SBI Reader Poll: What do you think of Bradley’s reported move to TFC?

Michael Bradley of USA

By FRANCO PANIZO

The news that took American and Canadian soccer circles by storm on Wednesday is one of great debate.

Ever since it was reported that Michael Bradley was leaving AS Roma to join MLS and Toronto FC, fans in North America have expressed a wide range of viewpoints on the move. Some believe it to be a fantastic signing by MLS and a good deal for Bradley, a U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder who is in the prime of his career and appears to be in store for a big payday. Others have viewed it less favorably, saying that it could hinder Bradley’s development ahead of the World Cup and in the years to come.

Wherever you stand on the debate, there is no denying the news has caused quite a stir. Not only because of Bradley’s age and skill, but also because of the level he was playing at and where some expected him to be in a few years.

What do you think of Bradley’s reported move to TFC and MLS? Cast your vote in the poll below and let us know how and why you voted the way you did in the comments section.

  • Love it. Think it’s great to see top Americans coming back to MLS.
  • Like it. Will enjoy seeing Bradley more but have mixed emotions about him leaving Europe
  • Don’t like it. It’s good for MLS, but I worry about his form ahead of the World Cup
  • Hate it. A disastrous move for his career.

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275 Responses to SBI Reader Poll: What do you think of Bradley’s reported move to TFC?

  1. vik says:

    He’ll get plenty of playing time; let’s see if he can maintain his serie A sharpness.

    Donovan has managed all these years, no reason why someone as coolly determined as MB can’t keep his level high. If Dempsey can get his act together and score more goals, maybe it’ll all come together? Having usmnt teammates playing in the same league, if not the same team, might do something for chemistry at the WC.

    I also just booked my flights to Brazil, so it would take an awful lot to upset me right now : )

    • DC Josh says:

      “Let’s see if he can maintain his serie A sharpness.”

      The Serie A is 2 or 3 steps above MLS. His progress will stop the second he steps on the training pitch in Toronto.

      Disastrous move for him. He is only doing it for the money, and it will ruin what could have been a fantastic career.

      • USMNT Fan says:

        Agreed. MLS will not be able to compete with the top leagues until they significantly increase the salary cap. Maybe then they will draw more viewers than the WNBA.
        Bradley, like Donovan, just doesn’t have that sustained hunger to challenge themselves against the world’s best day-in and day-out. That quality separates the good from the great. He had potential, but is now throwing that away.

        • Eurosnob says:

          Or ditch the salary cap entirely.

        • Gary Page says:

          let’s be fair to Bradley. Whereas Donovan made a couple of brief forays in Europe, Bradley has spent considerable time playing in Holland, Germany, Italy and briefly in England. I can’t think of any American, except maybe Kasey Keller, who has played at such a high level in so many different countries.

        • biff says:

          Respectfully disagree, Gary Page. Clint Dempsey accomplished much more in Europe than Michael Bradley has up to this point, was loved at Fulham and headed for legend status until the acrimonious departure. MB has never had an experience in Europe that comes even close to that, nor has he ever played at a high level in Europe as you suggest. MB has had a series of relatively short stints at low level teams–until he finally was acquired by a big team (Roma) where so far this season he had been relegated mostly to the bench with a few late game cameo appearances.

          As I stated yesterday, the whole thing smells like a negotiating tactic designed to get MB a better salary at Sunderland or another club that truly wants him. Quite frankly, I cannot see MB giving up at such a young age in Europe after not really accomplishing much and heading back to the MLS, which basically is the warning signal that he has peaked and would probably kill any chances he ever had of being named captain of the USMNT, at least under Klinsmann. If he moves back to MLS after not being able make the cut at Roma, combined with his debacle at Aston Villa, then he will lose legend status forever and always be known as the man who failed in Europe. I do not see MB doing this and I think there will be a surprise announcement on a move to England or Germany and you will be able to hear the sighs of relief from USMNT fans around the world.

          • Tim S. says:

            I do not think Gary was saying he had a better European career, he specifically mentioned all of the success Bradley had in a number of different countries (hence, the comparison to Keller). Holland, Italy, Germany…Bradley has been a success in a number of different environments.

          • kev says:

            he will never be known as someone who “failed” in Europe, when he had mostly successful spells in holland, germany, and two teams in italy, and one bad loan experience in England. he will be known as someone who could have had the best club career for any american ever, but chose to go in another direction, to my personal dissapointment.

          • Dennis says:

            I see it as a several issue thing.

            One, there is no question he will be playing with and against less talented players in MLS, that could present problems when he faces tougher competition in the WC.

            Two, at Roma, or most of the clubs who could offer him better competition thanMLS, he would not instantly become the guy upon whose shoulders rested the fortune of the team. That is a kind of pressure he would never face at Roma, but it is exactly what he needs to do for the USMNT.

            Three, C’mon a five-fold increase in his salary, he would have to be dumb to turn that down. After the WC, or maybe even earlier, that salary sets a new base salary in negotiations for any future move. Financially, it is a no-brainer.

        • tim says:

          Wow WNBA… MLS is drawing more than NBA already and was ranked #9 of all soccer leagues in attendance.

          For MLS to make a jump in quality, someone has to be part of the group that starts the wave. If top American players are the guys to start that wave, what more can we ask for? Our own players coming back to raise the talent level of the league is a good thing.

          • SilverRey says:

            For MLS to make a jump in quality, we need to get higher TV ratings. Follow the money trail.

            Currently we are riding a wave of underpaid talent. It’s not going to last forever – see Camillo.

            The fact that we have guys that are making over $200k per game next to a guy that makes $60k a year needs to change.

            Of course to get more viewers, we need better talent….

          • JCC says:

            High attendance numbers are all well and good, but what really matters (i.e., what actually makes teams and leagues money) are TV ratings. The fact that MLS still can’t register high enough numbers to beat the WNBA is a major problem. High attendance just means that diehards are going to games. But it’s the casual fans that make you the money.

      • slowleftarm says:

        Totally disagree. Michael Bradley does not become a worse player merely by leaving Roma (where he isn’t even a regular starter) and joining MLS. He isn’t going to play worse in Brazil because of this move.

        It’s also pretty easy to be dismissive of “the money” but we’re talking about going from $1.1m to more than $6m. How can you just act like that’s some trifle he shouldn’t be concerned with?

        The idea that this “ruins” a career is pretty silly too. He’s going to make millions of dollars playing the game he loves and play at multiple world cups for his country. A ruined career? Only when judged by the eurosnobs.

        • PD says:

          I don’t understand how an argument based on the assumption that if a player surrounds himself with less talented players pushing each other to higher levels of performance he’ll risk dropping form is considered snobbery. If this were NYRB, KC, LA, Portland, RSL or even Houston or Montreal I don’t think there would be anywhere near the kind of alarm that has been generated here. But Toronto is a perennial failure and is at the moment if maybe going to have the potential to be half a paper tiger (if that). the game is played by 11 players but the season requires over 30 players ready to go. Toronto simply doesn’t have that. that’s not snobbery, that’s simple observation of facts.

          • Chicago Banksy says:

            “If this were NYRB, KC, LA, Portland, RSL or even Houston or Montreal I don’t think there would be anywhere near the kind of alarm that has been generated here”- PD
            You’d be wrong then. People are yelling and moaning because of the perceived massive inferiority of MLS. Nothing to do with the team, specifically. It’s an indictment on America’s soccer league. I am so very proud of not only MLS for shelling out the cash, but for the Dempsey’s and the Bradley’s for having the guts to make the leap back. In my opinion the hard thing is to come back home and build. They did that, and because of it MLS and American soccer will benefit greatly. Albeit in the long term.

      • JM says:

        It’s a lot easier to say that he’s ONLY doing it for the money when it is his money and not yours. In reality, what more does he have to prove in Europe? The comment that it will ruin what could have been a fantastic career is ridiculous and implies that he hasn’t yet had a fantastic career. Either that or the implication is that somehow signing with TFC takes away from his past accomplishments.

        Do I love the move? No probably not but I certainly understand the benefits to him.

      • danny says:

        If you think his progress has to stop the minute he goes to Toronto, then you do don’t know much about competing. Toronto, will build a team around him and he will, for the first time, have the chance to truly lead his professional club team. This type of development is different than competing to be a role player on one of the top clubs in the world. Both types of development are useful. If two years from, Bradley is the most dominant midfielder in the MLS, leading Toronto to MLS championships in Concacaf CL success, then he will be a much better player and have increased his market value. The problem is that he is only 26, and if he achieves that, then he would have to move back to Europe to develop more. I don’t like that there is this ceiling from playing in MLS but its still a a challenge for him to hit it. My first reaction to this news about Bradley was horror, but the more I think about it, the more I am ok with it. Bradley deserves the money and if he can’t get it or the respect from within a top European league. I think if he was from a European country or Argentina, he would get a very good offer from a mid to high table team in a big league that would want to anchor their midfield around him.

