it pretty obvious why he’s leaving. I guess the people disgusted by this transfer turn down 400% raises at work too right?

  126. usaalltheway says:

    Can someone explain to me how one player could/can make the entire league better?

    That argument doesn’t seem to hold any water. One player can hardly make A TEAM better, unless you are the best of the best in the sport, so how does the argument go that Bradley will make the league better.

    Seems like bogus reasoning to me.

    • John says:

      I’m just one person but when Toronto FC comes to town, thats something I’d go see.

    • GW says:

      Talk to Tim Leiweke, TFC’s big guy.

      He brought Beckham to LA and seems to be a big believer in the big name signing.

      I’d say the Beckham thing worked out pretty well, though this would not be on that level.
      Still, make no mistake, MB30-20 is a big name here.

      The man I am waiting to hear from is JK .

      • usaalltheway says:

        As far as I can tell, only soccer fans know who MB90 is, not the average Joe Six Pack who is watching football (American style) or basketball.

        Becks was one of the most famous footballers of all time and a major player in the gossip world, mainly do to his wife and good looks. Even when he came over, most Americans knew little of him.

        I too would argue that his stink in the MLS was successful but comparing the two is naive. Bradley won’t make much of a difference to the league as a whole nor will those who don’t all ready care for the game be drawn in because of him.

        I bet most Americans don’t even know there is a World Cup this year.

        • usaalltheway says:

          stint* not stink…haha

        • GW says:

          “I bet most Americans don’t even know there is a World Cup this year”

          There are about 300 million Americans. Even if most of them , say 200 million, don’t know about the World Cup that still leaves a lot of Americans who do.

          • slowleftarm says:

            I think you’re wrong about most Americans not knowing there’s a world cup. While soccer as a sport has a ways to go, the world cup is a pretty mainstream event.

            In 2010, my office put the US games on a big screen in a conference room and let everyone watch it because they knew everyone would be watching it at their desks anyway.

            • usaalltheway says:

              I am sure that is true.

              However, I doubt that most Americans know about the World Cup until they very last moment, simply because ESPN CANNOT ignore it.

              Just ask around. I doubt five strangers in the street know it’s happening.

  127. Andrew says:

    Like most everyone else here, I wasn’t so pumped on this trade for the same reasons folks have already said. Thinking about it more, I’m actually really excited.
    The only way for MLS to ever get better is to bring in quality players. I know we’re all collectively still looking for that first american breakout world star. Unfortunately we’re just not their yet.
    10-15 years ago we had a generation that made headway by being the first Americans to break into the top leagues in Europe (Harkes, Wynalda, Keller, McBride, Reyna, etc.)
    Now we have a generation of players who despite having the ability to go “make it” in Europe are opting to remain/return to MLS.
    I’m actually really proud of these guys (Donovan, Dempsey, and Bradley) for that decision regardless of the financial motivations.
    Plus I haven’t really had an MLS team since I lived in KC. Now I look forward to watching more Galaxy, Sounders, and Toronto games.
    All of this business gets me really excited about the future of our league.

    • DCLee says:

      And there ya go!

    • Bob says:

      it’s actually bad for the league. It will do nothing to move the needle as far as TV ratings. And it will do very little to raise the quality.

      If you want to raise the quality of MLS you get rid of this NFL style salary cap and replace it with something that gives clubs more flexibility and something that is more compatible with the sport of soccer.

      Toronto FC has the revenues to spend 13mil on two players. Take that 13 mil and spread it around the team and you have a quality side that people will want to watch on TV. But MLS doesn’t get it because they are run by NFL guys who don’t understand the sport of soccer.

      • Andrew says:

        I hear ya Bob.
        Reality of it is though, is that we’re still a far ways away from a salary cap. The dp system is what we got for the time being. As for tv ratings – we can agree to disagree. I for one will be watching that many more MLS games just to keep tabs on duece, donovan and bradley.
        Shoot I live in Montaana and would be willing to drive ten hours to see Seattle vs Toronto (as long as dempsey and bradley are both playing).
        It’s all got a start somewhere and I think this is a step in the right direction.

