Roma confirms Bradley transfer to TFC for $10 million

Michael Bradley

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

It’s official. Michael Bradley is a member of Toronto FC.

AS Roma announced in a press release on Thursday afternoon that they have completed Bradley’s transfer to Major League Soccer for a fee of $10 million, two times the amount that Roma paid to acquire Bradley from Chievo Verona in 2011. TFC has yet to officially comment on the transfer.

The $10 million fee is a record transfer fee paid for a player moving to MLS. It comes just five months after Clint Dempsey was acquired by the Seattle Sounders for $9 million from Tottenham. Bradley also becomes the second most-expensive American behind Jozy Altidore, who moved to Villarreal in 2008 for $10 million and to Sunderland in 2013 for a reported $13 million.

According to multiple reports in the U.S., Bradley has signed a four-year contract worth somewhere in the region of $6.5 million per season. Bradley could make his TFC debut on March 15 against Dempsey and the Sounders.

ESPNFC’s Taylor Twellman first broke the news on Twitter on Wednesday that Bradley was on the verge of moving to Toronto FC, with multiple reports confirming that Bradley was indeed in discussions about a move back to MLS. The 26-year-old American was originally in Roma’s squad for its Coppa Italia match on Thursday against Sampdoria but was removed ahead of the match.

Following the game, Roma head coach Rudi Garcia confirmed that Bradley was on his way out, and lamented the fact that he was leaving. According to some reports, Roma’s signing of midfielder Radja Nainggolan on loan with an option to buy accelerated Bradley’s attempts to leave Italy for more playing time.

“Bradley wanted to go, we couldn’t keep the player,” Garcia told reporters. “He did very well with me in these months, but I understand he wants to play more.”

——-

What do you think of this news? Still stunned by the transfer? Amazed that TFC paid $10 million to acquire him? Excited to see him face Clint Dempsey in Bradley’s MLS return?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS Transfer News, MLS- Toronto FC, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

391 Responses to Roma confirms Bradley transfer to TFC for $10 million

  1. Danny says:

    This move was a no-brainer for Bradley, what an excellent career move.

    • USMNT Fan says:

      You mean excellent financial move. Poor direction in terms of his career. One cannot realize their full potential without challenging themselves against the very best day-in and day-out.

      • Human says:

        True

        • ThaDeuce says:

          “At the end of the night you walk into the locker room and to be able experience the feeling you have with your teammates, your coaches, with the trainers, that’s why you play,” the midfielder said. “To do something special like that, where everything is against you, everybody wants to say how bad you are, everybody wants to write you off, to leave all that bull shit outside the locker room and just be committed to the team, to leave everything on the field, to run for each other, to fight for each other, that’s what we did.” “We played with 11 guys for 90 minutes,” Michael Bradley said.
          “All the fucking experts in America, everybody who thinks they know about soccer, they can all look at the score tonight and let’s see what they have to say now. Nobody has any respect for what we do, for what goes on on the inside, so let them all talk now.”

        • ThaDeuce says:

          Damn

        • ThaDeuce says:

          “At the end of the night you walk into the locker room and to be able experience the feeling you have with your teammates, your coaches, with the trainers, that’s why you play,” the midfielder said. “To do something special like that, where everything is against you, everybody wants to say how bad you are, everybody wants to write you off, to leave all that bull ….. outside the locker room and just be committed to the team, to leave everything on the field, to run for each other, to fight for each other, that’s what we did.” “We played with 11 guys for 90 minutes,” Michael Bradley said.
          “All the ….. experts in America, everybody who thinks they know about soccer, they can all look at the score tonight and let’s see what they have to say now. Nobody has any respect for what we do, for what goes on on the inside, so let them all talk now.”

          Talk Now!

        • Vince says:

          Stop judging. If someone offered to (at minimum) quadruple 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 and adult decision.

          Grant Wahl reports MB4 gets about 1.1mil (US; net) at Roma, for the next 1.5 years. TFC is offering around 6mil+ (US; gross) for the next 5.5 years. Do the math. Even after (slightly higher) Can. taxes, that will come to around 20mil+ take home pay until he is 31 or 32.

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

          Now, TFC is overpaying, but that’s hardly Michael Bradley’s problem…

          • Dc says:

            i’ll judge anyone who chooses money over their passion any day, thank you. that is why america is crawling with aholes.

            • Django says:

              Pretty sure Mr. Bradley is not giving up soccer, so, you know, his passion is still there. It is not an either/or logical fallacy like you posit.

              Then again, maybe logical fallacies are why America is crawling with naive, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou judgmental moralists that think they know what is best for other people’s lives.

      • USMNT Fan says:

        …it’s a huge step down to a league that can’t garner more fans than the lowly WNBA because of their overall poor play in comparison to top European leagues. Even Liga MX has more US viewers than MLS.

        • Human says:

          Not to mention Liga MX gets more views even on ESPN.

        • usaalltheway says:

          It seems like you are the only voice of reason on this site at the moment.

          MLS is a terrible league. Toronto is an even worse team. At least he could have got to Portland.

          If you want to be the best, in any area of life, you have to be with the best. This will hurt his playing. That will hurt the USMNT. Not to mention what JK is going to think about this.

          • Human says:

            MLS will be better in the future. Unfortunately everyone else’s league is 80+ years old. More tradition and experience with the game.

          • Alf says:

            Way too negative, Chill.

            • Chris says:

              The WNBA thing was about television ratings, not FANS. Get the hell out of here with that garbage.

              • Jeff Fulton says:

                WNBA about to fold.

              • Philly Union Used to Rule says:

                MLS does not need MB to come back. MLS needs USMNT to do well in Brazil. This move helps if MB gets playing time that he would not get in Roma. But, there are not better options of clubs wanting his talent vs better competition???

          • White Kix says:

            I watch MLS and USMNT games, and not much else due to family responsobilities. On Boxing day, I watched about 20 minutes of the man City vs Liverpool game. It was mid way through the second half, City up 2-1, and it was some of the worst soccer I have seen for a while. Man City did not attack, and did not defend. Liverpool tried to gift City goals, but they would not take them, and Liverpool missed multiple point blank opportunities (On one, their one player got called for offsides while blocking his own team’s shot). It was so poor I was laughing. The Premier League (And the rest of the Euro leagues) might be better than than MLS, but it is not miles better than MLS.

          • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

            Oh I am so sorry usaalltheway.

            I am glad you have this format to whine in. Eat some Ben and Jerry’s and call your girlfriends, you will be fine.

        • Yevgeniy says:

          1. The league does have more fans than WNBA
          2. Liga MX also has a multiple of rating vs. EPL
          3. People like you are the reason why the rating are more poor than they need to be

        • Leo says:

          So, please explain to us how MLS is supposed to become a premier destination for players other than retirees, has-beens and never will bes? Could it be…by attracting the best domestic players that can provide leadership to younger players and by showcasing the class and quality that you (hopefully) believe your USMNT players have?

          Listen, I went to those early MLS games at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. That MLS and today’s MLS are miles apart. I love watching the EPL week in and week out; however, I believe MLS is at a crossroads right now, and they are making the best of this opportunity to be more than a cut rate league that no one cares about. They have the chance to make this into something more.

        • Ryan SATX says:

          Where are you getting those stats? Because MLS has higher average attendance than every professional sports league in the country aside from the NFL and MLB. Yeah, that means higher attendance than the NBA. Notice the lack of a ‘W’. Television ratings might be a problem, but that’s mostly down to network availability, which doesn’t compare to other sports.

      • QuakerOtis says:

        What do you mean by “career”? He’s not winning a world cup, not going to get on a team much better than the current Roma setup, and he is not likely to make more $ than what TFC have signed him for. I was a little saddened at first too, but this seems like a good career move to me after all. I think most of you guys are still confusing your vicarious aspirations with his “career.”

        • Human says:

          I like Quaker Oats.

        • DCLee says:

          +1000000

        • just saying says:

          thats an assumption to what he is cable of. lets just say for a second that he goes to the world cup and has some of his finest performances during our time there and his stock just rises and a big name team comes calling for his services, then what? would it still a bad move for himself?

          • Scott says:

            Then some big club pays his transfer and he moves on.

          • go euro or go home says:

            he had an incredible world cup in ’10 and it didn’t do squat for him. who cares about these hypothetical questions regarding his “ceiling.” too many people here can’t just let a brotha live.

        • HoBo says:

          he has a situation where he will be set financially for his and his families future and get playing time. Everyone here would do the same! We all know the competition in MLS will be less but how else is the league too grow. Everyone talks about the league growing but don’t want to improve it with better players coming back, this makes no sense. And besides, he owes no one on this forum or in this country sh*t. He has given a lot to our National team and will continue to do so. Haven’t you heard about our best player, someone named Donovan, which has been in this league basically his entire career and has done pretty damn well for out National Team and the face of soccer in this country! So relax and lets see what happens in Brazil……

          • Drew says:

            This. Best comment I’ve seen thus far

          • g-dub says:

            $6.5M x 4 Years = $26 Million Dollars. Plus whatever endorsements and ads.

            If I make an average if $100,00K a year over a 30 year career in my field I will have totaled 3 Million in earnings.

            When I think of my wife and family I totally get why Bradley makes this move, and I respect it.

        • go euro or go home says:

          I am going to try for an analogy here: if a college applicant gets into an ivy league school, that does not necessarily mean that is the place he should go. there could be other schools that are a better fit, other schools where the kid would be better off.

          whatever, i give up. why should i care if a whole bunch of people who know absolutely nothing about what they are talking about think.

          good luck to bradley. it’s going to awesome having him in mls and there is a very small chance that, at this point in his career, it will affect his ability negatively

          • ThaDeuce says:

            Sweet comment

          • Yevgeniy says:

            +1

          • beachbum says:

            Gooaaallll!!!!!

          • Madden's Chin says:

            Yeah, that’s not how life works.

            If you get into an ivy league school–you freaking go to the ivy league school.

            Nobody cares what you went to school for–they care where you went to school and what networks you developed.

            • Pirithous says:

              Pretty much only people who can’t get into Ivy League schools think that is true.

            • True Story says:

              Actually, the data now suggests you’re wrong. Going to a “lesser” school and being one of the top students in your class is proving to produce more successful graduates compared to going to an upper-tier university (like an Ivy League) and being an average student.

            • away goals says:

              People go to ivy league schools to improve their chances of securing their financial future. If a harvard student is offered a $6M per year job he doesn’t turn it down to remain at harvard.

              Roma was bradley’s harvard and he parlayed it into security for life.

        • beachbum says:

          yes

        • atleticodemadridfan says:

          Not to mention the fact that the more USMNT players we have based in the US – the easier it will be to convene training camps and keep players fresh. Travelling all the way from Europe to the US, then Central America for CONCACAF qualifiers is a marathon of travel. Having more of our key players based in the US, in the long run, is good thing for USMNT.

          • away goals says:

            Travel argument doesn’t necessarily hold up. Less travel to the occasional national team events, sure, but waaaaay more travel for league play compared to a european country.

