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

Michael Bradley of USA

By FRANCO PANIZO

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

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

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

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

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

275 comments
  • Human

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

    Like

    • ThaDeuce

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

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

      Like

      • Human

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

        Like

      • ThaDeuce

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

        Like

      • Human

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

        Like

      • wandmdave

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

        Like

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US

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

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

        Like

      • Human

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

        Like

      • Human

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

        Like

      • ThaDeuce

        Bradley makes the league stronger.

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

        Like

      • Human

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

        Like

  • Jason B

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

    Like

    • AcidBurn

      Roma has dropped him off its roster for their game today against Sampdoria. It’s done.

      Like

      • bryan

        get him to LA immediately after his unveiling. he should be in the US camp if he is now an MLS player.

        Like

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US

        bryan, Another bonus from playing at home.

        Like

      • soccerhorn

        I was thinking the same thing. Actually, why doesn’t he fly directly to brazil and meet the team there?

        Like

  • ThaDeuce

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

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

    Like

    • biff

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

      Like

      • soccerhorn

        sincerely, biff jones, jermaine’s brother? Put down your pipe, Biff.

        Like

  • USA Hooray!

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

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

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

    Like

  • Beto

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

    Like

    • Human

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

      Like

      • John

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

        Like

      • Human

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

        Like

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US

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

        They define casual fans.

        Like

      • Human

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

        Like

    • Helium-3

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

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

      Like

      • Matt

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

        Like

      • wandmdave

        Still not worth wading through all the non-soccer crap. I’ll watch espnfc though.

        Like

  • John

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

    Like

    • Human

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

      Like

      • bryan

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

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

        Like

      • Human

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

        Like

      • Human

        More peole support the Yanks but will balk at supporting their local MLS franchise.

        Like

      • wandmdave

        +1

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

        Like

  • Bobert

    Great for Bradley $$$$

    Bad for MLS – opportunity cost and inefficient use of money

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

    Like

    • John

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

      Like

  • Anthony

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

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

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

    Sources: Canadian taxes (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/fq/txrts-eng.html)
    Conversion: http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/CADusd:CUR
    Conversion: http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/EURusd:CUR

    Like

  • Cairo

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

    Like

    • Matt

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

      Like

  • Darwin

    I wonder if MLS used the “Dempsey rule”…

    In other news, Ron Waxman is a genius.

    Like

  • MVincent

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

    Like

  • Matt

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

    Like

  • Siberian

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

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

    Like

  • ilikefreddyyesadu

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

    Like

    • John

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

      Like

  • usaalltheway

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

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

    Bradley would be better off in Holland or Russia.

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

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

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

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

    Like

    • John

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

      Like

      • bryan

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

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

        Like

      • John

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

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

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

        Like

  • Mike R

    Best move ever!!!

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

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

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

    Like

    • Matt

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

      Like

      • Mike R

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

        Like

  • JoeW

    Wow–people really don’t get it.

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

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

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

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

    Like

  • Nate

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

    Like

    • Jay

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

      Like

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