      • Anthony says:

        I actually think that the salary ca is a very good idea because it promotes parity and promotes the dispersion of talent. The issue the quality of average players is not high enough. What they should do is (1) raise the salary cap to $5 million or so for the 1st team players (any players on the USL squad for development do not count) and (2) require that a certain percentage (e.g 20/25% ) match of your total salary spend should be spent on development. Therefore, if you have 10 million on annual salary, you have to send $2-2.5million on youth development etc. I think this will do more to raise quality in a few years.

      • slowleftarm says:

        Well considering the league was only founded in 1996 and it will soon have 24 teams, higher per game attendance than the NHL and NBA and increasing TV revenues, I’d say the people running it know what they’re doing.

  128. Dinho says:

    Confirmed Done Deal by NBC Sports! Unreal. What a signing by MLS. Leiweke gets his man (as he always did for the Galaxy).

  129. Scott says:

    Hilarious how some people think that the potential difference in Bradley’s play actually means something at the WC. Realistically, the difference between us advancing, or not, will be greater than the difference between Bradley playing some for Roma or all the time for TFC. Short term vision never creates long term success. Good on MLS if they bring in Defoe and MB at the same time. My guess is that they are trying to bring in as much star power as possible ahead of the next round of TV contract talks. As for this being TFC? Well they won’t be the same TFC, will they?

  130. Joamiq says:

    WHAT????????

  131. AcidBurn says:

    Now everyone can turn off the MB90 hype machine and turn on the Bacon hype machine. AJ is still in Europe and right now looks like he is going to have to carry the torch for USMNT there.

    Who here is glad they didn’t drop some serious coin on a Bradley Roma jersey? (Even though those jerseys are pretty sweet.)

  132. PauseTheGameRealQuick says:

    This has to be a joke. TFC?? Shoulda went to the Metros and let Petke use the 3rd DP slot on him.

  133. Bob says:

    MLS doesn’t know how to run a soccer league. You don’t give 3 players on your club huge wages and then the rest of the squad a combined $2million.

    MLS is doing this because they think it will increase TV ratings. If bringing in Beckham, Henry, Keane, Dempsey and keeping Donovan hasn’t increased TV ratings, then why would bringing in Bradley do so?

    This is great for Bradley because of the contract and kinda cool for MLS fans who already watch the league. But its not going to move the needle at all. And in fact it harms the league because there is a huge opportunity cost. Those millions should be going to fielding a higher quality balanced roster, not just one player who will not change the quality much.

    • quozzel says:

      If you think the DP system hasn’t changed the quality much, you haven’t been watching.

      LA became a “destination” location not just for Beckham/Donovan/Keane but also because there was sufficient quality there a lot of other players with very good quality were willing to play with those guys. $200K buys you a very good South American soccer player. LA was able to bring in a ton of very solid players in the $150,000-$300,000 range who were looking to play with a good team and weren’t necessarily in demand in Europe…guys who were not necessarily interested in playing with, say, Chivas, DC United, or (ahem) Toronto.

      Now TFC can say…”hey, we’ve got Defoe and Michael Bradley”, and plenty of guys in that range, who wouldn’t have touched TFC with a ten-foot pole before, are going to listen.

      You can build good teams in a variety of fashions, but players are attracted to stability, dollars…and fan support. LA Galaxy has its act together, has for years. Seattle is getting to be a destination for the same reason. Portland isn’t splashing huge dollars (yet) but Caleb Porter’s built a nice system there is just one year and he’s getting some good-to-decent players to turn their heads his way. Jason Kreis was able to get solid players at RSL – and keep them, for the most part – and Sporting KC has built something very good, and you see how it attracted guys like Benny Feilhaber there. The Red Bulls have been willing to splash the cash for years and now seemingly have a manager who can put a consistent team on the field…and their attendance and results are way up this past year.

      Now TFC is throwing their hat into the ring. When NYCFC and Miami come into the league, they’re not going to come in cheap either – they’re going to be throwing cash around and making big signings too. Orlando City is probably going to take an approach more like Sporting KC’s but I seriously doubt they’re going to come in amateurishly.

      I agree there’s still a ton of work to be done on the bottom levels (Chivas USA is a problem that needed fixing five years ago and it’s even worse today) but there’s little doubt the quality of the league is headed straight up. It’ll jump even more precipitously as the academies start churning out players, the “homegrown” system starts replacing the MLS Superdraft as the preferred method of obtaining young players, and lower divisions like USL Pro become a means for developing club’s young players.