      • JoeW says:

        I think you’re wrong on this. When you don’t start and you don’t play serious minutes, you aren’t sharp and you aren’t match-fit.

        MB goes to TFC. He starts 12 matches, plays in all of them. Goes to WC in match shape and reasonably sharp. If he plays well, he’ll have lots of foreign suitors, some from major clubs. That puts him in far better shape to be starting for a major club in Fall 2014 than it does sitting on the bench at Roma.

    • krazymunky says:

      I agree Donovan has managed to remain a great player who performs in the world cup while playing for the MLS. But we will never know if he couldve been better if he had played in european leagues

  2. Boyd says:

    No brainer for him. Nobody in Europe was going to come close to paying him what MLS is.

    • Helium-3 says:

      1.1 Million vs 6.5 Million. You decide.

      Does anyone really blame him? Doubt it, but for sporting reason of course it is a bad move.

      • Michael says:

        Sporting Reason? Are they in the Serie A?

      • AcidBurn says:

        Roma salary was post-tax and Toronto FC is pre-tax in loonies, so it is more like 3x the salary, not 6x the salary. Yes, it is triple the salary, but it is not the “OMG he is making 6 times more” which makes it a no-brainer.

        He could have gone to say, Sunderland, and made like 2x more and be in a better league.

        Some perspective…

        • Frank L. says:

          Even if your numbers were correct Have you watched Sunderland play?
          Can they afford the transfer fees and salary MLS is paying Bradley? Even if they do, are they willing to pay that much to somebody like Bradley?

          • AcidBurn says:

            Roma accepted a bid of 7 million Euros from TFC, the same as Sunderland bid in the summer transfer window. Not an issue.

            The increased wages just need to be agreed upon between players, and it would be expected that his PL wages would be significantly higher than his bottom of the barrel contract at Roma.

        • RP says:

          Another perspective is longevity. In 3/4 years Bradley could have made the interim amount all along and still came back for the pay day. I doubt he will be so highly paid in MLS..

          Although truthfully I dont know how long the contract with TFC would be.

        • KNPonder says:

          According to things that I have read, Bradley was set to make $1.1 post tax for the next 2.5 years on his Roma contract. The TFC contract is for (apparently) 6 years. 6 years x $6.5 million is $39 million overall. While I don’t know what the exact Canada income tax rate is, I did a very quick search and saw a Government site that posted the highest bracket at 29%. If we just assume 35%, then Bradley’s final take on the entire contract is roughly $25 million. At Roma, his contract would have paid him roughly $2.75 million. So in essence, Bradley is getting more like 10 times the money. If it really were just twice as much or maybe even three times more, then Bradley probably declines. However, if you put a number that is 10 times more, then you are making offers that are practically impossible for a normal person to refuse.

          • AcidBurn says:

            Good analysis, however it is comparing his salary over 6 years with TFC vs salary at Roma for 2.5 years (unless you assume that he retires after that and makes 0 for the last 3.5 years). So not really apples to apples.

            Plus, with the TFC contract there is 0 upside, this is MB’s pay ceiling. At Roma, he had upside (play well and can be sold to an even bigger team) vs TFC where there is none. Realistically, even if he tears it up at TFC, because of his expensive contract and low quality of MLS, he’s not going back.

            He’s packed it in for a payday. I can understand why, but would have liked him to try to be the first US player as a starter at a CL club. That path is gone.

            • KNPonder says:

              Good point about the comparison, but what is the true “upside” for Bradley in terms of pay in Europe? I think Bradley is very underrated and, like you, could be a starter at a CL club. Despite this, at the end of the day he is just a solid box-to-box midfielder. Those types don’t command big pay days on the market. A guy like Fredy Guarin (who I believe is over-rated and not that much better than Bradley) at Inter makes about $3.0M USD a year. While he is mostly a box-to-box guy in my eyes, some view him as being somewhat of a playmaker – thus commanding more money. I can’t see Bradley ever making more than what Guarin makes now on the European market. I do agree that Bradley has capped his value by taking the offer, but I think that he still will get more money in this deal in the long run as TFC overpaid by a big margin.

              • Helium-3 says:

                TFC are also going to overpay for Defoe’s transfer fee. Defoe is a free agent this summer but I guess they are desperate and willing to pay $ 9M (USD?) to get him in March instead of July/August.

      • Laszlo says:

        What I don’t understand is why MLS would pay him $6.5M per year?! If Roma was actually paying him between $1M – $1.25M, why would the league offer $6.5M? The league probably could have gotten him for $2.5M – $3M. From a league perspective, MB is not worth $6.5M per year. Bad business decision by MLS. IF MB and his agent were demanding the $6.5M per year, I would have told MB to go rot on Roma’s bench for the next 5 months.

        • Matt says:

          Why? To get him to come here.
          The league would not have gotten him for 2.5m, because the only reason to come to the MLS is a massive offer he couldn’t refuse.

        • wandmdave says:

          I know I’ll be watching far more TFC games this coming season than I had planned on up until this trade. I’m sure MB is way more valuable to MLS than an equivalently skilled non-American/non-Canadian thus at least somewhat justifying the higher wage. Kind of surprised it was Toronto and not an American city though.

          • Green76 says:

            There was talk of Dempsey to Toronto as well. MLS seems to have picked them as the Canadian Galaxy.

  3. mertz says:

    Wiat until some MLS hack takes him out with a hard tackle and he misses the World Cup. Of course there will be no card shown.

    • johnny 99 says:

      They don’t tackle hard in Italy?

    • Matt says:

      Like the hack that took out Rossi in Italy?

    • Findley is the American Bofo says:

      This line of thought is stupid. There are hacks in every league, and some are even decent players. Have you ever watched Kevin Nolan play for West Ham? Nigel De Jong? Lee Catermole? Heck, Johnny Evans (paging Stu Holden)? They exist even in a “technical” league like Italy, where maybe they are more apt to produce a card due to the incessant flopping and crying when a player is so much as touched, but players and refs also get paid off to throw games. When was the last time this bogus narrative played out because Landon Donovan, Graham Zusi, Eddie Johnson, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Brad Evans et al missed significant time due to “some MLS hack”?

    • tony and cupcake says:

      Like Holden in EPL

    • Sam says:

      Ridiculous comment. I’d boo you off the stage if I could.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Tim Cahill was tackled by some hack from RSL and said that it was the worst tackle that he had ever received in his career (and Tim has played in some hard-tackling places). Cost Tim a month on the sidelines.

      And no card was produced on that tackle.

      So yeah, there is some precedence here. The refs are atrocious, leading to those brash tackles more than in a higher league.

  4. Ted in MN says:

    Ughghhhh

  5. Lost in Space says:

    I wouldn’t have a problem with this if he was 30….but at his age he needs to be competing against stronger opposition than what is currently available in MLS. Look at the strides that Dempsey made between the 2006 – 2010 WC’s by playing and competing in England…he became a much better player (Technically & Tactically). We’ll never know if Donovan wouldn’t have been an even better player if he’d stayed in Europe.
    While great for MLS to get a player of Bradley’s caliber at his age, it’s not good for the USMNT.

    • iggy says:

      completely agree. No way Dempsey woudl be where he is right now without all that time in the Prem. Now Bradleys had exposure to high levels for a while over there, so he has something to build on. I am wil you though.

    • Devin Brown says:

      I doubt most Toronto fans care all that much about USMNT.

    • RP says:

      Agreed. Just look at the jump bradley made once he got to Italy.

      Playing yourself into game shape is a real thing. Its like a rubber band. If you’re not stretched by the forces around you, you simply do not stretch as far as you can go.

      People who point out donovan — should remember the difference in donovan in 2010 after his stint at everton compared to 2006.

    • Chicago Banksy says:

      If he was 30 MLS wasn’t gonna offer that money to him. And don’t try and use Dempsey as an example he’s a star, Bradley doesn’t contain that quality.

  6. Ando says:

    I will say the same thing I said about Dempsey, good for Bradley for going somewhere where he is wanted. But why Toronto? I guess I do not like see other MLS teams get better. New York supporter here. I do not blame Bradley for taking this money and being one of the faces of MLS. I do not think MLS play will ruin his form for the World Cup.

    I just wish that another European Champions League team with midfield issues (I am looking at you Manchester United) would swoop in and give Bradley a chance to show the continent his full talents. But I can not complain because I do not have to money or power to make that move happen. I (selfishly) want a MLS-Trained American to conquer Europe. Honestly, I do not think that European teams value Americans highly. Players like Dempsey and Bradley should be creating bidding wars in my opinion.