      • Hogatroge says:

        Bradley could play in MLS til he’s 36 (barring extenuating circumstances) easily, and make a crap ton of money doing it.

        It’s an amazing career move for him, it just sucks for USMNT fans since his form might suffer.

      • lprevolution says:

        meh. How much will the guy lose in 5 months?

        • Dennis says:

          Financially, it is a no-brainer. After the WC he will either be getting a shitload of money from TFC or he will use his the new salary as a starting point for a move.

          The role he plays on the USMNT is as a leader. The team’s results really do depend on how he plays. That is a role he would likely never have at Roma, so in that sense MLS is better preparation, at least psychologically.

          There is little evidence MB will take it easy so I really do not think 5 months playing for TFC will hurt compared to playing only a bit at Roma over the same period.

      • Shaggie96 says:

        Isn’t the primary purpose for pursuing a career to make money? Therefore, it’s an excellent career move. Come on, who’s going to turn down a $6mm increase in pay per year, that would be insane.

        • brian says:

          I think your point is so obvious that everyone is overlooking it. Bradley was living in Rome making a comfortable living but not something that he could live forever on. With this move he secures his family’s financial future for the rest of his career. Let’s not forget that his profession carries a tremendous amount of risk and he is one bad tackle from becoming Stu Holden and having to start back at square one. Congrats to the guy for working so hard to achieve this level of success so early in his career. I for one have no concerns for his USMNT career. He will spend even more time (January camps!) with the team and incur far less travel now that he is on this continent.

        • Anthony says:

          He is getting a 2 million increase (post-tax) each year. That being said, it’s a financial move only where he is going from 2 years guaranteed to 6 years guaranteed. Either way, his call..doesn’t mean I have to like it

      • ThaDeuce says:

        MLS is challenging. Ask Beckham, Henry, Keane, or Cahill if it is easy to win in this leage.

        What do you think this is? Lee Nguyen in Vietnam?

        The difference is he isn’t challenging for a starting place (though Henry is), but he is challenging to win and be the best.

        • Madden's Chin says:

          Win? It’s a bout of luck.

          Each one of those players being far past their primes simply and utterly dominated everyone they played. Thierry Herny playing at 50% on a bum knee was still schooling top MLS defenders like they were youth squads.

          • Jimmy B says:

            Thierry Henry utterly dominated the EPL in his prime, but, while he has shown flashes of brilliance in MLS, he has not utterly dominated stateside.

            As for Bradley, I understand the consternation of some. However, this move is a brilliant one on behalf of MLS and the type of move that is long overdue. It is also quite clear that Bradley has much more value to an MLS side than one in Europe, which is why he was able to demand such a wage. Further, as others have said, MB will take in a much greater role in MLS than he would’ve had elsewhere and he will not be bound by the whims of a foreign management, which seems to consistently undervalue American talent. Ideally you’d like to see our best players sharpening their skills against the best in the world week in and week out. However, as often as not the development of our top talent is stymied in Europe as they either languish on the bench or find themselves on a terrible side. Personally, I’d rather a player at Bradley’s age return and dominate MLS than settle for 2 or 3 appearances a month at Roma.

      • sony says:

        Very true. Bradley officially sucks!

      • JoeW says:

        No, BRILLIANT direction in terms of his career.

        He’s not going to start or get major minutes at Roma. If he transferred to another club in another major European league, unless it’s someone at the bottom of La Liga or Premiership or Bundesliga (and I question if it’s a smart move to go to a club where the manager could be fired any day, fans are turning on the players and things are ugly), he’s otherwise not going to start. In other words, he’d be trading Roma for say….AC Milan. Or Liverpool. Or Dortmund. And that’s not an improvement for this year.

        Here’s how this plays out this year:
        –he goes to TFC and gets major playing time and minutes.
        –he shows up at the WC match-fit and in-form.
        –he looks good in the WC.
        –major clubs come a-calling.
        –he transfers to a major club that sees him as a critical addition and a WC star (rather than a sub coming from Roma who wasn’t good enough to start).

        Brilliant move for his career. Are there some gambles here? You bet. But less of a gamble than staying at Roma and hope someone gets injured. Or gambling that he goes a season without serious PT, goes in to the WC not match-fit or sharp and impresses people. Or goes to another major club in another major league and will earn PT (when he wasn’t in the coaches’ original plans). Or goes to a terrible club in a major league (like Nurnberg) and hopes the coach who hired him doesn’t get fired in a month, that the players don’t freeze him out with the infighting and politics of a losing side, that the poor play doesn’t degrade his sharpness and form.

        No, moving to TFC in a WC year is his best chance for major PT. And being in-form and fit is his best chance of impressing in the WC. And good play in the WC is his best opportunity for a major club to seek him as a starter.

      • Micronesia Justin says:

        While true, he spent 10 seasons in Europe…

    • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

      This makes me sick. Of all people I thought he’s say true to the American in Europe dream…lots more to prove and it will not happen in MLS, sorry. And I’m an MLS fan. He just dropped about 20 league levels down. He could have wrote his own ticket in a year or two. Seeing him and to a much lesser extent, Dempsey, sell out for the money is absolutely sickening.

      • Human says:

        Nasty

      • Northzax says:

        Seems to me that he did just write his ticket. No one in Europe was paying him close to that (Xabi Alonso pulls 4m for instance)

        • michael f. sbi mafia original says:

          I dont mean to be nasty. i was just upset. still am. yes he wrote his financial ticket. yest i get he got major financial security. i read he was making 4M/yr and now he gets 6.5M/yr – yes tht’s a big jump. but this is mb. son of bb, the man who jumped in the middle of a near civil war to coach the game hhe loved for the same or less than he got as US coach. a man who just took a job in a low level league to earn his way up and prove he can coach in europe. i had to believe his son had another level, a CL team in a top 4 league. ok, so at roma he dropped to 5th middie, but im betting he could have started for a few other CL teams in a top 4 league. would thry pay him the 6.5? probably not. but i want to believe its about the love of the game, the opportunity to test yourself everyday and play everyday against the best in the world so you can get better – and then play better for teh nats. nothing about this move makes him a better player of tests him. and that bums me out.

          • Jimmy B says:

            He has already accomplished a ton in Europe and moving to MLS has it’s own opportunity. The opportunity to elevate TFC and the league to another level. The opportunity to be a true superstar in that town. The opportunity to act as an example to young American athletes. To show them that you can become a very rich man playing soccer and you can do it in MLS. That kinda stuff may not mean squat to you, but it may to guys like Donavan, Dempsey, and Bradley.

            • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

              “Accomplished a ton” may be a bit of an overstatement. The only reason he is a rich man in MLS is because he left MLS. Nothing here or anywhere says starting in and staying in MLS will make you a rich man. Donovan has been underpaid (and under valued) until this season. Your argument has a few holes: How is going abroad not being an example to young American athletes? You don’t define ‘true superstar’. On Toronto? Is that even possible or is that an oxymoron? Can one player elevate a team, yes. Can Michael Bradly, sure. But can he elevated the league? No. We’re not talking Beckham here.

          • Micronesia Justin says:

            He was makine 850K pounds…nowhere near 4M/year…

      • JoeW says:

        Wow–just wow! This (going to TFC) is the best plan for MB starting for a major Euro side in Fall 2014. The BEST plan.

        This gives him PT and match fitness before the WC. If he impresses in the WC then he’ll get offers from major sides who see him as a starter. Being on the bench at Roma won’t do that.

        The “Europe Dream” you talk about is yours. This guy (MB) has been a veritable vagabond, paid the price and shown his value. Now maybe going to TFC gives him a shot at a bigger club b/c it prepares him for the WC (far more likely than being on the bench at Roma). Or maybe he and his wife are going to have more kids and he wants to be closer to home. Or is tired of learning new languages (i understand he learned first Dutch, then some Germain and now Italian so he’d fit in better). Maybe he didn’t want to learn Russian or Turkish or Spanish. But if you look at the best way for MB to be starting (not on the bench) for a major club in a major league, it’s by having an outstanding WC. Which path is going to give him the best shot at an outstanding WC–sitting on the bench with Roma, available for 1 training day prior to a NT game? Or playing regularly for 1/2 season with TFC, being able to train with his NT mates for longer stretches?

        • Micronesia Justin says:

          I think it’s funny that everyone is spouting off about the “European dream” as if he didn’t play 10 seasons there!

          • beachbum says:

            me too. wow, 10 seasons there? including Serie A. besides Lalas, what other Americans have earned a paycheck from that league? I don’t know but it can’t be many, Nice accomplishment

  2. bryan says:

    still blows my mind. but time to move on. get him to LA immediately for the January camp.

    • Umlaut says:

      That’s an interesting point, I wonder if he’ll join them now that his schedule is presumably freed up.

      • Rory says:

        No. Let him rest: a fresh team is needed for the heat and travel of Brazil.

        • bryan says:

          let him rest?! from what? he played two games back to back but hasn’t seen the field since. i know he has at least been training, but we need him playing.

          he can continue to “rest” through his unveiling on Monday but then should head to LA. even if he does not go to Brazil, he can stay in LA with the other 3 who won’t be. then he’ll be there for the South Korea game.

          point is, he should be on the field against SK.

  3. milkshake of despair says:

    Money is certainly figuring into his decision making… But I wonder how much of this decision has to do with family as well. Comments?

    • Chris says:

      Well considering he was only making 1 million dollars a year and his salary just increased 550%, I think we know what really influenced this move.

      • Cash says:

        Which is advantageous to his family as well.

      • milkshake of despair says:

        Maybe I missed it, but the article says this is a transfer. I haven’t seen his new salary reported anywhere yet. Additionally, my understanding for transfers is typically the player only gets 10% of the transfer fee. Then uncle sam gets his cut.

      • Anthony says:

        No. It’s more like 2x’s-2.5x’s his salary (still a significant huge jump). Sorry, it’ my pet peeve because people are throwing around numbers with ACTUALLY seeing what it really means.

        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).

        • WildDrawFour says:

          Thanks for the work on the analysis. Can Dan/Ives place this as an appendix to the article?

        • Northzax says:

          MLS salaries are traditionally listed in USD. Oh, and his 1.2 may have been post-tax in Italy, but probably not in us, so take another 300 grand.

        • Northzax says:

          Oh, and just to be annoying, his $1.09m was in dollars (per Grant Wahl) not Euros. So it’s about four times, assuming Roma was paying his US tax bill as well.

          • Mason says:

            If he paid Italian taxes (43% on 75k eur and over), then he’d have received a credit on his US taxes (39.6% on over $400k for S or MFJ ) that would have probably cancelled out most or all of the US taxes that would have been due.

  4. Kippers says:

    Nothing wrong with an early retirement.

  5. usaalltheway says:

    I am sick to my stomach.

    This is a HUGE step back for US players, US Soccer and world-wide respect for Americans trying to play this game.

    At least he will have the money to bank his family.

    There goes the World Cup. At least I can root for Brazil.

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      “There goes the World Cup.” What?

      • usaalltheway says:

        MB90 is the USMNT midfield.