      By Russia 2018, MLS will probably have 26-28 teams, and will probably be punching evenly with the Mexican League in CONCACAF Champions League…and incidentally, sending MLS teams to the Club World Cup.

  134. Bob says:

    how did Toronto FC land both Defoe and Bradley anyway? Doesn’t the MLS have some kind of allocation lottery DP draft or whatever nonsense they call it?

    • Dinho says:

      Nope. Returning USMNT players are not subject to the allocation if they are signing DP contracts.

      No such thing as a DP allocation. Each team has 3 DP slots, they do what they will with them.

      • Bob says:

        so Bradley could have signed with any MLS team? Even the Galaxy?

        • PauseTheGameRealQuick says:

          Gals have all 3 slots used though.

        • Dinho says:

          Theoretically, yes, but as Pause points out, the Galaxy already have all 3 DPs filled (Omar, LD, and Robbie).

          Unless they unloaded one of those guys or renegotiated their contracts, the salary cap for non-DP players applies, thereby hamstringing the Galaxy’s efforts to sign a guy like Bradley.

    • PauseTheGameRealQuick says:

      No weighted lottery if you use a DP Slot.

  135. Joamiq says:

    I’m pretty distraught about this. Not necessarily for the same reasons as others – I think Bradley will be fine. He’s not going to forget how to play soccer. Let’s remember that our greatest player of all time has basically spent his entire career in MLS. It’s also great for the league.

    But not having our top players in Europe makes things tougher for Americans generally. As much as I despise Eurosnobbery, what the world thinks of American soccer players has a direct effect on the opportunities that American players will receive to play at high levels in Europe. The more guys we have playing at high levels in Europe, the more the bias against Americans will erode. The more top Americans go back to MLS when they can still play at a high level, the more the bias against Americans is reinforced. It will have a negative (perhaps slight in isolation, but still negative) effect on opportunities for other Americans in Europe in the future. Even if that bias is slowly eroding anyway, this still doesn’t help the process.

    • Dinho says:

      Don’t worry, we still have Jozy tearing it up…. oh wait.

    • GW says:

      You are being a little overly pessimistic.

      The genie is out of the bottle.

      European clubs now know that good, CHEAP players are available here. There is no turning back. Unless American kids start turning out to be crappier.

      Their problem will be what to do when and if MLS ever decides to pay a living wage to their average American player. You know so they can afford to buy a car or eat out at any place other than Micky D’s?

      • Joamiq says:

        Yes, but your comment highlights the problem. Americans are regarded as cheap. Their prices are deflated because of the bias. Teams aren’t willing to spend as much for an American as a European or a South American, all other things being equal. And that means that at the margins, there are some worthy Americans that European clubs aren’t willing to pay for at all.

  136. inkedAG says:

    Stay in Europe and compete, Michael!!

  137. Tom Traubert says:

    What is the matter with all of you bed wetters? Do you want a domestic league that can be at least discussed with others? Well, this is how you do it- you get the best players you can. Don’t kid yourselves, there are tons of Euro starters that would jump to the US in a heartbeat if they could get paid. Time to become a buying league, not just a selling league. It’s a damn shame MLS doesn’t get more respect from the home fans…get on board and support our league or get the hell out of the way!

    • Bob says:

      you cannot have a quality side when you give two players a combined $14 million and the other 23 players a combined $3 million.

      It cannot be done.

      Tell you what, give me that $17 million – screw that- give me $8 million and I could field a much better side in MLS than the current wage structure allows.

      This is what happens though when you have NFL guys running a soccer league. They just don’t get it.

    • GW says:

      Just for clarification’s sake, the only league in the world that is not a selling league is the EPL.

      The only time in recent memory that I can remember them selling a top class player to go on to bigger and better things, and this is a big one, was Christiano Ronaldo. I’m not sure if Xabi Alonso fits that description.

      Being a selling league is hardly a bad thing.

      • Madden's Chin says:

        Rosicky? Bale?

        • GW says:

          Mr.chin,

          How many La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Lige 1 players moved to the EPL at the beginning of this season?

          How many went the other way, voluntarily?

          I think you will find the majority went to England.

  138. Bob says:

    MLS, not Toronto FC, is paying the $7 million transfer fee.

    not surprised by this. MLS gonna be MLS

  139. PauseTheGameRealQuick says:

    This move would have been just as retarded if BOB Bradley were the one making it. Unreal.