  7. downintexas says:

    Like it! Just wish it was not Toronto.

    • MLSfan says:

      Sorta like how DeRo spend so much time in Houston, hey there Tex?

    • Ryan SATX says:

      If he were going to someone like Houston, Portland, NYRB or someone of that ilk, I’d like this a little better, but TFC just feels bad to me.

      • whoop-whoop says:

        With DeFoe on the roster, will it feel a little better? How about with a few more good moves? I’d anticipate all of the above. Leiweke is on a mission, has a record of ambition and success and historically,Toronto has been looked at as a city with great potential to e a top MLS franchise. Teams change, make leaps, but of course it takes bold moves in order to do so. This sure seems like a bold move to me… not only from a marketing perspective, but one that will have immediate results on the field. From a Galaxy fan… Toronto WILL be in the playoffs next year Book it! This signing and Toronto emerging from its malaise is a very good things for MLS.

    • Beto says:

      I agree, TFC will be much better next year but still i would have prefered a different team. NYRB would be good

  8. JJ says:

    I’m sure it is going to be a great pay day for him. He’ll get constant playing time. He is not a guy that slows down no matter where he is, so I don’t see his form dipping. It’s great for the league. It’s almost all positives.

    The only negative I could see to this is that over the long term he doesn’t reach the peak that he could reach if he was still in Europe. But that is purely hypothetical, maybe he’s already at his peak. Nobody can know.

    I’ll take facts over hypotheticals. Good move.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      it’s not really hypothetical to say that a player needs a competitive environment to improve; that’s pretty much the rule, though there may be exceptions.

      and even if bradley has hit his peak, the same thing goes for keeping a player at the top of his game. bradley may be the hardest working player we have, but it’s not just some crazy idea that him playing against subpar competition will not keep him as sharp as he would be if playing against world-class competition.

  9. Frank L. says:

    I’m happy he’s getting paid but you’re missing the “Don’t Care” option.
    He’s not going to make MLS any better and he was never an exciting player to watch anyways.

    • Ryan SATX says:

      I saw Mike B play in Nashville a few years ago, and he completely changed the way I watch central mids play the game. I’d pay plenty to watch him play week in, week out.

    • wtf says:

      You mean “don’t care” as in your comment. Sorry the NFL season is coming to a close, but there is more to soccer than just stats

      • byrdman says:

        I don’t know if Frank L & FRANK!! are the same poster, but if so let’s at least give him credit for not shouting at us in all caps. Thanks FRANK.

        • Michael says:

          No offense at all intended to Frank L., who for all I know is a fantastic person, but no way he & FRANK are the same guy. FRANK is one in a million. It’s as if Dr. Joe started posting on SBI.

    • Devin Brown says:

      I think he will make MLS better both directly and indirectly.

  10. brian says:

    Does this mean that he is not playing competitively until March? heading to cupcake camp?

  11. Sam says:

    It’s delusional to think that the usmnt is a wc contender, whether all our players are in Europe or in mls. It’s myopic to think that dempsey and Bradley moving to mls is bad for the usmnt. The day our domestic league is one of the best in the world, with top academies and deep pockets is the day we can begin to think about being wc contenders. Bradley and Dempsey to mls is a step in that direction.

    • Michael says:

      That is true.

    • Anthony says:

      you need to develop great players (academies), but you do not need to be the best league to consistent WC competitors (Netherlands). The BPL is the best league, arguably, and the English are not competitors except in their own minds.

    • the original jb says:

      Agreed. Great post.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Great point. Anyone picking the US to win it in 2014 on this site ?

      Crickets.

  12. RB says:

    It will be official on January 13th.

  13. brian says:

    More questions: Is he now making 6x the salary he was making? How much more is Clintu making in MLS than Premier? thank you kindly for your answers.

    • Matt says:

      6x is the current rumor for MB, from about 1.1M to 6.5M.
      Clint is making just a little more, but got a much longer term contract than he could have gotten in the EPL.

      • byrdman says:

        see comment above concerning wages pre tax in canada and post tax in Italy. It does cast a little different light on the “proposed” pay day. Still hoping it doesn’t happen.

    • Anthony says:

      No. It’s more like 2x’s-2.5x’s his salary (still a significant huge jump).

      Last year he made Eur 800k. This year his salary went up to to Eur 1.1-1.2million. However, all those numbers are post-tax. Given the 1.33-1.37 Eur-USD conversion rate range, that is about $1.46 – $1.65million after taxes.

      He is making (supposedly) $6.5mill/year pre tax. His Canadian taxes will be roughly 42% because he will be in the highest bracket (above 137K for federal and 500K for province). His post tax income should be $3.77 million/yr. This is assuming it’s USD and not CAD (Toronto is in Canada). If it’s CAD, then it’s more like $3.47 mill/yr (1 CAD = 0.92 USD).

      Sources: Canadian taxes (link to cra-arc.gc.ca)
      Conversion: link to bloomberg.com
      Conversion: link to bloomberg.com

  14. Nate Dollars says:

    i don’t like it the ‘reported move’, but i really want to respond to those defenders of this (and dempsey’s) move who are using landon donovan’s career as an example:

    unless you think that donovan is so good that he couldn’t possibly get any better, that argument doesn’t make sense.

    yes, he’s one of the best american players ever, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t be even better than he was at his peak if he had been playing against, and with, world-class players the whole time. no one knows how good (or bad, or similar) he would be if he had played in europe. it’s illogical to use donovan as an example one way or the other.

    • RP says:

      I mentioned it elsewhere but I’ll say it again here.

      To illustrate your point – See Donovan in 2010 after the loan to Everton. Compared to Donovan in 2006.

      • Ben says:

        Yes, that improvement had nothing to do with him being 4 year more experienced rather than the few months he spent at Everton. Also, how do you explain 2002, which I still think was Donovan’s best World Cup?

        • Kosh says:

          + 1

          Thank you for this sane and rational response.

          This is why I don’t like to respond to these crazy hypotheticals as they are nothing more than a lazy way to give ground to an arguement.

    • wandmdave says:

      While I’m not totally enamored with this move from a USMNT team fan’s perspective, I have to say its equally illogical to assume he would have been better off in Europe. Granted if you could ensure he was a starter who regularly goes the full 90 and that he doesn’t get injured then you could say with some confidence that he’d stay sharper and reach a higher skill level if he was in a big league in Europe rather than in MLS. However, you can’t ensure any of those things and even if you could he may have peaked already either way.

      • wandmdave says:

        Because of all that while this move might slightly stunt the growth of one player on the MNT and so harm the national team in the short term, it is probably more likely to help grow MLS and all the players coming up in the league in the long term than if he had stayed in Europe. Part of why I have mixed emotions on the whole thing.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        right, that’s why i said it’s illogical to argue that either way. donovan’s career isn’t a good example of anything potential-wise unless you could prove exactly how good he would be if he played in europe his whole career.

  15. USA Fan says:

    Is this a trick question?

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      No.

      As dumb as it sounds there are people that don’t care if watch him week in and week out in our own league.

  16. Jamie Z. says:

    I’m only slightly less confused than if he’d just up and retired.

  17. Adam M. says:

    MLS: Great for the league. Anytime the league adds and is willing to pay for on field quality its a step in the right direction.
    Toronto: Huge offseason for them.
    USMNT: Good short term because Bradley will start every game and his quality won’t disappear in a few months before Brazil. Not so hot for longer term because he won’t be testing himself against world class offensive players coming at him. Also, not a great precedent for future US players who can cash in instead of fighting up the ladder in Europe.
    MB: He is getting paid millions and millions of dollars to play soccer for a living, just got a huge raise, and it almost certainly won’t effect his 2014 role. Good for him.

    • DR7_Liverpool_ says:

      +1 Pretty solid points

    • wandmdave says:

      I think its good long term for USMNT too. Bradley had to claw his way up pretty high to earn this paycheck even if he is giving up some long term potential so I don’t see this as showing future players they can slack off and grab a fat MLS contract. Second this will hopefully raise ratings some right as this TV contract comes up as well as help raise the competitive bar in the league both of which need to get better before the MNT can get much better.

  18. Dc says:

    of course only he can decide what is best for him, but what cracks me up is lallas trying to defend the move, saying “hey, it’s more money and a better quality of life.” well alexi, you are a soccer player and soccer pundit, and you get paid to talk about soccer, yet you leave soccer totally our of your argument. same with everyone here defending his move because of the money. what a sad reason to make any huge decision in your career or life. and of course, some of you make your decisions exclusively around money, and all i can say is that i’m sorry for you.