        He is the engine of the team. That is the reality. You may not like that reality, which is fine, but without him playing the best of the best, our engine will not be performing as well as it should or could be.

        It’s not hyperbole. Forget the World Cup.

        • wandmdave says:

          Even with MB90 starting and playing 90 minutes for the rest of Roma’s games this season we would still have long odds to get out of the group. This really doesn’t make a huge difference for the USMNT.

          • wandmdave says:

            Now you could say its going to stunt the astronomical growth he would have had between 2014 and 2018 which hurts us next cycle but for this WC I really don’t think it makes a much difference.

            Hell with so many players coming up the pipeline I doubt it makes much difference for 2018 the more I think about it.

        • QuakerOtis says:

          It is hyperbole, because it assumes we were going to win in it all the first place…

        • John says:

          The World Cup is 5 months away, it’s too close to effect his play one way or anouther any way.

          • beachbum says:

            then why all the hub bub for Clint playing less than 2 months for Fulham?

            • Jimmy B says:

              Pretty different situations. Clint never really got healthy and fit after transferring to Seattle. Thus a short term loan to a team like Fulham was an excellent opportunity to get healthy and get some games prior to the MLS season and the World Cup.

        • Scott says:

          So playing 90 minutes every game vs lesser competition, compared to seriously reduced playing time against higher competition,will be the deciding factor in our success at the WC? Good to know that we are just a fraction of a players ability from being a dominant force in international competition.

        • JoeW says:

          But MB is not playing “the best of the best.” He’s not even playing. He’s sitting. That’s the worst scenario possible for WC prep. It’s not like he’s a 17 year newbie who will learn a lot from watching the game on the bench. In a WC year, he needs to have match fitness and game sharpness and he loses both by sitting at Roma.

          Now, if you don’t care about the US WC performance, than MB should have just pulled a Kirovski and stayed at Roma (good money, decent security, nice food, good weather).

          • bryan says:

            except Bradley wasn’t going to stay at Roma. he had offers from teams he would start on in the Budnesliga, Serie A, and EPL. Sunderland, for example, is one of those teams.

            the difference was the $6.5M a year. no European team who was interested in him was willing to pay that salary.

        • Micronesia Justin says:

          So in 5 months he is going to regress into a shell of what he used to be? That’s a stretch considering he wasn’t getting any playing time…

          • bryan says:

            anyone who is saying he will regress is being insane. he will still develop in MLS. but given he had chances to start at other teams in Serie A, the Bundesliga, and EPL, it’s hard to argue his development wouldn’t have been even better in Europe outside of Roma.

            Europe, at least in THOSE leagues, are still the best place to develop and Bradley was going to be able to start.

    • Indigo Montoya says:

      Sorry Ma, forgot to take out the trash…

    • keithbabs says:

      Yes, before the move we were shoe-ins for World Cup glory. Can’t believe he traded more playing time/money over a spot on Roma’s bench. Not to mention the loss of world-wide respect.

    • John says:

      The idea that some how Bradley playing in MLS for 12 matches vs getting 15 mins for Roma is going to effect the World Cup in any way is the most ridiculus thing Ive seen on here.

      • bryan says:

        you can’t possibly believe that is why people are upset. we know for a fact that he turned down multiple offers in the Bundesliga and Italy. and apparently an EPL team or two. teams that he would likely have no problems starting for unlike at Roma who have incredible midfield depth.

        • usaalltheway says:

          Remember when Sunderland wanted him for 10 million?

          That is a hell of a lot of money and he could have been playing in a decent league with our top striker.

          This makes sense only financially.

          • bryan says:

            it’s amazing, i laughed when i heard Sunderland bid for him saying “no Fing way.” now i wish it happened…

            either way, i’m over the shock (i think). it’s not all doom and gloom.

            • usaalltheway says:

              So did I. Now I wish it had happened.

              I am not over this shock at all. It’s just soccer but still can’t believe it.

              • get over it says:

                you are a humungous tool. you have no idea what is best for michael bradley. he is a gamer and i guarantee you he will lead the us strongly in Brazil.

              • ThaDeuce says:

                Get over it, true. True.

              • Micronesia Justin says:

                Yeah – moving to Sunderland has been great for Jozy! He goes from playing 90 every week, being one of the top scorers in a league to spotty playing time and a handful of goals. At least he gets to learn from studs like Wes Brown and Lee Cattermole.

          • Micronesia Justin says:

            Beckham gets lauded for coming to MLS and wanting to change soccer in America. Deuce and Bradley come back and no one talks about bringing Americans to an American league to help shape the league’s future.

      • JoeW says:

        Actually, it’s not ridiculous. Playing 90 minutes in 12 matches is going to result in an MB with significantly more match fitness and game sharpness than an MB riding the bench with Roma. Going to TFC is (short-term) the best WC prep MB could do. AND….if he has a good WC than he attracts suitors from major Euro clubs who’d see him as a WC star (rather than a guy who couldn’t start for a mid-table team).

    • Human says:

      Okay, one guys performance isn’t going to cost us games…unless its Bornstein.

    • Kosh says:

      “world-wide respect for Americans trying to play this game”

      Oh my all our hopes, pinned on the life of one player, oh my…your poet was wrong, this is how the world ends.

    • Chris says:

      I have no respect for anyone who thinks Bradley coming to MLS means the USMNT will be affected.

      Do you know who Landon Donovan is by any chance?

      Take your hyperbole out to the trash can where it belongs.

      • usaalltheway says:

        Peace be with you lost soul.

        If your respect for others is dependent on soccer players, you have bigger problems than this move by MB90.

      • Chris says:

        I notice you didn’t actually address my comments about Bradley and Donovan…perhaps because you know you’re just trolling.

        • Oliver Klosoff says:

          Donovan is the exception not the rule

          • CeezNYRB says:

            Donovan’s the exception how? The point being made is his international form hasn’t dropped while continuing his career in MLS.

            I don’t see how that lends itself for an exception ruling. Bradley is younger, Bradley is better, Bradley is more important. It’s too easy of a cheap way out to just claim such a thing with no basis for doing so. You’re just grabbing at air. Completely baseless.

            • bryan says:

              um because he is the ONLY one. he is a statistical outlier. or, as Oliver wrote, the exception, not the rule.

              to be able to play at a very high international level (e.g., the World Cup) yet stay in MLS. literally there is no one else who can say they got to LD’s heights while being in MLS.

              as such, if you were a statistician, you would create a graph and LD’s pinpoint would be way outside the average…showing a high standard deviation.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      LOL You’re a regular Rock of Gibraltar as a supporter aren’tya there.
      USA all the way… until you punk out at…. what???

  6. mike says:

    How the fudge do TFC have that kinda spending dough? Are they still going after Defoe? Or was this their second choice? Baffling.

    • Human says:

      Still want MLS franchises to spend as much as they make.

    • Mike says:

      TFC is owned by MLSE. They own the Leafs and Raptors, as well. The corporation is co-owned by Canada’s two largest telecom companies, Rogers (who owns the Jays) and Bell. Money is no object for MLSE.

      • Human says:

        Which is why I wish MLS would allow its franchises to spend all of the money they make. MLS thinks that this will destroy parity however.

        • Paul says:

          I don’t know much money TFC makes. The company that owns them makes money from their other businesses (Telecom, Maple Leafs, Raptors). I think that we hould have a higher salary cap (perhaps 5million a year with exceptions built in for 2/3 DPs).

        • JoeW says:

          It will destroy parity. That’s part of the lesson from the original NASL.

          Take DC United for instance. B/c they’re in a revenue-losing stadium, they’re at the point where they do minimal overseas scouting, they cut ticket staff, they combine front-office jobs and they look for budget DPs. If you have a team spending $30 million in transfer fees and salaries (which is what I heard was the approximate figure for transfer and salary amounts for Bradley, DeFoe, Gilberto acquisitions this year) versus another team that is trying to get by without any DPs (or at least not spending more than $400k for EJ).

          I think what exists in Spain is terrible. What used to exist in the Premiership was bad (and this year the exception). I like a league where you don’t have 2-3 rich teams dominating.

    • bryan says:

      because MLSE is worth $2 billion. that’s how. and yes, they will be signing Defoe as well. reports indicating $100 million for both players including their transfer fees and their salaries for the length of their contracts.

  7. Human says:

    We could have most of our players in our domestic league, like Spain. This could be a good thing for the national team.

    • usaalltheway says:

      Spain had most of their players in their domestic league. Not so anymore.

      Also, Spain had most of it’s players on TWO teams. That is a big difference between the USMNT and the Spanish National Team.

      • Michael Stypulkoski says:

        What are you talking about? The vast majority of Spain’s NT players play in La Liga. The same can be said for most top European teams.

        • usaalltheway says:

          Many Spanish players play in England outside of the Barcelona players.

          I would try to list them but I know I would screw up spelling their respective names.

        • Edmondo says:

          Only for a few teams. If you look at the UEFA top 10 a majority of the players on Netherlands, Portugal, Greece, Switzerland, Belgium, and France do not play in their domestic leagues.

      • bryan says:

        not true. we need to work on your Google skills!

        check out the Spanish National Football Team’s wiki website. go to the roster section and count. you’ll see about 2/3 play in La Liga. the only ones who don’t are:

        Reina, Albiol, Monreal, Mata, Cazorla, Navas, Negredo, de Gea, Azpilicueta, Silva, Martinez, Alcantara, and Soldado.

        • usaalltheway says:

          Like I said; outside of the Barcelona crew, many of their players play in England. You listed 13 players. That is a lot of players.

          Try reading what I write, alright?

          • bryan says:

            dude, don’t pull attitude on me. you said:

            “Spain had most of their players in their domestic league. Not so anymore.”

            that is wrong. here are the players who DO play in La Liga and for Spain:

            Real Madrid: Casillas, Ramos, Arbeloa, Alonso, Isco (5)

            Barca: Valdes, Bartra, Iniesta, Busquets, Pedro, Pique, Alba, Puyol, Cesc, Xavi, Tello (11)

            Atl. Madrid: Juanfran, Koke, Villa, Suarez, Costa (5)

            Real Sociedad: Martinez (1)

            Sevilla: Moreno (1)

            that’s 23 players, who have been called up within the last 12 months, who play in La Liga. another 13 play outside La Liga. 23 out of 36 IS most of their players which is what you originally said is not true. you also said outside of Barca the rest play elsewhere. in fact, 11 play for Barca and 12 play for other La Liga teams.

            • usaalltheway says:

              “Many Spanish players play in England outside of the Barcelona players.”

              That is what I wrote.

              Chill out man.

              • bryan says:

                aren’t you the one alwqays telling people to stop telling you to chill out? let me borrow your line, “i’m chill.”

                i copied and pasted what you wrote and what i responded to:

                “Spain had most of their players in their domestic league. Not so anymore.”

                that was wrong.

                “Many Spanish players play in England outside of the Barcelona players.”

                this implies that the large majority of La Liga players play for Barca. that would be wrong. if you did not mean to imply that, fine.

                i wasn’t rejecting the idea that a lot of Spanish players play in England. i was rejecting that most of their team plays outside of La Liga. 2/3 of their team plays in La Liga.