  140. Petro4ever says:

    Part of me wonders whether this might be the first a number of USMNT player pool players making moves back home in January. If it is, then it may not be a disaster after all, and in fact, may be a net positive.

    While MLS still lags behind Europe in speed of play, player technical skill, and tactics, the gap appears smaller than it was years ago. If multiple teams can add a significant number of fringe USMNT players who aren’t getting playing time in Europe (e.g. Edu, Parkhust, Onyewu) to the collection of MLS players who are USMNT first 23-quality and already in the league (Dempsey, Donovan, Besler, Gonzalez, E. Johnson, Zusi, Beckerman, Goodson) and now Bradley (and good-but-not-star foreign players like Defoe), they could actually create a pretty good environment for a World Cup year after all. MLS isn’t a huge league size-wise (at least in comparison to other American sports leagues) so the addition of a decent number of players could easily boost the quality of the league overall. And if there are a couple dozen USMNT player-pool players in the same league competing for World Cup roster spots, knowing that every few nights they will get to go up against guys who may be just ahead of or behind them on the depth chart, that will be sufficient motivation for those players to push themselves in training and in games. Every game would essentially be USMNT audition. While the quality of play would be lower than Europe, that might be mitigated by players logging fewer miles travel-wise (thanks, unbalanced schedule) and by the chance for players to develop familiarity with eachother (either by being on the same team or seeing eachother up-close repeatedly over the course of several league games).

    The question to me is whether MLS will be able to add a critical mass of players that would make this scenario a reality. If they fail to do so, then yes, Bradley’s move is a bad one. But if this is just the first of many signings of American players, maybe this will be the surprise twist to our World Cup preparation that leads to positive results.

  141. Bryson says:

    This is obviously great for the MLS. By retaining top players like Donovan and Gonzalez and bringing back USMNT leaders like Dempsey and Bradley in their prime it shows that the league is growing and becoming more legitimate.

    This isn’t great for the USMNT. Bradley could have definitely found consistent playing time in a league better than the MLS. Sure he will play consistently, but when you are surrounded by less talented you wont develop at the same rate.

    Being that I am bigger USMNT fan than MLS fan I am disappointed by this move. I thought Bradley had more ambition than this.

  142. TheChamp says:

    What the heck????? Bradley, your potato head has become a hard boiled eggs with nothing in the middle. I guess your dad is the real potato head. You need to stay in Europe right now not MLS… not even if it’s for a loan.

  143. Tony says:

    Bradley destroyed the mls all stars. Can’t wait to see him play week in and week out. he will raise the level of play in mls. By the way better to move to MLS than ride a bench or play for a garbage team knowing that you are a great player that should get an opportunity at playing at a top team but will probably never get a chance until the end of your career. Lets be serious he was a great player at Chievo then Roma and the best offers for his future were teams that were not only mediocre and unstable but teams that are perpetually ruining careers!

    • Madden's Chin says:

      More likely is that the quality of teammates destroys him. Roma wrecked MLS all stars–not Bradley.

      • go euro or go home says:

        hahaha. good one. what is up with your inferiority complex? bradley is going to lead this team just as he deserves to be leading a team at this point in his career.

  144. Michael Bradley says:

    Hahahaha I got you guys. Should have seen the look on your faces. Okay okay it was just a joke to see how many people still care about me. But in all seriousness I’m leaving A. S. Roma for Chivas U. S. A. and so is Jozy. No one knows about the Jozy thing yet so keep that a secret. But we manage to show Chivas the 0.4% Hispanic heritage we have so L. A. HERE I COME!!

  145. RedCru says:

    I think this works out great…for all. MB will come to Jan camp and then go into a pre-season….he will be in mid-year physical form when the MNT camp starts before Brazil. Otherwise he is at the end of his season…and though it may have been against better competition…his body would be pretty worn out.
    Plus, you can’t help but be excited about what MLS could be becoming…let’s enjoy this possibility, rather than worry about it!

  146. Brett says:

    Ugh. It’s bad for both he and the national team, but good for MLS and TFC. We need him playing against world class players and there are exactly zero of them in MLS. I’d rather him train at Roma and get his spot starts in a top tier league than get competitive minutes in a fourth tier league like MLS.