    • slowleftarm says:

      He’s getting paid six times more. You would turn down a six time increase in your salary?

      • Anthony says:

        Stop with the 6x’s more non-sense. While I am happy he is getting more money, it’s 2.5x’s more if you consider tax implications and currency conversions. Additionally, it’s 6 years guaranteed vs 2 more years guaranteed.

        “No. It’s more like 2x’s-2.5x’s his salary (still a significant huge jump).

        Last year he made Eur 800k. This year his salary went up to to Eur 1.1-1.2million. However, all those numbers are post-tax. Given the 1.33-1.37 Eur-USD conversion rate range, that is about $1.46 – $1.65million after taxes.

        He is making (supposedly) $6.5mill/year pre tax. His Canadian taxes will be roughly 42% because he will be in the highest bracket (above 137K for federal and 500K for province). His post tax income should be $3.77 million/yr. This is assuming it’s USD and not CAD (Toronto is in Canada). If it’s CAD, then it’s more like $3.47 mill/yr (1 CAD = 0.92 USD).

        Sources: Canadian taxes (link to cra-arc.gc.ca)
        Conversion: link to bloomberg.com
        Conversion: link to bloomberg.com

      • Dc says:

        Six times? That’s not accurate. Would i rather take the chance of being remembered as a legend at Roma, as an american who made a mark in a european league rather than another player that came back to the mls, and still be relatively super rich compared to everyone else in the world, but maybe not quite as rich as I could have been? Yep, no question.

        • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

          A legend at Roma ? Oh my word, we just hit a new low in the ignoring the reality of the situation.

        • John says:

          If your not Italian there’s not much of a chance of hat happening

    • Ben says:

      That’s a bit off. Most people make decision in their careers based on money.

      • wandmdave says:

        seriously, Dc must be rich, a teenager, living in his mom’s basement, or some combination of all 3. Who doesn’t look at salary when they take a job?

  19. Chris says:

    I think this is an alright move for MLS, but a very negative move for MBs career. The whole idea of american players coming back to MLS still in their prime could end up being a detriment down the road. I feel like theres no push in any of our players anymore, im not saying MB or deuce are quitters but theres no desire to move to a bigger club and earn your spot. MLS is a fine league, but its not serie a or the epl and it will take a huge cash injection to even get close to that. Also I think klinsmann is watching this and i love MB, favorite usmnt player, but i could see klinsi letting him off some rosters. People could say that yeah landon donovan is the best usmnt player of all time and he plays in MLS. However couldn’t he have been a better all around player overseas, i think so. Just all these players gota stop settling and cashing in on a huge pay day

    • Beto says:

      Hasnt hurt Landon.

      Dempsey has only been left off while he was injured…

      People are always quoting Jurgen saying he doesn’t approve these moves but has he actually stated this?

      • Ben says:

        Dempsey also had a dip because he came back and played like a schmuck, trying little flicks and tricks at a rate he never would have in England. For me, it showed the improvement of the MLS that Dempsey couldn’t come back and play like and ass and succeed.

    • wandmdave says:

      I think long term this is a good move for MLS. Taken together with the Dempsey trade it seems they have decided to start bringing back the top American talent at or close to their prime. My guess is the only unifying characteristic of a US soccer fan is that they love the USMNT and follow the players on it. If most USMNT players are in MLS that should attract more eyeballs to MLS. That should help raise money and therefore salaries and league quality over the long haul.

  20. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Americans aren’t bring more TV ratings, sell more merchandise, and make people pay at games, especially at this moments. I am also not too happy rumors about Defoe.

    • Dio e Scott says:

      Me says you needeth speak more best english

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Americans aren’t selling more merchandise ? Tell that to the thousands of Yedlin jersey wearers here in Seattle.

      What planet do you live on ? Why do you think they are paying so much ?

  21. m says:

    It saddens me that Bradley who is considered the best player for the US is more or less forced out of AS Roma and is now coming back to MLS. I would have hoped by now that at least a decent mid tier EPL team would have gained his services.

  22. Rich says:

    Landon started this stupidity. The MLS is the equivalent of Football League One in England. Bradly sets America back. Big money. Sure! NASL paid big money too. Horrible. Horrible, Horrible.

    • RBNY says:

      Better than League one lol. More like Championship level.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Lived in London for quite a while and went to many Charlton games when they were in League One and the Championship. Now a RBNY season ticket holder and in my opinion MLS is easily at Championship level, certainly better than League One. Obviously no comparison between Toronto and Roma but there’s also no comparison between $1.2m a year in Italy and $6.5m a year in Canada.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        Come on slowleftarm…you just have a slow left arm….the guy posting ?
        He is just slow….(and has never watched soccer)

        The point of this is…..Who cares what some guy named Rich thinks…and who cares if it is below league one ?

        They are playing soccer in my hometown and Dempsey and Evans is going to be playing against Bradley and I will there. Throw in Yedlin and Hahnemann as a bonus, I don’t even care, it is going to be great. Super fantastic great. For Rich, not so much, he will be whining until he dies….which is fine, the Sounder crowd will drown out the whimper.

  23. Dimidri says:

    Here’s my main issue with this (and I totally understand the financial aspect of it)-I get we should want more players coming back to MLS. Completely. But if there is one player I wish didn’t play in MLS, it’s Bradley. He could be starting on Everton.

    One way of looking at this-would Portugal be happy if Ronaldo played for Sporting Lisbon again? France if Ribery played for Lyon in a pre PSG spending era? Probably not.

    Then again, Brazil, Russia, Argentina and Mexico all have had some of their best players in their weaker domestic leagues (than Europe) and they seem to be alright.

    • Matt says:

      Um…the players you mentioned aren’t currently spending most of the time on the bench.

    • m says:

      You were doing great until you threw in Mexico

    • Boyd says:

      If Ronaldo and Ribery were riding the bench I’m sure people in their countries would prefer they come home. After all, the Portuguese and French leagues are mile ahead of MLS

      • slowleftarm says:

        Top teams in Portugal are better than MLS but overall I don’t think the league is “miles ahead” of MLS. Better yes but not hugely so.

    • Ben says:

      You’re kidding yourself if you think Bradley is in the same class as Ribery or Ronaldo.

      • Anthony says:

        I think you missed the point of the analogy

      • JS says:

        He didn’t say that. He is merely saying that Ronaldo is as important to the Portugal national team’s success as Bradley is to the US national team’s success. That’s debatable, but I tend to think it’s most true.

    • wandmdave says:

      MLS has a lot more potential to grow than those other leagues and stars moving home can help. For a country of the population and wealth of the US our league far behind its maximum potential. Perhaps some Euro leagues could still grow as well but I assume each is pretty close to their max potential already based on their country’s population and wealth.

      • wandmdave says:

        Just saying if Ronaldo was American it could still be a good thing for the long term development of the game for him to come to MLS.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Dimidri

      Why would I want Bradley starting for a dead end job like Everton ?

      Serious question. I am going to the Sounder’s game against Toronto in March.

      And yes Portugal would be happy to have Ronaldo back…is that a joke question ?
      It has to be.

  24. Techskillz416 says:

    If we as a country are going to gain quality recognition for our leagues and players that will translate to the International Level, you have to start somewhere at sometime…THE TIME IS NOW. This is the first step of MANY, in the future we will have decent farm/ 2nd and 3rd division leagues, smaller cities supporting these teams and leagues and once the game finally hits the inner cities, the time bomb finally goes off and BOOM we will be a true threat to the Game Internationally and Club levels.

  25. BrianK says:

    I do not understand all the negativity. This is a great move for TFC, MLS and Michael Bradley. Moves like this will accelerate the improvement of MLS.

    Happy for TFC,….Jermaine DeFoe and now Bradley. Huge upgrade in talent.

  26. beachbum says:

    huge challenge for him to try and turn this moribund franchise around and be the leader that leads them out of darkness. Not an easy task. the Toronto fans have always been ready to support that team but the team has basically sucked forever.

  27. Alex G says:

    Disastrous move for MB, we need american players thriving at a high level, not going back to a development league.

    MB is arguably the best american player and the only one that could go to a bigger team, he has the potential to be world class, this move means he is one of the bunch.

    Please MB think about your future and the future of fellow american players.

    • Bean says:

      I really like Michael Bradley. I’m happy that someone is going to pay him a good wage. I don’t see Bradley as being a world class player. He is a good work horse though. I expect that he’ll be a top CM in MLS this year. If he can’t make the starting VI in Roma, he is not likely to win a world class spot anywhere. He’s good enough for a mid table side in the top flight, and may eventually be loaned out to an England team.