              • bryan says:

                really wish we had an edit button…:

                “this implies that the large majority of La Liga players play for Barca. that would be correct. if you did not mean to imply that, fine.”

                i then meant to add onto that:

                but it makes it seem you only think Barca players are on the team from La Liga. when, in fact, 12 La Liga players play for teams outside Barca.

        • Gerald says:

          And half of those guys were playing in La Liga a season or 2 ago

    • Anthony says:

      difference is that La Liga is the second best in the world while the MLS is barely top 20

      • CeezNYRB says:

        Ok, name 19 leagues better than MLS.

        • Anthony says:

          EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue A, Primeira Liga, Eredivisie, Russian Premier League, Ukrainian Premier League, Süper Lig, Superleague Greece, Belgian Pro League, the (English) Championship, Primera Division Arg, Brazilian Serie A, Liga MX, Primera Division Chile, Primera Division Uruguay, Liga Adelante (Spain)

          • dman says:

            Superleague Greece …hahahaha
            Ukrainian premier league ?
            Russian premier league?

            You are grasping at straws dude…

            • Supa says:

              Most people believe that the top 3 teams in Superleague Greece (Olympiakos, PAOK and Panathinaikos) would consistently win against the MLS top 3 (Sporting KC, LA, RSL?)
              As far as the Ukrainian Premier, I’ve heard Penarol is pretty good, apparently Defensor Sporting is none too shabby, either.

              The Russian Premier League might have reached its zenith a couple of years ago, but there’s still plenty of rubles flooding into clubs like Zenit St. Petersburg, CSKA Moscow and Anzhi Makhachkala.

              • Ossington Mental Youth says:

                Penarol and Defensor do not play in Ukraine. I dunno if that is a type or not. For your sake i hope so.

            • Maykol says:

              You’re delusional if you think mls is better than any of those leagues, I might even put la liga 2 or bundesliga 2 there

          • H-town says:

            You can take six of those off there. Top to bottom the Belgian, Uruguayan, Chilean, Liga Adelante, Ukranian, and Greek leagues are not better.

            They have a good team or two, but MAL is in par with about mid-table of the championship.

        • Supa says:

          Here is a short list of the leagues better than MLS: (in no particular order) Spain’s La Liga, Barclays English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, France’s Ligue 1, Brasileirão, Argentina’s Primera Division, Dutch Eredivisie, Portugal’s Liga ZON Sagres, Russian Premier League, Mexico’s Liga MX, Turkish Süper Lig, Ukranian Premier League, Czech Republic’s Gambrinus Liga, Belgian Pro League, Colombia’s Categoria Primera A, Uruguayan Primera Division, Superleague Greece, Romania’s Liga I, and Peruvian Primera Division

  8. wagner says:

    wow. Surprised but nothing like upping you salary by 6.5 x the amount you used to make.

    • Sal says:

      Not really. His roma contact was after tax, his mls contract is before tax, which narrows the gap somewhat. And if I’m not mistaken his is typical in European contracts of salaries increasing every year for their duration.

      • mike says:

        narrows! cmon! maybe alters from the dan ryan expressway to 5 lane…but that is narrow only technically!

  9. DARTH VADER says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    • Human says:

      Of all the franchises why the Canadian one?

      • bb says:

        no joke. I think he’d be much more useful as a marketing tool for both the league and his team if he went to a US based team rather than a Canadian one. But what do I know…

  10. danny says:

    OK Mikey- now you just have to lead your team to an MLS championship and bring them success in Concacaf CL. If you don’t do that in the next couple of years, then many of your biggest fans will be disappointed in your progress. And if you do that, then many will still be disappointed that you reached your MLS ceiling while still in your prime and they’ll wonder what you might have done in Europe. On a separate note: Congrats on the big raise!

  11. Ony says:

    This is a great buy for MLS. For those saying that this is dumb for Bradley, I disagree. He’s doing something great for him & his family. He will be a centerpiece If we want the best league possible, we need the best players possible. As a USMNT fan, the benefit of more playing time will outweigh the pull of playing against better competition in Europe.

    • Stir Crazy says:

      So let’s bring Jozy too. And Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson, Alejandro Bedoya, Timothy Chandler, John Brooks. So much they can learn in MLS. Let’s just do it. Bring them all back, make them all DPs for 10, 20 million dollar transfers.

      • just saying says:

        haha i think you missed the point because youre clouded with anger/disgust but everyone except for jozy and brooks are either starts or get more than 45 minutes. Jozy and Brooks can benefit from that riding the pine at top level club wont make them better, at least with move to MLS they have a chance to play weekly against modest opposition and psychologically that will help them going to the world cup.

      • away goals says:

        I’m sure you’re being bitter and sarcastic but I would be delighted if NYCFC’s first major signing was Jozy Altidore.

  12. Stir Crazy says:

    This is so great for American soccer. So great. Americans pushing themselves in one the most competitive and prestigious leagues out there, yeah! Glad to see he didn’t get baited into any number of teams in Europe that that wanted him where we could of played at a so called “higher level”.

    MLS, YEAH!! ALRIGHT, USA!

    • Reid says:

      Hey bro, frank dux had to go AWOL to become the greatest fighter in the world, that seemed to work for him.
      Go mls! Go kumite!
      OK USA

  13. usaalltheway says:

    Seriously, WTF?

    IF you have to go the MLS, why not a decent team?

    This has to be 90 percent about money.

    I can’t get my head around this at all.

    • Ian says:

      No, I think you got your head around it just fine. It’s about money. Imagine being offered a 600% raise. Sure, you’d had to live in Canada, but wouldn’t you do it?

      • usaalltheway says:

        That is what I was thinking.

        It’s about family, stability and $$$.

        This is a disaster for the USMNT however. Forget the World Cup because the team leans on him for everything in the midfield. Without him, the team cannot do sh$t.

        • Matt says:

          Right, because he’s gonna completely lose all his talent in the next few months?

          • usaalltheway says:

            Have you ever been an athlete or worked out? If you lay off, drop your level, it hits you pretty quickly.

            The World Cup is six months away. Playing ugly MLS soccer is only going to hurt his playing.

            • Siberian says:

              You haven unrealistically negative opinion of MLS.

              • usaalltheway says:

                Outside of my Timbers, who are only up and coming, the league is garage. I was looking forward to the final. I regret that time I spent. Utter trash.

                When you really love something you tend to see more than what is really there. Perhaps that is what is going on with most of you guys. Whatever it is, you can’t make me say 2+2=5 when it’s clearly 2+2=4.

              • usaalltheway says:

                “garbage

                Why isn’t there an edit option?

              • beachbum says:

                the fact you say only the Timbers are good reveals you don’t know sh!t about MLS. there’s some lousy clubs and also good ones, not just one

              • Fredo says:

                Aaaaahhh… Timbers fan.

      • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

        I think a lot of the controversy about whether this is good for MB’s career have to do with differing definitions of career success. Is a successful career one that is lucrative and stable? or is it one that achieved the most and pushed the envelop of what’s possible? I’d rather have the latter if I had the talent/skill for it. I’m an engineer, and I’d rather work on useful products in cutting edge technologies than be an extremely well paid draft monkey at a CAD firm for ten times the salary. In 10 years, if you were MB, would you rather have $50 million and an MLS cup, or 15 Million and a Scudetto? The answer to that question pretty much sums up whether or not you think it was a smart move.

    • the way through says:

      Doesn’t surprise me. Keep your thinking to a minimum

  14. Sony says:

    Ten millions is a lot of money for a player who mostly makes sideways and backwards passes.
    When is Jozy arriving?

  15. Ian says:

    Clint Dempsey’s Seattle Sounders take on Michael Bradley’s Toronto FC on opening day. Welcome to motherf_ckin’ bizarroworld, also known as MLS 3.0?

  16. usaalltheway says:

    I just read this on bleacherreport.com…pretty much says it all

    “In the end I don’t care how MLS or US soccer sell it. Europe is the highest level and if you leave there you are failing in my eyes. 6 months before the world cup I don’t see Robben, Sneijder, Huntelaar and Van Persie retreat back to the Dutch league for their careers…”

    • Ian says:

      Myopic drivel. The aforementioned aren’t losing playing time at their current clubs. And what the hell? Sneijder went to Turkey. That isn’t exactly the best of the best right there.

    • John says:

      If Ajax could play RVP 6 times what he is making at ManU then I bet he would go in a heart beat.

      • Human says:

        Yeah and he could win the title just about every year too. Only competition is PSV and Feyenoord.

      • Anthony says:

        It’s getting REALLY annoying that people are throwing around 6 times. When it’s really 2/2.5 times (still a big jump). I mean, people, ACTUALLY digest the information and take into account his post- tax Euro earnings (which is what the Eur 1.1 mill at Roma was and that is between USD1.45 – 1.65 mill). His 6.5 million is pre-tax. His Canadian taxes will be roughly 42%, so his post tax $3.77 million/yr (if the number is USD quoted) or more like $3.47 mill/yr (if the salary was quoted CAD).

    • beachbum says:

      quoting bleacherreport as if it means something g! that is funny

  17. just saying says:

    at first news make me feel a little concerned with his development since he is yet to peak, but just reading that his first match will be against another great national team player it almost gave me that feeling that MLS has almost made it. Now, i feel like this is just the start to maybe having young prospect from around the globe that need playing time before the world cup to showcase their talents that MLS is definitely a viable and smart option.

  18. dsgntd_plyr says:

    Two questions:
    1. After the Dempsey deal, who paid this transfer fee? Shouldn’t it be MLS….or did they make-up a new rule?
    2. Is he with TFC because TFC declined to bid for Dempsey to help MLS sell a USMNT player to the US public?

  19. Revs Fan says:

    It’s nice that Bradley gets a big payday but he is not the kind of people that fans will come out to see. For him, its good… for MLS …. bad investment

  20. Elliott says:

    3x salary? idiot if he didn’t do it. truly. stop stressing. MLS will be a top 5 league in 3 years if we can get the TV ratings up.

    • Edmondo says:

      If we can get the ratings up (BIG IF), we are 4 in the Americas Liga Mx, Brasilero, Argentino. However, it’s pretty naive (to put it kindly) to think we’d be top 5 in the world in 5 years. The other leagues have history (100 years of it), quality of life, celebrity and well paid. Keep in mind that Brazil is starting to pay their players a lot nowadays.

      Top 10 in 10 years is still an aggressive but somewhat realistic if everything goes exactly to plan.

  21. Drew says:

    And the Union are getting a mascot… I picked the wrong team

  22. Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

    USMNT for the WIN!

    I Like This Move!

    He will get a break of about 5 weeks. He will go hard for 8 weeks. Training camp for 3 or 4 weeks …
    WHILE the Roma guys who are also INTL’s will be grinding each week followed by a 3 or 4 week training camp then the WC14.

    I Wish we could get the whole USMNT here for the Break, MLS season then camp.

    I’m saying that USMNT players will be fresher and have a deeper well to draw from when the real test comes. SO …

    USMNT for the WIN!