  147. Frank says:

    This is a nightmare move for most US fans. Most could care less about him playing for Toronto FC. Hope he enjoys his payday because he will get lost in anonymity playing for MLS. Lets all hope this is a joke.

    • Yevgeniy says:

      His relative anonymity will only be due to ignorance of majority of American soccer fans. They will wake up at 7am to watch him play on some internet stream, but will not watch him play on ESPN in prime time

  148. Sheila says:

    Absolutely terrible move. What could MB be thinking? Surely there are other teams in Serie A, or in Germany or France or England, who would be thrilled to have him. But Toronto? In a World Cup year? The very thought of it is mind-boggling.

  149. Dan says:

    Bradley’s first hello to Klinsmann after this:

    link to youtube.com

  150. Harry says:

    I personally would have like MB90 to have remained in Europe but I think this is great for MLS. However I really think its time for the cap to be raised. Can this be done this year or do we have to wait until a new CBA agreement

    • Bob says:

      its horrible for MLS. Does nothing to increase the quality while 7 players of $1 mil value or $7 mil going into youth development would.

  151. John says:

    So do we all agree that with Jones and Kljestan’s European experience that they now have to be starters in Brazil? Unless Jones leaves then it’ll have to be Danny Williams and Kljestan I guess.

  152. Bac says:

    Hypothetical question…..

    If Bradley gets off to a slow start his first 12 games in MLS, will he be crucified, degraded, insulted, and criticized so much that he shouldn’t be starting for the usmnt and isn’t worthy of the captain’s armband in the future?

    Just curious…..

  153. Bob says:

    MLS has paid the $7 mil transfer fee. Truly a joke of a league.

    I hate MLS

  154. Ilya says:

    I could only imagine Klinsmann reaction.

  155. ThatKidNandez says:

    Suddenly I don’t care if Bradley was picked up by Sunderland or Sunderland just don’t go to MLS!

  156. El Paso tx says:

    Omg wtf is happening……….what’s next?
    Mourinho coming to coach in MLS. What’s is happening?
    The Barbie of mexicos Jonathan dosantoa denied a 10million contract in Mexico, to stay in Europe and play in Spain. I hate what’s going on with Dempsey, Bradley, Donovan’s confidence and if they think MLS is good, then ligaMX should be north Americas premier league.
    Please Tim Howard stay at Everton.

  157. Takle says:

    Bradley is 26 and as good as he’ll ever be. It’s not like if he’ll suddenly forget how to play just because he came to MLS.
    Much better than ridding the bench in Italy

    • Helium-3 says:

      What makes you think he will be riding the bench? He has to compete for his position just like the others. He just won’t be guaranteed a spot every week but compete for it. The money will be there after the World Cup.

  158. THomas says:

    Noooooooo…I was really hoping the rumor that was true was Bradley to Fulham. We could really use him.

  159. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    Let’s suppose Bradley *does* sign with TFC. Let’s look at the situation from a club level. You’ve got two respected professionals (Bradley, Defoe), someone on the serious decline who’s not afraid to stir things up (DeRosario), an unproven young quantity (Gilberto) and a noted hothead (Jackson) playing for an inexperienced coach (Nelsen) who did everything but wet his pants last season and for a preening big-mouth (Leiweke) who isn’t known for patience or tact when things don’t go well. This has all the makings of a time bomb. This would be a repeat of the confusion and dissention that followed the 2008 Galaxy.

    If Bradley is anything like his father, he isn’t stupid. He’ll ask his father for his considered opinion — which, considering that he worked for AEG (Leiweke’s old stomping ground) when that corporation owned the MetroStars, would be verrrrrrrrrrrry interesting. I’ll bet the younger Bradley doesn’t join TFC. He doesn’t *need* playing time before the World Cup; he’s the best midfielder the U.S. has. Klinsmann would be a bloody fool to leave him off the World Cup roster.

    • go euro or go home says:

      maybe he WANTS playing time. also, maybe he wants to run the show for once and get the respect he deserves. he will be the leader of this team, even more so than nelsen.

  160. El Paso tx says:

    Has anyone told Defoe , Bradley, Gilberto that tfc stadium is a high school stadium :)

    • brad says:

      that’s reportedly being totally redone with a roof and 40,000 seats….