    • keithbabs says:

      Totally agree. He should give up 6.5x his salary and think about his future. Umm, wait….

      • Alex G says:

        I meant sports future, he is out of favor at his club, that is something he could fix, he has done it before.

      • Anthony says:

        It’s more like 2.5x’s if you look at the currency and tax implications. No offense, but I wish people were not so intellectually lazy and would actually look into what the numbers mean.

      • Anthony says:

        Last year he made Eur 800k. This year his salary went up to to Eur 1.1-1.2million. However, all those numbers are post-tax. Given the 1.33-1.37 Eur-USD conversion rate range, that is about $1.46 – $1.65million after taxes.

        He is making (supposedly) $6.5mill/year pre tax. His Canadian taxes will be roughly 42% because he will be in the highest bracket (above 137K for federal and 500K for province). His post tax income should be $3.77 million/yr. This is assuming it’s USD and not CAD (Toronto is in Canada). If it’s CAD, then it’s more like $3.47 mill/yr (1 CAD = 0.92 USD).

    • slowleftarm says:

      Maybe MLS is trying not to be a “developmental league” any more. Once MLS gets some serious cash flowing, europeans are going to be coming over here. Going to take a while but I believe it can happen and moves like this are part of that effort.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        I think it happens quick than most think.

        That is probably the problem most have with this move, quite frankly. Quicker than they realized. Guys that follow MLS are not as shocked and well we already follow MLS, so we are glad anyways.

        Jozy is making $3 million a year. Are you kidding me ? Starting in the top money league in the world…as a foward ? That can be caught pretty quickly. And lets face it playing at Sounderland has to absolutely stink. Chivas would look good ( more wins )

  28. Amru says:

    Just the thought of this possibly happening ruined my entire morning

  29. AcidBurn says:

    I understand the argument about raising the level of MLS and that it needs to bring better players in, and that this has to happen for MLS to become a better league. Agree with it 100%. Two problems with people using that rationale to defend this move:

    1) Toronto FC (and the league who is paying the transfer fee) is going to spend a huge sum of cash on two players – Bradley and Defoe – let’s be conservative and say $80 million over 5 years. Wouldn’t that money be better spent by raising the floor – no more starters making $40K and eating peanut butter and jelly to survive – and making the average salary more like $250-$300K instead of the <$100K that it is now? While you might have an excellent player, won't help if they don't have a supporting cast.

    2) This is a big risk in a WC year. The WC is 100x more important to development of soccer in the US than any MLS signing, and if these signings (Demps, Bradley, Jones??) and others hurts the US in the WC – as it may well do as they will not get consistent playing time in a high league, plus they aren't playing any games until March – then this will set back US Soccer back more. If the US gets hammered in Brazil, who cares about those players being in the US versus at a European team. It will be seen as a failure.

    • Weston John says:

      Can’t MLS raise the floor and sign top shelf players? Attendance is strong, lots of expansion money coming in and TV deal should improve dramatically. Instead of following Roma as an aside to my MLS viewing habits, I’ll be watching Toronto.

      • Matt says:

        Um…the TV ratings were abysmal this year. It was beaten regularly by the WNBA.
        The TV deal will never be big enough to fill the league with top shelf players until people actually start watching it. Which won’t happen without top shelf players. Tough one, eh?

      • Paul says:

        I still think that Cap should be raised to $4 or 5 million and require a match (approx 20%) of total spent to be on development to increase player quality. Adding 2/3 stars per team does not help when you and your competitors are fielding 8 other guys who can barely hang or even push them.

        While I like the fact that TFC has deep pockets, they have got to see that there has to be a better way to spend. 2 players making $13mill/yr and everyone else making a combined $1.5-2 combined.

        Sometimes what is good for MLS publicity is not good for the USMNT.

    • wandmdave says:

      To point #1
      I agree however you can’t raise the floor without raising more cash flow. If MB signing results in more attendance in stadiums or even more importantly more TV viewers and therefore a bigger TV contract then he will increase cash flow and help allow for a higher cap.

      To point #2
      I think the US is passed the point where not making it passed the group stage will significantly effect the growth of the game. Certainly if we showed very well it would help but we’ve done poorly in several preveious WCs and it hasn’t killed momentum and we aren’t likely to get out of the group even with MB starting every game for Roma until the end of the season. I think long term growth will disproportionately come from more people watching MLS and thus funding domestic player development.

  30. plc says:

    I’ll miss watching him in Europe. I thought he’d eventually make the jump to stardom. He’ll be a competitor and his form will not suffer. My only issue is that, this news is richter scale news, but only to the soccer loving crowd that already exists.

    Will this attract anyone else to MLS and will it make any noise in the general populous?

    • wandmdave says:

      Even if it doesn’t grab as many casuals, I feel like many soccer fans like me who follow the MNT first and foremost and will tend to watch any team that MNT stars play for just to follow those players will start watching Toronto games. That shifts eyes from Serie A to MLS and every little bit helps.

  31. Ian says:

    Wow, surprisingly even distribution in the poll results: 19%, 27%, 26%, 26%.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Everyone is split! Wonder how JK feels!!??!

    • RP says:

      Its a slightly unbalanced survey though. Three of four could be understood as viewing this as a negative move. making it 81% not really in favor.

  32. No says:

    Who are any of you to “know” what is best for Michael Bradley. stfu.

    • byrdman says:

      I believe the word is “opinion”. As I was once reminded, rightfully so, this is the purpose of the sight. For all of us to talk the game and enjoy it a little more.

      But thanks for your opinion on what we all should do.

    • Matt says:

      We’re not just talking about what’s best for MB. We’re discussing what’s best for MLS, USSF, the World Cup and other issues. Grow up.

      • Jay says:

        No you grow up. Everyone is putting our own wants over his. I’m sure if we’re in the same position we would do the same, take the dam money and run. What the issue is that US soccer fans are weak minded. We worry about our image to the rest of the world instead of being grown ups. Until that changes we will have hundreds of comments on a transfer.

        • Kosh says:

          + 1000000

        • Matt says:

          If you don’t like the conversation, leave. Pretty simple. Nothing like people that whine in comments that people shouldn’t be commenting.

          • Jay says:

            Lol hurt your feelings? My bad thought you wouldn’t feed into my theory about US fans being soft lol. Anyway if you want to comment about another man making a living not making you happy, I can make a comment about how dumb that makes you look. That is all.

  33. AcidBurn says:

    This transfer only happened because Bob Bradley’s father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate works at Toronto FC!

  34. Weston John says:

    Love it. Signing MB makes MLS stronger without a doubt. I have no problem with MB going to Toronto. As a fan of MLS, why wouldn’t you want Toronto to improve and make it to the playoffs? Looking forward to watching them play and having success in MLS and CCL. For MB, he will have a payday and will contribute to improving the quality of MLS. I believe that he can still grow as a player technically while in MLS and will definitely grow as a leader at TFC.

  35. Aaron says:

    Usually I’m excited about Americans coming back from abroad to play in MLS, but I have mixed feelings about this one. Serie A is by far the European league that I watch the most, it’s my second league after MLS, and it bums me out that one of the two Americans in that league (the other being Rossi of course, who I am a big fan of) is leaving. I especially enjoyed watching him last season where he won a spot over the legend Daniele De Rossi. But with the new manager coming in, brining in Strootman, and having a man-crush on Pjanic, Bradley just wasn’t gonna be a game-in-game-out starter. So it makes sense for him to leave Roma.

    However I would have preferred to see him move to another Serie A side. He would start on every team except Juve and Roma. The one real reason I see Bradley making this move is for family reasons; he has a new baby and perhaps he wants to raise his family in the US/Canada, which is completely understandable. Bradley doesn’t owe us anything, he needs to do what’s best for his life and soccer is only a part of that which we often forget.

  36. Kevin says:

    I see this as a smart move due to Roma’s increasing midfield competition. It’s just a matter of if he can impress from the get-go here in the MLS. When he’s impressing, he’s showing us fans that he is indeed levels above most other domestic league players. He will get consistent playing time, no doubt, and his confidence should be at its peak entering the world cup. In terms of Bradley’s well being, both physically and emotionally, it’s beneficial for him to be low-key balling in the US.

    For the MLS, his return shouldn’t lead an automatic interest in the league from outsiders. Although many Bradley-specific fans may begin watching Toronto FC games, in the overall perspective, he isn’t going to be the reason for a new interest in the league. What will draw added interest to the league is a similar showing in the world cup as the 2002 US team displayed. Ideally, the US reaches the quarterfinals, at the minimum. The press, all over the world, bombards readers about the US’ showing. Part of the headlines will be the fact that so many of these so called highly competitive international players ply their trade in America, rather than Europe (Omar, Besler, Goodson, Donovan, Bradley, Evans, Beckerman, Johnson, Feilhaber [?]). More players, ideally, now have more of an incentive to, at the minimum, go on loan and experiment what Major League Soccer is all about.