  23. It's Over says:

    Dempsey to Sounders
    Bradley to Toronto FC
    Donovan stays in Galaxy

    This is going to be the worst World Cup in American history it’s going all down hill from here.

    • wandmdave says:

      Regardless of where these players are plying their trade this is one of the most talented teams we’ve ever fielded.

      • wandmdave says:

        Plus I’m not sure we can do worse than France 98 or that small stretch from ’54 to ’86 where we didn’t even qualify.

      • usaalltheway says:

        Why do USMNT fans keep regurgitating this “most talented team ever” nonsense all the time.?

        This team is no better than 2002 and is on par with 2010. Hell, on paper, 2006 was that “greatest team ever” and we remember how that went.

    • MLSmadetheUSteam says:

      Overreact much?

    • brightside says:

      there is a 9 hour time difference between Rome and Sao Paulo (USMNT home base), the difference between Toronto and Sao Paulo – 3 hours.

  24. Drew says:

    Few thoughts:

    1. MLS better raise the salary cap and making a insanely expensive purchase like this better ensure other quality players on the way.

    2. How much of a difference does it make that he’s going to a Canadian team over an American team?

    3. Hope we can see some quality loans in his future to continue his growth/resume.

    4. Donovan has done just one for himself in MLS

    5. I want to hear Klinnsmans opinion on all of this

    • Human says:

      Wait until the CBA at the end of the year. They could raise the cap to at least 5 million.

    • usaalltheway says:

      Number 5 is the big piece of the puzzle that is yet to be solved.

      My guess: JK is upset. I doubt MB90 will lose his spot (I mean, who else is going to fill it?) but he most definitely can’t be liking this move.

  25. John says:

    Now I hope JJ can find a place in MLS and we can get them both in camp right away.

  26. Hogatroge says:

    Honestly, the more I think about it, I’m okay with this move.

    It will be hard for Bradley to leave MLS ever again unless he’s looking for a pay cut, but that doesn’t matter.

    It’s ridiculous to think his form is going to fall between now and June when he’ll be midseason and have played multiple friendlies for the USMNT. If he loses form by the 2015 Gold Cup or 2016 Copa America, there will be more people coming down the pipeline to replace him.

  27. Karl says:

    It’s lie Bradley and Dempsey just gave a giant middle finger to JK

  28. QuakerOtis says:

    Ives: Tell me you’re working the phones for a MB90 interview. Git ‘er done!

  29. mack says:

    Anyone think altidore to skc next??? Could use a striker…lol

  30. byob el paso tx says:

    Soccer god of america, please let this be dream, if not just send tim howard to red bull.

  31. Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

    This is by far the worst USMNT news in recent history. We’re in BIG trouble come June. Our MOST IMPORTANT PLAYER is doing this. I just refuse to believe it. I’m gutted.

    • usaalltheway says:

      +100000

      You said it all. Just don’t tell the rest of the people on here.

      For them, MLS is better than Italy and Bradley is only “just one player” on the USMNT.

      I love the USMNT, but thank the stars I am Brazilian. I will have at least on team to root for come June.

      Terrible decision for the team Mikey. Make that money count for your family.

      • Chris says:

        Our most important player is doing what? Getting himself playing time in a perfectly good league that has already groomed our best player ever? C’mon.

        • usaalltheway says:

          “For Bradley and most top American players, MLS is not the place to be. Forget the league’s quality of play for a second (though it’s far below what level these guys need to be honing their games at); if Bradley signs for TFC, he’s guaranteed a spot in the XI every match – he has to be, because he’s the draw. There’s no fighting for time, no battling for your spot, and complacency will set in, no matter how determined or motivated a player may be. This is a bad thing; it’s the battles in training that push you to improve, to stay sharp, because you’re either challenging the guy ahead of you or fighting off a challenge from the guy behind you. This won’t happen in Toronto for Bradley, and his game (and the USMNT’s) will suffer as a result.”

        • Chris says:

          Again, Landon Donovan.

          • usaalltheway says:

            Again, outlier.

            One example isn’t enough.

            I could easily type, “Dempsey”. See how that works?

            • Chris says:

              Do you have an example of a player losing all his talent and ruining our World Cup chances because he transferred to the MLS?

              You can type Dempsey if you’d like. I’d prefer you type something to convince me.

      • slowleftarm says:

        I guess you’d turn down a 600% salary increase right? You’re that big a hero right?

        • Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

          NOPE. nor did I say or allude to that. For Mike personally – it’s a GREAT move. Professionally and for the USMNT, it’s not a good move no matter how you slice it. MLS is a lower level of competition. He won’t be challenged. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of MLS (how could be a soccer fan in American and not be?) but, to sit here and write that MLS is better situation than Italy, England, Spain and Germany – you’re playin’ yourself.

          Yea – he’ll be getting full 90s, but could he not find a mid-level team in a top league and do the same???? Help me understand.

          • usaalltheway says:

            They can’t help you because they are clueless.

            I usually don’t like to get into personally but so many of the posters on here are clueless with regards to soccer.

            MLS is garbage. It’s A LONG WAY for being a quality league. I love my Timbers and there are a few great teams and players but this idea that MB90’s move is anything but awful for is career as an athlete (money aside please, that is a DIFFERENT argument), are fooling themselves.

            He was playing in a top 4 league one a top 4 team with truly world-class players. Now he is at Toronto. Enough said.

            Get real people!

            This is about as bad as it could get for the USMNT. I hope that money is used well.

            • beachbum says:

              you get real! Posting as if you know soccer…just barking like a small child actually who just had his parents tell him No

            • slowleftarm says:

              You vastly overstate how bad MLS. Of course it’s nowhere near Serie A but it doesn’t matter how great Serie A is if MB is on the bench or coming on for 10 minutes at the end of games. Maybe he could have moved to a smaller team in Europe but expecting him to give up millions to do so is childish. Either way, it’s not going to impact his play in Brazil one bit. Maybe long term it may affect his development but between now and June? Please.

  32. John says:

    So for everyone who thinks the only thing that is important is playing in Europe and Champions league? Do we think about starting Kljestan over Bradley next summer? Does Klinsmann try and send a message he is serious about wanting his players in Europe and takes an all European squad?

  33. Sony says:

    I remember watching an interview with Carlos Salcido where he talks about how players like him, Maza Rodriguez, Guardado etc… lose money by going abroad. One of them had to buy his contract out of his own pocket from his mexican team before being allowed to leave.
    I guess that’s the difference between players that grew up working hard to earn their way into a top team and those players whose parents were rich enough to pay the tens of thousands it takes for American kids to play soccer.

  34. Kai says:

    If MLS wants to pay a lot of money for quality players, they should purchase German, Portuguese , or even players from Ghana. It’s not right to increase the quality of play in MLS at the expense of making USMNT player’s form suffer and cease from increasing their form!!!

  35. Chris says:

    I can’t wait for Bradley to shut you all up when he plays just as well as ever in the World Cup.

    • John says:

      If he does well it’ll be because of his time in Europe and if he does poorly it’ll be because of MLS. They’ve already got it all worked out.

      • Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

        You all are acting like “we” or “they” are rooting for my man to fail. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Of course we want him to flourish in Brazil. However, I’m of the opinion that moving to the 3rd worse MLS team 6 months prior to the WC isn’t an ideal move.

  36. slowleftarm says:

    The funniest thing is listening to some of these eurosnobs so upset that this might make europeans rate american players less. Who cares? Michael Bradley is just as a good a player today as he was last week.

    • Kai says:

      Yea, but the question remains.. Should he be even playing with the USMNT since his spouse is European? This question is specifically for you slowleftbrain.

      • Paul says:

        MB90 wife is American. Listen, MB90 is not going to loose his skills in the next 5 months. However, I am more worried about 2018. Will be good? Yes. Will be as good and sharp if he stayed in a more competitive league playing with and against better players? No.

        At the end of the day, he did what is good for him. If I was him, what would I have done? Probably gone to a mid-level team Serie A, Bundesliga or EPL team pushing for Europa league (if a good year) where he probably belongs as a regular starter. However, it someone comes by to 2.5x’s or 3x’s my salary, I may have come back as well..who knows.

      • slowleftarm says:

        Wow considering how much you love to talk about this topic, you should at least be able to get my position right. Pathetic.

    • Joe C. says:

      “Who cares?”

      Americans trying to get a shot in Europe? American fans that want American players to have the best opportunities possible? People who prefer to watch soccer in the morning? People who think Bradley might not be just as good a player next week as he was last week? People who just want to piss you off?

  37. Todd says:

    This such a 50-50 argument. I understand both sides, and where everyone is coming from. Its a step down for Bradley, that is fact, however for the growth and commercial appeal of MLS, a move like this needed to be made. I applaud Toronto FC for having the balls to make such a move, along with adding Dafoe. I just wish more MLS teams had as much ambition.

    As for Bradley, it will be hard to replicate the matches and talent he faced in Italy vs. MLS. He will have to work harder then he ever in order to improve. Now, if MLS were finally able to increase their salary caps, and allow teams to become major players in the international transfer market, then more marque players will come. Of course this is related to the TV contracts, which is tied to the TV ratings.

    Thus, I think MLS is starting to realize that in order to attract people to watch matches, they need to shell out big contracts to attract stars (whether American or international).

    That is my 2 cents.

  38. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    If MLS is willing to pay a player in his prime like Bradley ×6 his Salary.. Why not start bringing other players with more star power?..Surely this is feasible if MLS is willing to pay the transfer fee.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Also the cap really needs to be raised. I don’t think we need to be better than the big 4. How about being the best league in CONCACAF? The quality of the average MLS players needs to be raised

  39. usaalltheway says:

    “For Bradley and most top American players, MLS is not the place to be. Forget the league’s quality of play for a second (though it’s far below what level these guys need to be honing their games at); if Bradley signs for TFC, he’s guaranteed a spot in the XI every match – he has to be, because he’s the draw. There’s no fighting for time, no battling for your spot, and complacency will set in, no matter how determined or motivated a player may be. This is a bad thing; it’s the battles in training that push you to improve, to stay sharp, because you’re either challenging the guy ahead of you or fighting off a challenge from the guy behind you. This won’t happen in Toronto for Bradley, and his game (and the USMNT’s) will suffer as a result.”

    Too many of you are blinding yourselves. This is about as bad as it could possibly get for the USMNT. It’s great for his pocketbook but not for the team.

  40. Me says:

    $1 mm salary in Europe vs $6.5 in US/Canada. What would you do?

    • Anthony says:

      His salary this year is Eur 1.1 POST-TAX so about $1.5 million post-tax. $CAD 6.5 is about $USD 3.5mill post tax

  41. quozzel says:

    Truly.

    The thing is, you think Italian players on Roma missed that MB90 just signed for $6.5 million? How good do you think that’s going to look to quite a number of them?

    You think Jermaine Jones and Jozy Altidore missed that? I don’t.

    I think especially after the World Cup, you’re going to see a HUGE number of European players agents calling MLS and seeing what’s on the table.