      • El Paso tx says:

        Really by when, 2040 :)
        Toronto deserves a top SSS like skc, red bull.
        I can not believe big markets have really below average SSS, like galaxy, Chicago, Denver, Toronto, Montreal, dc, even Columbus. I can even add Dallas and Vancity since they have SSS and no nfl stadium.

  161. A Domestic League We All Want says:

    “Hello, Jozy?”
    “Yeah?”
    “It’s Jason Kreis”
    “Hey Jason, what can I do for you?”
    “As you know MLS is rated higher than France and Portugals domestic leagues and that in America Jerome O’Neill made 25 million to be on the Celtics bench the sametime as Messi made 18 million to dominate his sport? Right?”
    “Yeah, what are you getting at Jason.”
    “Jozy, it’s time to come home. Sunderland or NYC? 10 million and stardom? or Sunderland?”

    That’s the future my eurofriends. Also that’s a big tv contract. That’s boosted ratings. Time to accept it. Embrace it. America is a place where an nba bench player can make more than a soccer star. The money is growing in MLS. Get excited and buy season tickets. Some idea bought tickets in the 60s to watch the Celtics dominate a small league. In 1983 those tickets were priceless.

    • A Domestic League We All Want says:

      Ignore auto correct messing up Jermaine O’Neils name and the word idea with idiot.

      American soccer, embrace your swagger. We should be saying… why not more signings. Why not a merger cap? Why not? If the MLS boosted the cap to 20 million and kept the 3 DP rule, it would be one dominate league. Add stipulations that money is to be spent on depth to win the CONCACAF Champions League and Copa Libertadores, why not MLS?

    • Brett says:

      Winning a World Cup is the best way to boost the domestic profile of the sport. Signing American players to middling clubs in a cap-strung league is a drop in a bucket compared to what being able to call ourselves “world champions” will mean to the American soccer psyche.We know when we are being fed an inferior product, so we need to make ourselves superior.

      We need to be sending our best players to play in the best leagues across the world, so they are familiar with the very top levels of competition. That will make us competitive on the international stage. Our domestic league should be designed to identify and groom young players to send over to foreign leagues while attracting top quality players from across the world to elevate the level of competition. Over time our home grown products will become better and eventually the ones that stay here will challenge the exports in every regard. That’s the best way to build the national team, the success of which will mean the success of the domestic league (which is still WAY too small and rigid).

      • slowleftarm says:

        We have to win the world cup to make soccer popular? No way we are ever winning the world cup until soccer becomes far more popular here. You have the order reversed. And having a better domestic league is helpful for increasing the popularity of soccer here.

  162. Bobert says:

    hey guys, here is hypothetical question for you. With the Bradley signing Toronto will be paying $16 mil in wages in 2014. $13 mil of it going to Bradley and Defoe.

    Now its your turn to play GM. You have been given $16 mil by your owner to field a team. You are able to buy players on the global soccer marketplace. In order to get the best quality side how would you spend your money?

    Would you spread that $16 million out throughout the club or would you give it all to two players? Btw, you don’t get to choose the two players if you go that route. They have to be Bradley and Defoe.

    • John says:

      So there’s no designated player rule? If not then you would probably spread the money, through out the team. However big names do help promote a team and I think Defoe and Bradley are good players that put you in the playoffs right away. Also if I’m Toronto I need to get people excited about the club so I think I’d go with the names.

      • Bobert says:

        right, no DP rule. Just a hard cap of $16 mil to spend as you like.

        You’re actually saying you could field a better team by giving Bradley and Defoe $13 million of it and then spending $3million on the other 23 players?

        How do I put this nicely? You are incorrect.

        You would field a much higher quality team by spreading those wages around. Maybe sign a couple of $4 mil players, but everyone in the starting 11 would be a player who is very capable.

        What helps promote a team is winning.

        • John says:

          Of coarse you build a better team by spreading the funds throughout. However its kind of hard say this an awful deal because the reality is there is a DP rule and from the leagues prospective I understand. As 3 big names players aren’t going to make you far better then anyone else for certain.