  37. Beto says:

    MLS is at a crossroad where they could A. Continue striving to be a better feeder league to UEFA and one day hope to be at the level of the Brasilan or Argentine leagues, which North America sports fans would never completly support or B. Develop a league that doesnt believe its inferior to anyone

    If MLS is ever to grow option B is the only way! Its not the traditional soccer league that many soccer fans envision it to be.. But its looking like its on the way

    And its not going to hurt the USMNT (or the Canadian team to some degree)

    • MC says:

      +1, and A+. In the long run, the MB transfer is the first step of many to get towards MLS being “not inferior to anyone”.

      The first steps (Dempsey, Bradley transfers) will be difficult and hard for reasons others have stated, but some individuals have to take this step and break the cycle of “MLS sucks because no one of note plays here, therefore no one noteworthy will ever want to play here, therefore MLS will always suck”.

      A WC year is EXACTLY the time to try and break this cycle.

      This is all a calculated risk by MLS that the USMNT does well in WC 2014, and the MLS players on that team pull MLS stature up on the World Cup coattails.

      A very smart, low risk move by MLS in my opinion. All upside and no downside (because everyone already looks down on MLS anyways, including many comment posters on this article). And if the US bomb out of WC 2014 from our toughest group to date? Well not much lost, as it’s no different than every 2nd WC cycle (1998, 2006).

      And by extension, a strong MLS leads to a better opportunity for long term future American development of both soccer players, and soccer fans. Americans only accept being #1 at anything, so you are correct, option “B” is the only way.

      I for one do not want MLS to strive for being at best a feeder league to Europe. MLS should want to be “the best”, regardless of how “impossible” others think this ambition is.

      And let it take time, I don’t want $40M per team salary cap next year and no American players on any MLS squad because they aren’t good enough (yet) to earn that kind of pay.

  38. Vic says:

    Honestly, I don’t think its a good move soccer wise for anyone. Bradley won’t improve at Toronto. Its bad for USA fans that like seeing Americans succeed in Europe. I don’t think he’s the type of player that will be a major draw attendance wise. Bradley has exceptional work rate, he’s world class in breaking up plays, good organization and above average scoring for a midfield. However, I think DPs should be flashy players like Henry or Donovan that people will pay to see. Bradley is a very good player but he’s not flashy and I don’t think he will do much for attendance.

    • Kevin says:

      In reality, one season can only do so much when it comes down to “improvements”. He’s reached a very high level that, even if remained stagnant, is highly competitive.
      1. He’s getting more touches on the ball, in real-game matches, more consistently.
      2. The publicity and money from the move could add to his desire to have a good showing in Brasil. He has pride in his nation, and this move could surprise people if it turns out to be a major drive in his motivation. I wouldn’t worry too much; when has Bradley not been reliable (on or off the field)?

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Vic knows that Bradley will not improve at Toronto. LOL

  39. Big Red says:

    The most overrated US soccer player ever. US fans love him, but his clubs never seem to, something to do with his playing ability. Should have stayed at Chievo where he got PT.

  40. OL says:

    It’s depressing. More so than Dempsey’s move from a top team in a top league.

    On another note, my French is a bit rusty, but it appears Agudelo is heading on loan to Anderlecht while working out his situation with Stoke. Great move, in my opinion.

  41. UMF89 says:

    ESPN Reporting MB90 Transfer to TFC is completed!!!!!!!

  42. eric says:

    Great for MLS, Bad for USMNT and Bradley’s growth. I’m a huge fan of MLS and think these moves will set precedents that will get us closer to the leagues overseas but in the short term, I think this is bad for the USMNT. His growth will be halted and I really thought he could have broken into one of the top teams which would have broken the stigma of US players IMO.

  43. Madden's Chin says:

    There’s a common misconception here.

    Signing Michael Bradley doesn’t make MLS better. He still plays on Toronto FC. And he won’t be passing with Totti anymore. His teammates WILL bring down his form and his sharpness and the speed at which he plays. This is inarguable. It’s how players develop and how teams win–with a collection of great players.

    In soccer you’re only as good as the person you’re passing to. The league doesn’t get better with his signing, it won’t raise TV ratings, and the most important midfielder is now playing on the second worst team in a 3rd to 2nd tier league.

    It’s terrible. Good thing he got paid though.

  44. Jones Junior says:

    I’m going to say a bunch of stuff that seems crazy, but it’s the best way for MLS to grow. The Bradley and Dempsey moves COULD lead to something big. 2014 is going to be such a pivotal year for the league and that’s mainly because all of their media rights deals end after 14. As we all know their ratings are tanking and the only thing that could make up for that is big news and high demand. Luckily with the number of sports broadcasters in this country, demand is potentially high. Work still needs to be done so show that it’s worth a 2-3x growth in media revenue. What needs to happen:

    – Let your teams take sponsorship deals from betting sites. The Devils and 76ers just did it and set a precedent. The kit sponsor deals for most MLS teams are awful and they can be getting 10x from these sponsors. EPL teams aren’t just rocking bwin gear for fun, they are aggressively outbidding their competition.

    – Add more games to the national package, but also games from a wider net of teams. The national MLS package is all about LA Galaxy, Sounders, Timbers, Red Bulls. The only cities who’s regional broadcasters actually care enough to spend some money. Spread the damn love. I’m sure a beIN or Fox Sports will spend on a package that involves some other teams. Rank your packages; aim to get 4-5 national broadcasters onboard with weekly games.

    – Raise the salary cap. New York FC is spending a boat load on their franchise fee. Use that money as an investment by raising the cap to 6 million and keep 3 DP’s. It allows you to get young players from more competitive leagues at salaries they deserve. It allows you to retain! Oh but that’s almost 60 million in additional player costs a season and after 2 seasons they will be in the hole? Hell yes, that’s why it’s an investment. It’ll hit them a lot harder if they don’t do it and their media rights package is garbage for the next 3 years.

    NYC FC Is coming in 2014, if the USA gets out of their group that will be another massive boost, the stars could potentially align. Take money, spend money!

  45. Benny says:

    Well, if he wanted to make a move like this, he probably could have done so after the World Cup barring any injury. However, it’s not like he’s going to play in MLS until June 15 and then play the Ghana game the next day. He will be in Brazil at camp sometime in late May. He will be playing in MLS competitively for about 3 months. He is a very good player and doubt that his form will digress in those months In MLS since he will be playing consistently. Saying this, I would have liked him somewhere in the EPL.

  46. A.S.A says:

    link to asroma.it

    Michael has made the match day squad for today’s cup game. It’ll be interesting to see if he starts or get minutes or even make the final 18. I’ll be watching this very closely.

  47. Birgit Calhoun says:

    Just because the MLS brings in a player from Europe doesn’t mean success. Michael Bradley needs good players around him to shine. It merely means expense which will be noticeable in the ticket prices. Soccer is not big enough in the US to warrant another situation similar to Dempsey’s.

  48. brian says:

    As a new MLS fan, I feel confused and a little worried about the long term viability of the league.
    1. The apparent inordinate discrepancy between minimum, median and DP salaries;
    2. The rampant expansion;
    3. The single entity. (Shouldn’t there be some kind of explicit long term economic structure that the league is working towards.)

    As for MB: I just want him in form this summer and I have to trust that he knows what he is doing. Hypothetically, I would have liked him to have viewed the World Cup as his opportunity to secure the long term contract. Now, he is already secure. Who knows? different folks respond to different types of motivation. we will have to wait and see. He has always seemed like a driven fellow with a good head on his shoulders. But then again also a chip on those shoulders. That long character article earlier in the year suggested he was maturing and mellowing but also quite defensive still regarding his dad. The lesson learned maybe ‘get yours while you can. don’t expect loyalty’.

    I don’t get to watch the Serie A. So I just read the stats and the blogs. I will say I have been a little alarmed by the low opinion of MB amongst the Roma fanbase. Also, a little alarmed by his lack of creativity in the friendlies since his return from injury. The Roma fanbase seems to view him as strictly a passable DM whereas I had hoped and glimpsed in the past that he might develop into a creator. Maybe Toronto allows him to explore that growth. and hopefully that is a good thing.

  49. 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!!
    P.S.
    Don’t worry we’re winning the world cup this year. My bald head can feel it.

  50. SamInMaine says:

    As someone who has no interest in Serie A, I am excited to see Bradley play in a league that I actually follow.

