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Report: Bradley on verge of leaving Roma for Toronto FC

Michael Bradley

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Share your thoughts below.


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

    • As Canadian soccer fans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        How do I put this nicely? You are incorrect.

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

        What helps promote a team is winning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  12. Hypothetical question…..

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

    Just curious…..

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

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

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


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