    I don’t think this is an isolated incident. I think Dempsey/MB are the start of a trend of big-money DP’s making their way across the pond. When even teams like Toronto are starting to throw this kind of money around, a whole lot of Big Names are going to be interested in that combo of job security and big cash.

    • bryan says:

      there is no doubt that after the WC there will be some serious moves to MLS. i would guess at least 3 “blockbuster” moves (e.g. Drogba, Sneijder, etc.). then in 2015 we’ll see Kaka and whoever NYCFC brings in, which will likely be big too.

    • usaalltheway says:

      That is a great point.

      Something to look out for.

    • Paul says:

      However, not everyone can pay it. I can only think of LAG, SEA, TFC, NYRB. That is because they have rich owners and not because the clubs make a lot of money.

      • bryan says:

        all those clubs make a lot of money, except NYRB who lost $6M last year (we’ll chalk that up to the cost of the new SSS). Portland also made a ton of money. they can pay because they have rich owners and they are making a lot of money (by MLS standards).

        Operating Income (aka PROFIT):
        Seattle: $18.2M
        LA: $7.8M
        Portland: $9.4M
        NYRB: – $6.3M

        link to forbes.com

  42. Joe C. says:

    Bradley’s making a step down for more playing time, more money, and possibly other reasons. He could have gone elsewhere at a higher level of competition, but ended up choosing TFC. This is one more USMNT star in the MLS, but is also one less USMNT star on the world stage. Countries with great national teams often have many players in their excellent national leagues, but we have neither.

    How this works out for Bradley’s life and abilities is anyone’s guess at this point and it will totally be great to see him play in MLS. That said, this is one less point of pride for U.S. fans. Now our biggest players in Europe are Timmy, some guy who can’t score in the Premier League, some guy who can’t get playing time in the Bundesliga, some guy on loan for a couple of months, some guy in France, some guy in the Netherlands, and some dude that plays right back for Stoke. Look, I love ‘em all, but they aren’t playing in the midfield at Roma with dudes like Totti, De Rossi, Strootman, etc. Seeing Bradley in that mix always made me feel proud.

    • usaalltheway says:

      Beautiful!!

      You nailed it man. Great stuff.

      (Just don’t let the others see it. They will get angry. ;) )

      • John says:

        I think everyone understands, enjoying a player doing well at a club like Roma. However the people who are suggesting that as soon a Bradley walks into a MLS locker room he will just loose any skill he has developed is pretty silly.

        • bryan says:

          yes, that is silly. but it’s equally silly for people to say Bradley will continue to develop at the same rate as he could have in Europe…given he was guaranteed time in a top 4 league.

          it’s just one of those things. both sides have a valid point to be made.

          • usaalltheway says:

            Thank you Bryan for pointing that out.

            Remember: it’s easy to lose, but it’s hard to gain. Anyone who has been an athlete or works out and keeps in shape knows this.

            The reality is that after a month or two in the MLS, his level of play will suffer. Not only on the field but off it. On top of the fact that it’s Toronto. Seriously, why go to one of the worst teams in the league?

        • Joe C. says:

          Totally agreed. He’ll be fine. I’m just not sure he’ll be great, you know? I hope his play for TFC makes me look like a hand-wringing idiot.

    • bb says:

      +1

      Always been a big Altidore fan, but to non-Americans that is how he (and the others mentioned) are viewed. Bradley was our main guy we could point to and say, “See, the US can produce great talent that can hack it in the best leagues!” I felt proud about that too. Now that he’s back, we’ve lost our best known face to foreign fans. (excluding our tremendous goalkeeper talent) But I’m def getting tickets to see him vs the Sounders!

      On a more MLS-related note: Jeez, they have a tough opening schedule now! SKC, TFC, and at Montreal. Sigi is gonna have his work cut out for him!

      • MLSmadetheUSteam says:

        I don’t think I’ll care if a fan of another country can’t name any of the US players that just beat his country’s national team. The inferiority complex some of you have is laughable.

        • Joe C. says:

          Dude, our nemesis the past two World Cups was Ghana. Ghana. For the most part, we are inferior. When we actually accomplish something in the World Cup, we can start talking about a complex.

  43. PauseTheGameRealQuick says:

    How does TFC get off having 4 DPs though? Gilberto, Labas, Bradley, Defoe? Add in DeRo’s salary number to the mix as well. This makes MLS look bush league because you know they’re gonna come up with some new “USMNT/Canadian NT slot that doesn’t count as a DP slot” rule and apply it retroactively to TFC just because of this.

    • Human says:

      I know right.

    • brad says:

      DeRo isn’t on a big # – reportedly under $200K and nobody knows what will become of Laba yet. They might be abler to move him off DP and pay with allocation $ or a loan or a trade…time will tell. Never-the-less TFC sure looks a lot stronger for 2014.

    • bryan says:

      as brad said, DeRo is well under DP money ($150,000). Laba is said to be going on loan or sold according to the report that said Defoe and Bradley are signing. but TFC do have some other options to explore in order to get Laba not labeled as a DP. it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

      • PauseTheGameRealQuick says:

        Just seems too convenient for TFC to have the time to do this. They should be freaking out trying to do something with Laba, not saying “ey we sign Bradley and then worry about this.” Bush league.

        • bryan says:

          how do you know they aren’t? you are calling them “bush league” because of the conjecture you made up in your head?! i doubt TFC is just gonna wing it in regards to Laba. they have probably been working on that detail for awhile. just because it’s not in the papers does not mean things aren’t happening.

          • PauseTheGameRealQuick says:

            Not calling TFC bush league. I’m calling MLS bush league. TFC shouldn’t be able to confirm Bradley before they’ve moved a DP. Either this or Defoe doesn’t sign until one is gone.

            • bryan says:

              TFC didn’t confirm anything dude. MLS hasn’t confirmed anything. the media leaked a story and then Roma released a press statement saying Bradley was sold to MLS.

              as stated in the original report, all details will be announced by MLS/TFC, officially, on Monday. there is nothing bush league about that…

        • brad says:

          Bush league? how so? i’d suggest they’d be ‘bush league’ if they were freaking out trying to do something with Laba rather than deal with it thoughtfully and to their advantage and his.

          • PauseTheGameRealQuick says:

            Uh I should be hearing about Laba being gone before I hear about Bradley being confirmed as a member of TFC though, right? That only makes sense.

            • bryan says:

              says who? TFC haven’t announced anything themselves. from day one, the reports have said all details will come out on Monday. obviously the press is going to focus on Bradley and Defoe but to just assume nothing is being done about Laba makes no sense.

              my guess is TFC has already figured out what they are doing with Laba, but we just won’t know until Monday. again, TFC has yet to announce anything. so you can’t say they annoyed Bradley before discussing Laba!

            • Chris says:

              Seriously? Nobody is going to point out to this moron that Defoe hasn’t been signed? That TFC has the proper 3 DPs still? Busch league posting.

  44. hc says:

    Perhaps one thing that might be overlooked is the possibility that many, if not all teams in the Serie A may be in some financial difficulty and promise high pay with borrowed funds. Players at the very top will be the first to be paid but players in the mid to lower tier on a team may have some basis of concern. Most of Europe is going through a worse financial crisis than the USA at the moment. Who knows?
    I can’t help but think that MB may know more about what goes on internally at some of these clubs but is keeping quiet about it.

  45. Rocco says:

    I complete understand why he would take a deal like this…in January 2015. But six months before a World Cup where he has potential to shine before the glare of the international audience??? No. It really makes no sense. If MLS is willing to paying $6.5MM now then they will be in July as well barring some catastrophe, God forbid. But if he were I excell in Brazil…

  46. ChicagoStingInMyBlood says:

    I think that whoever did it just won’t admit it…

  47. frank from santiago says:

    where’s this guy………..Al says:
    January 8, 2014 at 4:23 PM
    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!….hahahaha!

    anyways, i think it’s great MB is going to be playing in MLS. I don’t even live in the states anymore and I’m kinda envy for you guys, but it’s great for the league…. it’s finally stepping up, little by litlle.

  48. Darwin says:

    Did MLS use the “Dempsey rule”?

  49. Cylo says:

    What a sad day for the US team.

  50. alocksley says:

    The Eurosnobbery around hear is suffocating. This is a good move for US Soccer. Look at the big picture. Those of you complaining about MLS being a crap league – well, it just got less crappy. And this trend will continue, bringing more quality players to the domestic league, thereby raising the level of play in MLS, and the quality of players from MLS playing on the national team. It’s a WIN for US Soccer, folks.

  51. ALF says:

    American players are soft. It’s one thing to play in teams like Fulham and Everton but when the time comes to fight day in and day out for a spot on a top team they run home with their tail between their legs.
    You can say it’s about the money all day long but at the end of the day we all know they just didn’t have the balls to succeed in a big team so they went home where they can be stars even before they step on the field.

    • bryan says:

      whoa whoa whoa, if there is one thing Bradley has proven it is that he is NOT soft. he went to Holland as a teenager, fought hard and won a starting spot. then goes to the Bundesliga, fights hard, becomes a regular starter. when he loses that spot, he goes to the EPL to try and fight for a spot. then he goes back to Gladbach to a coach that didn’t really like him, and guess what? he won his spot back. then he moves to Verona and wins a spot there. plays well enough to then get bought by Roma…where he fought for a spot but figured with the WC a few months away, he should look elsewhere given Roma’s midfield depth. you may think that last part makes him soft, but i don’t.

    • alocksley says:

      Nonsense. There is a long history of players from many countries leaving top leagues to go back home and play in their domestic leagues. It’s not unique to American players, not by a long shot. Bradley and Dempsey have battled for starting roles on Euro squads for years. They have both shown more than enough “balls,” and certainly neither of these players could be called “soft.” Get over your absurd Eurosnobbery already.

    • usaalltheway says:

      There really could be something to what you are saying.

      I don’t like to think of my boys like that, but I have to reconsider. Maybe Bradley just didn’t have what it takes.

      Thanks for pointing this out, although the tone was a bit rough.

      • John says:

        lets face it, Kljestan is better then Bradley and has to start over him next summer

      • beachbum says:

        other teams wanted him, he CHOSE to shine them, not the other way around, right?

        • bryan says:

          correct. Sunderland, we know, wanted him back in August so no doubt they made a play for him this time too. no doubt he would have started in that midfield either.

          ESPNFC’s German and Italian writers have both stated he had options in the Bundesliga and Serie A, including teams he would likely have started on no problem.

          the difference is the salary. no way he makes half of what TFC are giving him if he stayed in Europe. if he was at $1.1M, maybe he would get himself $2M elsewhere. ESPNFC, as i’m typing this, confirming this was the kicker.

          • beachbum says:

            thanks bryan

            so Bradley has what it takes evidently and was wanted. Earned that position and chose his move. good for him

    • Rocco says:

      I’m not going to stand here while you bad mouth the United States of America. Gentlemen…

  52. SD says:

    I don’t like it, i don’t like it , i don’t like it…..i don’t like it, i don’t like it, i don’t like it……repeat, repeat……

  53. Norman says:

    This might actually encourage more European teams to take chances on young Americans now that they know MLS is willing to foolishly overspend to bring American players back.