  163. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Idk how to feel about this

  164. Steven's-Johnson says:

    If true, I think this a great move on his behalf. Everyone says this is bad for the USMNT but it could not be further from the truth. The only way the US is going to produce elite talent and have and legitimate chance of challenging for a world cup in the future is by having elite talent in MLS. The best way to start that is by having the best American’s playing in their domestic league. No better timing for MLS to sign these players than during a world cup year so the casual soccer fan can follow the players that they become familiar with during the world cup immediately following in MLS. It is time for American soccer fans to support MLS and American players that choose to stay and grow the sport in this country. If every USMNT pool player played in MLS it would be very exciting to watch with out a doubt.

  165. vipero says:

    According to a roman local radio Bradley’s agent confirmed his move to TFC, because of Nainggolan arrival.

  166. John says:

    Is there still a twist to the story? Daily Mirror this morning.

    Also according to TuttoMercato, Sunderland and PSV Eindhoven have made contact with Roma over the transfer of Michael Bradley.

    However, they’d have to pull something pretty significant out of the bag with reports from Canada and the US overnight stating that Toronto FC have offered him $6.5million per year.

    That’s £4m-ish a year, or £75k per week.

    So if the Black Cats want him they’re either going to have to make him their best-paid player or convince him that he’d be better served in the Premier League than taking an MLS move.

    • Falls City Outlaw says:

      Thank you for that financial perspective, John, that is a helpful frame of reference, since I usually here European salaries being paid per week.

  167. Smith says:

    Have we filled our quota of Bradley family updates for the week yet?

    What’s Ma Bradley up to? Haven’t heard about her yet.

  168. Cairo says:

    Well, at least I’ll be in the first 500 comments. Aside from all the debate about whether this is good for American soccer, I wonder this. It seems highly possible that TFC could get someone as good as Bradley but at half that price. I get that Bradley is a drawing card in MLS, but not nearly as much as he would be on the U.S. side of the border. He’s obviously a very good player, but is he $4 million per year better than Diego Valeri or Federico Higuain? Let me put it another way–give me a choice of overpaying for another Higuain from Argentina–let’s say 1 million per, and Bradley at $5 million, I’d take Higuain every time and spend the other $4 million dollars on something else. I’m not even 100 percent sure I’d take Bradley over those guys straight up. Bradley’s very good, but this is a gross overpay for someone who is not going to move the fan interest needle that much in Canada.

    • Dennis says:

      But with the bizarre MLS salary rules, it is pretty clear you could not take the $4 million and spread it across say 20 players, giving each a bump of $200,000. It is time for MLS to rethink its salary structure, that $200k is almost as much as Boca gets at Chivas, TFC (or any MLS team) could do worse than fill its roster with players of Boca’s caliber.

  169. groove says:

    over/under on some MLS hack taking Bradley out with a bad slide and killing his World Cup chances? Of course the slide will not earn a card.

  170. BamaMan says:

    I’ve got no problem with Bradley (or Dempsey or Donovan) getting paid. My issue is that they’re all playing in a league where they might be passing to a guy making $50K a year who couldn’t get a roster spot in League Two. The biggest issue with MLS is the talent disparity within individual teams, whereas in most leagues the biggest issue is the talent disparity between teams. I think MLS ought to be continuing to focus on building up the base level of talent in the league – as it seemed to be doing up until the past year or so – rather than splurging on big names. Also, is Bradley going to be that big of a draw in Toronto? If this were Columbus or something like that, I could totally see it. But is Canada really going to fawn over a guy whose main calling card is his performances in the USMNT shirt?

    • FireTilliDie says:

      Completely agree BamaMan.

    • london says:

      As Canadian soccer fans

      We like when the US wins in soccer. It brings the game closer to home and raises the quality within the MLS and Concacaf.

      What we don’t like is the US approach to young players and the college programs you have. School is for school, how did spectator sport become the most important part of education?

      There needs to be an MLS2 or MLS youth league with housing and schooling for those under 21

      • Baravelli says:

        Of course, you’re speaking for all Canadian soccer fans. But, how does Canada develop its young players? By the way, what about the college programs you have? Aren’t there athletic programs (and soccer programs) at Univ. of Toronto, McGill Univ., Carleton, Nipissing, Ryerson, and Sherbrooke, just to name a few.

  171. Pingback: How do you feel about Bradley's report move to Toronto FC?

  172. vipero says:

    Bradley’s agent interview:
    “He had a lot of requests from other Italian teams, but his choice has been TFC”
    link to tuttobolognaweb.it