    Michael Bradley does not owe any of us USMNT fans anything. Play where you want and make money. I support it.

    Ambitious moves by Toronto. Hilarious that they have never made playoffs in 8 years, but that clearly ends this season.

    • Madden's Chin says:

      That’s all fine and dandy.

      Don’t spoon feed fans nonsense about caring about the team and being in the best form and performing then.

      Nobody is going to fault a person for doing what’s best for their family and self–as long as they make it clear that’s their top priority.

      His public comments clash horribly with that notion.

      • Matt says:

        Um…what public comments? At least wait until he says something about this move until you trash him.

      • beachbum says:

        calling out MB’s commitment now? that is ridiculous but it is you commenting, so I guess we’re used to that here now.

  51. bryan says:

    i’m still in shock.

  52. RBNY says:

    I was looking for the “At Least It’s Not Seattle” option though…

  53. Human says:

    Michael Bradley returning to MLS does not make the league stronger. What will make the league stronger is an overall raise in the salary cap that will enable teams to spend money on better overall players. Currently, 3 guys make an exceptionally large amount of cash while the rest of the players make considerably low salaries if your going to compare them to the top soccer leagues around the world. This prevents MLS from being able to challenge in international competitions because after your first 3 players (or the starting eleven as well) the rest of the players are average or below average soccer players. There isn’t much flexibility with MLS’s current system.

    • ThaDeuce says:

      Logic- TFC with Bradley is stronger than TFC without. TFC is in the league. Therefore the league is stronger with in it.

      BTW: The league’s money doesn’t grow on trees.

      • Human says:

        Which is why TV Ratings and overall revenue has to increase first. As it stands MLS only makes 27 million a year as a league from all their clubs.

        • ThaDeuce says:

          Which bringing in super star American talent in a World Cup year (which even non soccer fans watch and one can presume to ask of said top American talent, “where can I watch that guy after the cup?”) will help both TV ratings and marketing. Are you arguing against that?

          • Human says:

            Most Americans do not see American soccer players as superstars. They may consider them as average players who happen to play on our national team. Americans see Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar as “super” stars as evidence by the turnout to see these players during friendlies. These friendlies draw more attendance and views than the average MLS game. Landon Donovan is the biggest American soccer player yet even with his publicity during World cup 2010 (goal against Algeria) overall T.V. ratings for MLS haven’t changed that much at all. Assuming MB plays well at the World Cup, perhaps a few USMNT fans (or others) might consider watching their own domestic league instead of solely following Real Madrid or Manchester United. As it stands most Americans don’t even know who Michael Bradley is, therefore his arrival as of today doesn’t suddenly make MLS a popular league. If he scores the winning goal in the World cup final a lot of Americans might be interested in knowing where he plays.

            • wandmdave says:

              This trade likely won’t be ground breaking in terms of increased interest but he will have an incremental effect. That is how most things grow so its positive. I know as a USMNT fan who follows MLS to see how MNT players are doing I’ll watch LA, Seattle, and KC for the most part. Now you can add Toronto to that list because of Bradley. I’m sure there are other MNT fans like myself who will do the same.

        • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

          Human, you need a brain to complete you. MLS only makes $27 million a year from all of their franchises ?

          The Sounders make WAY more than that. Not even close.

          • Human says:

            I saw the forbes link, perdon me, I saw an older illustration of MLS’s total revenue and had been following that. Still a lot of work to be done and yes I want to see MLS succeed.

          • Human says:

            You disagree with my statment in relation to the overall revenue but what about the other points? No denying what a real superstar is.

            • ThaDeuce says:

              Bradley makes the league stronger.

              I also disagree with your other points. You don’t really present any facts or statistics, just opinions and perceptions presented as fact, which I do disagree with. For example: “Bringing the best American players in the world to the domestic league in a World Cup year will not boost the ratings or popularity of the domestic league.” I disagree, I think that is illogical. But we can’t really prove that until sometime after the World Cup.

              • Human says:

                My thing is how many American players are internationally known superstars? Most people or even Americans do not know who these guys are but they know David Beckham, Messi and Ronaldo.

          • Matt says:

            They make $27 Million a year from the TV contract.

  54. Jason B says:

    Its just reported….nothing set in stone. When both teams acknowledge and sign the dotted lines…….. Wasn’t Dos Santos supposed to be in MLS? How about Forlani? Just rumors…

  55. ThaDeuce says:

    As more quality Americans take big money to come home, international teams will eventually learn to pay top Americans if they want them. Nobody seems to see that this is a boon to the American soccer player market. Less and less likely are top talent going to take pay cuts to drive on the wrong side of the road. If they continue to produce quality, the international market will come back higher.

    This is the natural pull of the market, apparently Europeans still aren’t ready to pay American players what they feel they deserve. Moves like this will make it happen. Give it time. This is a good move for everyone.

  56. Jonathan Bornstein says:

    So when is Bob Bradley going start spending?

  57. chuck says:

    I wish it was Jones instead of Bradley, cause Bradley can still get better.

    • biff says:

      If MB would truly give up in Europe to move to MLS, then this would open the door wide for for JJ90-YYR, aka as Jermaine Jones, to win the hearts of USMNT fans by joining Jozy at Sunderland to help the club avoid relegation by giving them more ooomph in the midfield. In other words, making the move that MB should be making at this point. Then JJ would be a hero and after the World Cup he could make the big money move to MLS.

  58. USA Hooray! says:

    Look at the big picture. This is a group of death world cup year. We should be looking at the next cycle. We should be looking at the young bucks coming up the ranks. Those kids will be watching the MLS, a league they have access to with academies they can join.

    If you are concerned about the USMNT then this bodes well for the future. I’m a USMNT fan and I have pride in the US. I want the MLS to be the best it can be so that it furthers the sport on our soil. That said, I wish he would join a US team if he is indeed coming back.

    Stop worrying about MB. He’s going to play minutes. Regardless of what you think about the level of competition: game time > bench time.

  59. Beto says:

    Just wondering if any of this debate has been on Sports Center or anything today? The 10-30 min of espn i have seen over past two day has been 100% nfl :(

    • Human says:

      MLS is largely irrelevant in the U.S. sporting landscape. Even the WNBA gets more views then Major League Soccer.

      • John says:

        That’s probably because so many american soccer fans seem to hate there own league.

        • Human says:

          They have seen better product overseas on their T.V.’s. They can watch La Liga or the Premier League far superior leagues to MLS with the click of a button.

        • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

          John, they are not American soccer fans, they are casual fans like Human posting here.
          They watch a foreign leagues, the top teams, can’t watch real soccer in their own country.

          They define casual fans.

          • Human says:

            I follow MLS everyday. I also watch other world leagues like many other humans. My response was to why those who don’t watch their own domestic league, that is why they resist. Plus, many Americans are of various cultural backgrounds so they might be inclined to support non-American clubs and nat. teams.

          • ATX_Colin says:

            I think you define delusional.

    • Helium-3 says:

      How long have you been watching Sports Center? I stopped watching that program more than 20 yrs ago when they would string along soccer fans for the entire show until the last 15 seconds when they show some soccer highlight. The highlight would consist of just showing the ball just before crossing the goal line with no build up of play or anything.

      I don’t know of any hardcore fans who watch Sports Center. Mostly casual fans who don’t know even know who MB is.

      • Matt says:

        Yeah, judge ESPN for the coverage they did 20 years ago. Brilliant.
        SportsCenter actually does a pretty good job covering soccer now…I’d saw they show more soccer than their average fan cares about. Of course no hardcore fan will use it as their only soccer source, but it’s leagues better than it used to be.

  60. John says:

    I remember when Dempsey came back he went on Dan Patrick and he was asked if he thought he could be an NFL kicker. While he kind of went on to some boring response he should have said I make 10 times what the average NFL kicker makes. In the big picture it’s huge if kids growing up think there’s a big pay off at the end, that’s just reality. This is huge for the sport in order for it to take that next, step generations to come in the country.

    • Human says:

      MLS isn’t visible like the NFL is in this country therefore most people will not even know about Michael Bradley or his arrival to MLS. Most don’t even know there is a league called MLS in the U.S. , some might think of a real estate company.

      • bryan says:

        but you are forgetting that the national team popularity is burgeoning. clearly the idea behind this is to get some of those fans to watch MLS by bringing in their favorite US players from Europe.

        certainly not guaranteed, and MLS ratings are suffering hard, but the US national team is the exact opposite. so we’ll see if this helps…

        • Human says:

          If only the National Team popularity could boost up the domestic league.

