Michael Bradley, 26, plays midfield for the United States national team. Bradley was one of the key players for the US in the last World Cup and was poised to be another important piece in Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
However, it is understood that Bradley, who plays his club football for Roma, a club in Italy’s first division, is seeking a way out and is possibly on his way back to the MLS due to lack of playing time.
Bradley made the transfer to Roma in July 2012 and has made a total of 41 appearances for the Italian club. With only 11 of those appearances coming this season (five starts), Bradley has hinted it’s time for a change of scenery.
Numerous reports on ESPNFC.com have declared that Bradley’s agent confirmed a move has been completed to Toronto FC on a radio station in Italy.
Bradley declined numerous clubs in Serie A for Toronto FC, but is this move a step backwards for the US men’s national team?
Klinsmann recently stated that he wants his players playing in the top leagues, especially in a World Cup year. Should Klinsmann make a big deal out of Bradley’s move to Toronto?
Yes, both in the short term and the long term.
The MLS is nowhere near as competitive as Serie A, La Liga, the English Premier League, or even some other leagues in Europe. It’s a major step down in terms of talent level, my bet is that they are doing it for financial security and for playing time.
Coming to the MLS for playing time is not a valid reason for me, there are plenty of clubs around Europe that need the services of a Michael Bradley, but will he be the star he is expected to be if he play’s over in the States?
Klinsmann needs to demand his players become ambitious enough to seek transfers over to the European leagues and compete with the best each week.
Cowering away from Europe only hinders the chance of the US in World Cups, not only in 2014 but in the future.
Here is a small sample size of Americans that have failed in their journey to Europe:
- Landon Donovan
- Brek Shea
- Jozy Altidore
- Oguchi Onyewu
- Freddy Adu
- Eddie Johnson
All these players entered Europe with high expectations and failed to live up to them.
Altidore did have one successful season playing for AZ Alkmaar, bagging 23 league goals in the Eredivisie, but he has failed to impress in his multiple stints in the EPL.
Klinsmann also stated that there may be no demand for American players in Europe. Which if it is the case, this summer in Brazil is the perfect showcase to show all the clubs why they need to buy the likes of an Altidore, Omar Gonazalez, and Bradley.
In my eyes, it’s only a matter of time until Americans come to dominate the world of football. It starts by invading Europe, with our feet.