    • Paul says:

      LOL. true.

      Wait a second…what happens if a player does not work out? Would the European team hold out for foolish offer from the MLS then another who is willing to pay less in transfer fees. I think that is in part what happened with Jozy. AZ went for the largest offer from Sunderland when 1 or two other teams were interested for less. I know the player has to agree, but pressure can be applied.

  54. MiamiAl says:

    “Blame Canada…”

  55. Dainja says:

    LACK OF DESIRE FOR USMNT?

    Our team has heart, no denying that…but now the THREE best players for the national team are choosing to play in an inferior league. And I like MLS, but you can’t deny that its a step down from the best leagues in Europe. In the last few months, our team captain and our most important player have come back to MLS. Throw in Donovan who, let’s be honest, hasn’t pushed himself to play abroad as much as he could in the last few years, and you officially have a trend. Look, i’ve never said our team doesn’t have heart, but DESIRE and willingness to get to the top (and more importantly stay there) is sorely lacking by our best players and that folks…as a USMNT fan first…is seriously troubling. I’m very disappointed.

  56. FingersCrossed says:

    Look, Bradley had to choose between playing every minute for a weaker club or possibly sit almost every game for one of the top clubs in Europe. He was now #5 on the depth chart at Roma in the midfield. Going into a World Cup, you’d rather be playing consistently (even if it is for a weaker team) than not playing much at all. Bradley has been in Europe for 12 years, he has a young kid, he’s married….does anyone think he is going to play at a club bigger than Roma? Where is he going to go? Barcelona? Juventus? Man City? That’s not going to happen.

    Bradley’s move back to MLS strengthens the league and makes it more attractive to other quality players. Is it the best career move for Bradley? Probably not, but it seems like guys like Dempsey and Bradley see MLS growing with a lot of momentum and want to be part of taking the league to the next level. It also adds more weight to the argument that unless you are getting consistent minutes in Europe, you might as well stay at home and play all the time in MLS. Players want to be on the field, not on the bench. Dempsey and Bradley have probably sacrificed part of their career to come back to MLS but in the bigger picture, this is beneficial to the development of MLS and soccer overall in the US. Besides, Bradley and Dempsey are locks for Brazil next summer whether they are in Europe rotting on the bench or playing in MLS. Who else is out there that Klinsmann would take over them?

  57. John says:

    Starting line up this summer is pretty clear
    Jozy
    Shea Johannsson Bedoya
    Kljestan Diskerud
    Fabian Cameron Brooks Lichaj
    Howard

    No MLS allowed

  58. Siggy says:

    I was initially disappointed when I heard of this move. Bradley might be the most accomplished American player abroad at this point, and his team at Roma were looking particularly promising. I had dreams of watching him in the Champions League next year. But alas….

    I think this shows a promising trend though in MLS. What a major step forward. I know people like to rag on the TV ratings and the salary cap, but it’s nearly impossible to argue the upward growth of this league. Look at the American and foreign talent they are bringing in. Look at the stream of clubs, cities and investors that want to be one of the 24 teams by the end of the decade. Beckham is getting a dream team of investors together to bring a team into a failed market!

    Internet message board posters like to tear the league down, but increasingly players and billionaires are buying into it in a big way. Is this a turning point for MLS? Are we seeing it slowly become big-time right in front of our eyes?

  59. The Other Jeff says:

    Most of the objections to this and the Dempsey move are variations on the theme of “In order to be the best you have to train with and against the best, day in and day out.”

    Humor me for a moment… what is the actual evidence that this is always true for all players? Or even mostly true for most players? Please, no more conventional wisdom or personal opinion. If this is so obviously true there surely are studies that back it up – I’d like some references. I am not aware of anyone who has tested this hypothesis with real data in a systematic way.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and some opinions are more informed than others. But on this subject,unless you have actual data to point to, let’s call them what they are, opinions not established fact. And in the process, cut a break for players whose opinions of their own career prospects, which they know better than any of us haunting these discussions, happen to differ from the conventional wisdom. e.g., Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Omar, Goodson, Besley, Zusi, ….

  60. AC says:

    Hilarious seeing so many of these comments. Sure, AS Roma and Serie A were a better overall league. Maybe Bradley’s view of ambition is different then ours as his way of challenging himself may be is to put himself in a situation to lead others and improve others around him. He made a smart business decision and took it. EVENTUALLY, whether you like it or not, MLS was going to bring in good players, whether American or not, who are in their prime. Stop crying because it is in your lifetime. Stop with the MLS stinks, not good enough because no promotion/relegation, not good as other leagues arguments. It never will be promotion/relegation as the American business model is more stable and will not get teams hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and will be a gradual growth. So what if MLS doesn’t have the history of other leagues. This is history what Bradley and Dempsey have done. The “they couldn’t hack it” in other leagues argument is childish. Maybe they wanted to be closer to home. Donovan seems to be doing just fine with that model. Stop with the Klinsmann must have players playing in Europe even though so many on the national team are from MLS. Americans will go to Europe and Americans will play in MLS. Nothing wrong with that. Bradley spent 10 years in Europe already. He’s a trailblazer for MLS. I doubt he will have any trouble with the national team as he has been to plenty of camps and games. These players are professionals and definitely know what is expected. Face it, we’re not professionals, and do not know what is best for these individual players.

  61. Scott Leach says:

    I see a lot of comments about MLS being a step down for players because of the talent level. How to we increase that talent level without bringing in players that are more talented than what is in MLS right now?

    • AC says:

      Whoa now, that can’t happen. The best must only play in Europe in their prime.

    • bryan says:

      i know what you are getting at, but that is not the point. MLS can still get to a strong level while our best players play outside MLS. look to Brazil, Holland, and Portugal for proof.

      yes, MLS needs to get better and there is no denying that bringing in players like Bradley, in their prime, does help with that. but US fans who want MLS to get better don’t want it to get better because MLS teams will pay top dollar for US national team players. i want to see growth outside of that. in the youth ranks, in the depth of squads, etc. bringing in Bradley for $6.5M is not going to help with that. it helps other things, but he is ONE guy.

      point is, while Bradley coming to MLS is positive and certainly helps MLS grow, the real growth should, and is, growing in other aspects of the league. it is those areas that will truly build the league. Bradley is a great add and will have a positive effect, but he can only do so much.

    • Bobert says:

      how do you increase the talent level? You can start by having a salary cap that is more compatible with the sport of soccer. Right now MLS has a salary cap that is compatible with the NFL and the NBA where two or three players get 80% of the wages.

      Have a hard cap of $15 million and you will see teams fielding balanced rosters. You wouldn’t have League 1 and League 2 quality players in MLS. You’d have MLS clubs dipping into the South American market. You’d have better quality.

      MLS is run by ex-NFL guys who just don’t understand the sport of soccer. You can’t field a quality soccer team with 3 stars and role players like you can in the NFL and NBA.

      • bryan says:

        i agree the cap is where it all lies. Haji Wright is a great example of what happens when we have a low cap like this. while i disagree the sport of soccer can’t be successful in a similar business model as the NFL, i will agree it can’t remain like it is.

        even keeping DP rules (which they will), and even keeping all these different “funds”, the cap needs to go up by at least 2x. i would say $7-10M by 2016. the average salary being demanded by an MLS player is going to continue to go up quickly. $142,000 isn’t gonna cut it when Liga MX is sitting at $500,000 (to be fair, their top two players only make $3M per year, so similar to the model you describe). Zusi is making DP money, which he deserves, but he is not the type of player the DP rule was made for. that to me indicates the need for the non-DP limit to be raised…which in turn requires a cap raise.

        in the end, i think a traditional model would work just fine, but the NFL has proven to be a fantastic business model as well. arguably, THE best out of any LEAGUE. if they can fine tune it to soccer, i don’t see why it couldn’t work. soccer isn’t inherently “anti specific-business-model.” but i do agree the cap is now becoming the biggest issue for the league, which is of course tied to the awful TV ratings.

        • bryan says:

          to be clear, i know Zusi isn’t a DP. but if not for those retention funds that showed up, he would be.

        • Bobert says:

          what is the NFL’s business model?

          • bryan says:

            franchise.

          • bryan says:

            in seriousness, if you are actually interested, this is a great video which would be much more effective at explaining than i would be typing it up on here.

            link to businessweek.com

            • Bobert says:

              that video was mostly about marketing.

              The NFL business plan depends on revenues from commercials during the game.

              The NFL is also an isolated league with no competition.

              Why would you want a soccer league to try to adapt the NFL business plan? It seems totally incompatible. If the NFL business plan worked for other sports why hasn’t the MLB adopted it?

              • bryan says:

                a business model incorporates all ways the organization makes and spends money. marketing is a part of that and is therefore part of the business model as a whole.

                no one is disputing that the NFL relies heavily on TV revenue (aka marketing) that comes from having so many time outs and stoppages in play. to me, it’s clear MLS is aware it cannot rely solely on TV revenue at this time and that TV revenue will probably never match NFL levels.

                but they also see the success, in terms of revenue, TV rights can generate for the World Cup, EPL, Bundesliga, Mexico, Liga MX, and USMNT games. so there is some hope there.

                yes, that video is heavily focused on marketing. so what? that’s a major part of a business model. cost structures are obviously similar. both the NFL and MLS make money from selling franchises and taking percentages from sales of everything NFL/MLS related.

              • Bobert says:

                Bryan,

                well MLS should take from the NFL what will work in soccer. The EPL has copied the NFL when it comes to marketing and creating a family friendly environment at stadiums.

                But when it comes to something like the salary cap. You cannot take a salary cap that is compatible with the NFL and then just use it in MLS. And that’s what MLS is doing.

                If MLS wants to follow a business plan they should stay within their own sport and look around the globe at other successful soccer leagues.

              • bryan says:

                i’m not trying to say otherwise. we agree on that. which is, taking something from a model (in this case, the NFL’s) and tweaking it to match your specific organization (MLS). i think that applies to the cap as well. sure, MLS teams can be smarter with their salary allocation than what we see in the NFL and NBA. but in the end, underneath the salary management, the function is still the same. a cap is a cap.

  62. Bobert says:

    MLS payed the transfer fee, not Toronto.

    I really really hate this. Clubs should pay their own transfer fees.

  63. Diego says:

    Maybe a step back for him, but why is everyone vieiwng it that way instead of a step forward for MLS? Domestic league getting its national players to play in it shows the domestic league is improving. A camp cupcake almost 100pct made up of MLS players would have been a joke in 96. MLS isaybe a top 20 league, but it is a hell of a lot better than it was 10 years ago and the addition of quality players like Deuce and Bradley just is a sign of continued overall league improvement. Can’t go from 20th league in the world to second best directly. Have to build it and this is the kid of signing that does that. Wish he had stuck it out but as a player and usmnt fan, but happy to see him in MLS for the leagues sake.

    • Bobert says:

      Because its not a step forward for MLS. It’s a step backward, or at best, sideways.