        • wandmdave says:

          +1

          I’m one of those fans. I’ve tried for years to support MLS solely because I’m a huge MNT fan and I think growth in MLS will help the NT. However until the last 2 years or so it was very hard to maintain interest both due to the level of play and the difficulty in being able to follow any one team week in week out (i live outside any MLS team markets). Now level of play is getting up to a decent level and I have several teams I can watch with high profile USMNT players. If they could just get regular time slots or (in a perfect world) air all the games like NBC is doing with the BPL then I’d watch a ton more.

  61. Bobert says:

    Great for Bradley $$$$

    Bad for MLS – opportunity cost and inefficient use of money

    Bad for National team – He won’t be as sharp come World Cup time

    • John says:

      If your Jermaine Jones that Euro magic sharpness washes off as the second you land in the states anyway.

  62. Anthony says:

    He is making more like 2x’s-2.5x’s his salary (still a significant huge jump).

    Last year he made Eur 800k. This year his salary went up to to Eur 1.1-1.2million. However, all those numbers are post-tax. Given the 1.33-1.37 Eur-USD conversion rate range, that is about $1.46 – $1.65million after taxes.

    He is making (supposedly) $6.5mill/year pre tax. His Canadian taxes will be roughly 42% because he will be in the highest bracket (above 137K for federal and 500K for province). His post tax income should be $3.77 million/yr. This is assuming it’s USD and not CAD (Toronto is in Canada). If it’s CAD, then it’s more like $3.47 mill/yr (1 CAD = 0.92 USD).

    Sources: Canadian taxes (link to cra-arc.gc.ca)
    Conversion: link to bloomberg.com
    Conversion: link to bloomberg.com

  63. Cairo says:

    Gotta laugh at 25% saying it’s a disastrous move for his career. Let’s rephrase the question. “how many of you would be willing to leave $15-20 million on the table to prove a point about American soccer players. So ridiculous

    • Matt says:

      Why can’t both be true?
      I think the move is bad for him professionally, but great for him personally.
      I’d do the same in a heartbeat.

  64. Darwin says:

    I wonder if MLS used the “Dempsey rule”…

    In other news, Ron Waxman is a genius.

  65. MVincent says:

    This is yet another BLOW…….Perhaps I lost the plot but Bradley looked excellent with Roma (thinking summer tour & early LaLiga unbeaten spell before he hurt his ankle). I had planned an exquisite Italian season for him (from my quiet couch & clicker position) en-route to World Cup immortality! I had also plotted (from an adjacent easy chair) that Freddy Adu would thrive in Bahia & jump our train to glory……..and our First Son of Nacogdoches fled the EPL just when NBC busted the move to broadcast Saturdays??? Is there a grassy knoll lurking behind these headlines?

  66. Matt says:

    Seems to be some smart maneuvering by Toronto. They snatch up Defoe who fears for his place in England’s squad without regular playing time, and they snatch up Bradley who fears for his form and fitness if he remains buried as a squad player for Roma. I think the approaching World Cup led to both of these moves.

  67. AJA says:

    Landy-cakes. Dempsey-cakes. Bradley-cakes.

  68. Siberian says:

    I absolutely love this move and what it means for MLS and for the future of American soccer. People need to consider the long-term implications of growing MLS. It goes beyond 2014 and beyond Michael Bradley. If Bradley were any other nationality but American, people would be thrilled. But which 26-year-old elite-level players are going to move to MLS if it doesn’t start with American players?

    I just hope MLS will now increase the salary cap. Most of the stadiums are now built, so this is the next phase. The stock market has done well the last two years and I suspect most owners can afford a couple additional million.

  69. ilikefreddyyesadu says:

    Now we need Diskerud, AJ, Jozy, JJ, Ream, Stevie, Guzan, Howard, and others to follow!

    • John says:

      I still don’t totally understand what happened with the Diskerud deal last year. I think he and JJ could be on easiest to get over.

  70. usaalltheway says:

    This whole argument shows how most USMNT fans and Americans don’t understand modern football.

    I am not the end-all-be-all of football thought but for ANYONE to suggest going from Serie A to MLS will have any positive consequence is fooling themselves.

    Bradley would be better off in Holland or Russia.

    One player cannot or will not make the entire league better. Toronto is not much of a club to begin with and MLS is still behind almost every other major league in the world.

    This move will not only kill his development but his career and the USMNT since the team leans so heavily on his abilities in midfield.

    Please, for the love of God, how is this evening happening? How is it that a player with World Cup experience, experience in Holland, Germany, England AND Italy in the prime of his career think of making THIS move at THIS time??

    This will also make Americans look even worse than they already do in the eyes of the footballing world.

    • John says:

      There isn’t some kind of magic European dust that you get from playing in Europe. It’s not that complicated, good players are just good players. Even more so with a player like Bradley who does a job and does it with such constentcy. People just liked him playing in Rome because it filled there own inferiority complex when it comes to this sport.

      • bryan says:

        that is a BS argument! what Europe does is provide them tough competition because Europe has the best players. that’s like saying CFL players will become the same level as NFL players, or AAA will be the same as MLB players, just because. you have to have that innate talent, yes, but you need to be somewhere that enhances it the most.

        you go to Europe (or the NFL, MLB, etc.) because you are up against the best competition. when you do that, you grow as a player. at 26, Bradley is still in his prime and growing. not saying he won’t develop at all in MLS, but i think it’s hard to argue he would develop more in Europe.

        • John says:

          I understand wanting a player to test himself against the best competition. However for some people that doesn’t seem to be what its about. When people are saying he needs to just play anywhere in Europe no matter where, it kind of exposes that. Also who is to say staying in Europe and bouncing around wouldn’t make him worse.

          a quote from twitter : It felt so good to know an American was respected in Serie A. Ugh…

          Its funny how the same people bash Jozy for pushing himself to a better league and testing himself, hate this move as well.

  71. Mike R says:

    Best move ever!!!

    Returning to MLS has done wonders for Dempsey he is the 10x the player with Sounders than he was with Fulham/Tottenham !

    Remember how Landon returned from Everton befor the last WC and became sharper and had one of his better WC’s…oh wait it was the otherway around…

    Well think of all the other USMNT players who came to MLS from abroad and proceeded to get better for the USMNT like for example….(insert sound of crickets here)

    • Matt says:

      Eddie Johnson
      Landon Donovan (does anyone remember he came to MLS from Bayern Leverkusen?)

      • Mike R says:

        Landon played his best when he was with Everton. EJ? The same EJ that just got dumped by Seattle and has to play winger in order to have a shot at the wc

  72. JoeW says:

    Wow–people really don’t get it.

    This move (MB to MLS) sets Michael Bradley up to start for a good Euro team. Here’s how it works.

    1. He comes to MLS, starts regularly and gets a lot of minutes.
    2. Unlike now, that means he’s sharp and reasonably in-form for the WC.
    3. Impressive play in the WC leads to major offers from big clubs.

    But if he isn’t playing for Roma (and he’s not), then the likelihood of him being sharp and in-form for the WC (i.e.: #2) is unlikely. Which means that he’s stuck in Roma (or moves to a lesser club…maybe one in Holland?) instead of going to a club that sees him as a key piece and starter.

    One of the lessons I once learned growing up as a soccer player offensively is that sometimes to go forward you have to go backward. Well, by stepping down to MLS, Bradley just increased the chances that he’s starting for a major European club in Fall 2014.

  73. Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

    Roma’s got the news up on their website now, with the source being Bradley’s agent: link to goal.com

    I admit it’s good for MLS and improving MLS will improve the USMNT long term, but I’m still a bit sad. No Champion’s League for MB. A dream has died.

    • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

      whoops, wrong link. Here’s Roma’s statement: link to asroma.it

      • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

        from Google translate: The A. S. Rome S.p.A. announces that it has signed with Major League Soccer (MLS), the contract for
        the outright sale of the rights to the player Bradley, compared with a
        consideration of $ 10 million.”

  74. Sony says:

    Dang! There goes our chance of wining the World Cup

  75. RBNY says:

    Hell, maybe TFC might get a nationally televised game some time this year???

  76. Nate says:

    I know there are already a billion comments on this page, but I just can’t avoid adding my disappointment. This is the most depressing soccer news I’ve heard in a long time. Probably since Holden re-injured his knee, though maybe more than that, since I wasn’t terribly surprised about that but this came out of nowhere. I don’t know who could view this as a positive for Bradley’s career. It’s embarrassing, frankly, that our top players can’t find good clubs in Europe. Just a reminder of how far American soccer has yet to go.

    • Jay says:

      No its embarrassing that you would think you wouldn’t do the same. This is what annoys me so much with American soccer fans. We are like the uncool kids at the table and so desperate for acceptance we worry about everything damaging our fragile image.