Major League Soccer has landed yet another American superstar.
A little more than five months after the Seattle Sounders agreed to terms with Clint Dempsey, who is now back with EPL side Fulham on a two-month loan, Toronto FC has agreed to terms with Roma's Michael Bradley, according to ESPN's Doug McIntyre:
Joe Prince-Wright confirmed the news on Thursday, and his former squad AS Roma wished him farewell:
The Fox Soccer Twitter account provides the financial details of the deal:
AS Roma announce American midfielder Michael Bradley has been sold to MLS for $10 million.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) January 9, 2014
Bradley, who is in the prime of his career at 26 years of age, has fallen out of favor with his Serie A side this season, appearing in just 11 matches (five starts) and scoring one goal.
He is currently in his second season with Roma after spending a year with Italian side Chievo and several more with Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga. He also made a few appearances with EPL club Aston Villa on a loan during the 2010-11 campaign.
Bradley isn't a true goal-scoring threat, although he has a tendency to send in some world-class efforts from time to time. Exhibit A:
But while he doesn't find the back of the net as much as fellow American midfielders Dempsey or Landon Donovan, an argument can be made that Bradley is the Yanks' best overall player—or at least the most important.
Good move by Bradley?
Playing the crucial central midfielder role, his ability as a playmaker to string together passes both long and short is unrivaled. According to WhoScored.com, he leads Roma (not counting Federico Ricci, who has made two appearances) in successful pass percentage at a staggering 91.9 this season.
Bradley makes everyone around him better.
Because he possesses so much talent, though, many supporters, such as Andy Glockner, wouldn't want to see him spurn Europe—where he could still start for many clubs—for North America just five months prior to the World Cup:
It's likely that Jurgen Klinsmann agrees.
Nevertheless, if the reports are true, this is unquestionably a massive signing for both Toronto, which finished near the bottom of the East last season, and MLS, an increasingly talent-filled league that now boasts the top three American players.