      The opportunity cost is key here. That $10 million transfer fee that that huge contract is not going to improve the quality of the league. That money should be going into youth development and building up the soccer infrastructure.

      And like others have been saying, MLS just doesn’t understand that quality soccer doesn’t equal a few star players playing alongside guys making 40k a year.

      This is all about image. It’s not about quality. You can’t field a quality side with a very low cap +DP rule. This kind of salary cap is not compatible with soccer.

      • John says:

        Perhaps but just speaking for myself. I live outside of DC and 2 months ago I would have had zero interest in going to to DC take on Toronto. Now I’m thinking I have to get some tickets for that.

        • bryan says:

          you’ve been missing out man! ok, so we have been awful, but the games are a blast! join a supporters group (i’m in Barra Brava) and sit in those sections. tons of fun. im in CA now and i miss DCU games a lot.

  64. Stewart says:

    This type of move doesn’t mean that MLS is approaching the overall quality or glamor of the top leagues, but it may be getting close enough to allow for top players, particularly American players, to start considering it. Remember, these are people we’re talking about, and they’re going to factor in things like proximity to family, familiarity of culture, and ease of raising children into their career decisions (as well as money, of course). While it’s easy for us to sit here and chastise MB for not “hacking it” in Europe, he would probably say that he hacked it well enough for a good long while. We’re not the ones who had to take that lonely road. I don’t think it’s particularly easy to be an American playing in those top leagues – you probably face a fair degree of prejudice. Thus, all things considered, perhaps MLS is rising just enough to provide a reasonable alternative for American players ready to play at home, make some cash, raise children, and leave the Eurosnobs (relatively) behind.

    One other thing: let’s face it, the only way to win “respect” from other nations in soccer will be to beat them in the World Cup. More than likely we will eventually do that, no matter what Michael Bradley does. To all those who think it can’t be done, remember: we win tons of Olympic medals in sports that most people only care about once every 4 years. We do so without a state-sponsored Olympic program. By and large, many of the athletes we send to the Olympics are not our best – most of our best play big money non-Olympic sports. If we do send our best, we win by stupid margins (see: early Dream Teams). Thus, one of these years we’ll break through, despite the best efforts of the referees. It’s a gradual process, but enough interest is growing stateside to start moving in the direction of taking soccer seriously.

  65. Brett son Stephen says:

    Damn you Drake and your recruiting skills!! damn you to hell!!!

  66. Darwin says:

    Shift your focus from Bradley and think about the young AMERICAN kids that get to play against the likes of Bradley, Donovan, Dempsey, Martins, Henry, Cahill, Keane, Di Vaio, etc…

    This is good for our league, and it will only get better. Those of you so worried about our current team and current form and current world cup are forgetting the main realization that every USMNT fan must eventually reach…”We have a long way to go”.

  67. bryan says:

    interesting comments from Klinsmann today:

    link to espnfc.com

    • beachbum says:

      thanks for the link.

      one interesting comment was about Gonzo since he was never looking for a loan this offseason anyway and said so from jump street

  68. BamaMan says:

    This doesn’t improve the quality of MLS. It diminishes it. This is $10M that could have been spent on developing numerous quality MLS players. This is $10M that could have been spent on multiple DPs. I do not fault Bradley one bit for taking a once-in-a-lifetime payday. I fault MLS for making an incredibly short-sighted move that doesn’t even make sense to me from a fan perspective (why would Bradley be that big of a draw in Canada?).

    MLS had one golden season of increased attendance and television viewership when it stopped at 18 teams and played a balanced schedule. It looked for one shining moment like ownership might be getting ready to actually begin to value long-term growth over flashes in the pan. Instead, MLS has gone for the easy cash of expansion money and the gigantic expense of overspending on stars without improving the base talent level of he league. This is exactly what led to the NASL downfall (let’s also not neglect to mention the league’s increasing reliance on pyramid schemes as kit sponsors). These are not good signs.

    • bryan says:

      to be fair to MLS, TFC is the one who wanted to pay $6.5M a year for Bradley. that’s the mind boggling part. MLS didn’t decide to put Bradley in Toronto. TFC said they wanted to sign Bradley and I’m sure MLS said, “no sh!+? well, we’ll kick in $10M for the transfer if Bradley agrees.”

      you may still be right that $10M is too much or that it’s a waste, that’ll be a difference of opinion for sure. but given Sunderland offered that, it wasn’t going to be lower.

    • John says:

      What is the level of quality of the MLS actually anyway? Does anyone really know? The MLS for the most part is so isolated how can you tell. Is it bottom half Eredivisie or Championship? Is it better or worse then the Jupiler Pro league? The only test MLS has is the CCL which would say it’s not quite as good as Liga MX. However there you only see the best teams and MLS has a salary cap making it difficult to compare the overall quality.

      • Bobert says:

        it is hard to compare because MLS is a rogue league. No other league on the planet has guys making $6 million a year playing with guys making 50k

        MLS not only has a salary cap, it has a salary cap that is totally incompatible with soccer. $3 million cap + 3 DPS? How on earth could you field a quality roster under those salary rules? After the DP’s you have $2 million for the rest of the roster.

        • John says:

          People will often point to the pay of players in MLS compared to other leagues but that’s not an exact science either as it’s not exactly a free market as we see.

          • Bobert says:

            it should be a free market.

            • beachbum says:

              hopefully it can if it can continue to grow, but considering the history of the sport in the USA and where MLS is now, with all the soccer specific stadiums and growing fan base and coverage, things are moving up

    • Northzax says:

      Could have been, but wasn’t. I recall a proverb about birds in hand being worth more than multiples of birds in bushes. TfC is about to have three DPs. If they spent five million instead of ten, they wouldn’t have invested the other five, it wouldn’t have been spent.

  69. Sir coble says:

    I hope Bradley regains his unstoppable recklessness and motor with his return. His skill has doubled since his Italian campaign, but I sincerely miss his non-stop Tasmanian energy. Too often I see him now jog back for the man he was just beaten by.
    Bradley will not miss a thing for this World Cup. 2018? Yes, that year usmnt will suffer for this move, but you never know where coach Bradley will be coaching by then…. : )
    I absolutely hated this story when I first heard, but now I’m either going through the 3 rd or 5th stage of grief.

    • GW says:

      Sir c,

      “unstoppable recklessness and motor with his return. His skill has doubled since his Italian campaign, but I sincerely miss his non-stop Tasmanian energy.”

      The Italians did not double his skill. They taught him discipline and a more efficient way to play. He always had that skill but it is more evident now since he isn’t crashing around everywhere like a chicken with his head cut off.

      This is a four year deal and I bet he gets out a little early and heads back to Italy to sharpen up for the 2018 World Cup. His skills should still be intact and the Italians appreciate older players. And they loved Mikey. And Italian is easy to maintain or to pick up again.

      By then Mikey may have evolved into Mikey Kompany.

  70. Clover362 says:

    People are bashing MLS way to much on this site. The overall quality of MLS is a lot higher than people give it credit for and there is a lot more talent in the league then people who only follow 1 team might not appreciate.

    MLS has parity. Parity is a foreign concept in every other soccer league in the world. How many teams not named Madrid or Barcelona have won the Spanish league in the last 20 years? I think 5 teams have won the BPL with 14 titles to ManU in the last 20 years. If you took the talent in MLS and concentrated it into 2 teams, those teams would be better than teams like anderlict, Ajax, Celtic, stoke, ect.

    • Bobert says:

      no one wants to watch Parity League Soccer. Well, I wouldn’t say no one. Less people than watch the WNBA want to watch Parity League Soccer.

      No one wants MLS to be La Liga. That league is a joke too. But you can’t have a league where you purposely weaken the product all in the name of fairness.

      Have a $15 mil cap and let teams go and get the players. You’ll see a higher quality MLS. I keep repeating myself but you can’t have a quality soccer league with an NFL style cap.

      • slowleftarm says:

        Just keep repeating the same thing with no reference to reality.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        Robert, If we can’t have a quality league, then why do we keep seeing post after post after post from guys whining about quality guys that are coming here ?

        And that doesn’t include any posts, because the whiners are not smart enough to know, about young guys that MLS is signing and “keeping “from Europe.

  71. Brad says:

    Turns out, I had no idea I was a TFC fan……

  72. ChuckinBham says:

    Like the Dempsey move, my first reaction was….NO EFFIN WAY! ….and I was sad. Sad because one of our best players was NOT going to be playing in Europe. Unfortunately, I’ve become a EuroSnob and didn’t even know it. Ok, I’ve known the bug was there, just didn’t see it as a problem. I’m under the premise that our best players need to be playing in Europe to produce the strongest USMNT as possible. JK wants that — so it must be solid truth. Fact is that we don’t know if there is truth to that or not. But with arguably (3) of our best players now state side we are about to find that out.
    On another note, the ONLY way MLS gets stronger is by financial commitment, and in this country one of the fastest ways to booster that is with TV ratings. Bradley will bring that that in Toronto, especially with Defoe and DeRo on board.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      What if TV ratings are just thought to be going up in the future ? that would give money without ratings….

  73. Shurls says:

    So what does Bradley do for two months while he is waiting for his season debut. Is he going to join the USMNT in Brazil for camp and play in the match vs South Korea?

  74. Rowsdower says:

    I wish Houston, who according to forbes, is siting on some cash would make this kind of move.

  75. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    Donovan, in spite of achieving for the National team in a way that will go down in history as one of the best ever, was scared and didn’t want to test himself against the best.

    Dempsey, is a stud to be worshipped one day, and past his prime the next day.

    Now Bradley is soft.

    Funnier than heck. Absolutely funnier than heck.

    ps. Don’t go after Altidore, there is no way he stays in the bad situation he is in. MLS will have in very quickly. Diskarud went to Europe after almost going to Portland…He is young. Great player, he is the best choice for guys that are so biased they can’t see straight.

    Happy Friday. Keep me entertained. Keep whining dudes !

    • Dc says:

      Interesting to think that all of the people bringing the rational side of things into the argument are the biased ones, just because they aren’t blinded by some irrational patriotism. Pot: Hey kettle, you’re black!”

  76. usaalltheway says:

    According to goal.com:

    “The 26-year-old spent one and a half seasons with the Giallorossi, making 41 league appearances, including 29 starts. The American joined Roma from Chievo Verona in 2012.”

    “Toronto has revamped its roster after seven disappointing seasons since becoming the first Canadian team to join the North American league. Over that span, TFC has a 51-105-56 record and has yet to reach the playoffs.”

    Therefore, he went from regularly starting in a top 4 league with a top 4 team that has some of the best players in the world that will most likely be in the CL next year to a team that has as almost as many loses as ties and wins TOGETHER in it’s history in a sub-par league with no quality talent or management and this is A GOOD MOVE ON HIS PART?

    This was about money and his family. End of story.

    As far as soccer, his career as an athlete and the USMNT, it couldn’t be worse. How one player is suppose to raise the collective game of the MLS (at least in the next year or two) is beyond me.

    Good for your pocketbook and family Mikey. They deserve it! I am happy for you and that part. The rest is just a total joke, no matter how you try to slice it.