Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
U.S. stars drink from the MLS money faucet
by Paul Kennedy, January 8th, 2014 8:03PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  americans abroad, men's national team, mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Who'd have thought it possible? Just five months after Clint Dempsey's move to Seattle, Michael Bradley is likely to return to MLS. Reports that he's in negotiations to leave Roma for Toronto FC aren't shocking. What is are the money figures being thrown about.

Jeff Carlisle reported Wednesday afternoon at ESPNFC.com that Bradley was, according to sources, set to sign a long-term contract with Toronto for an annual salary in the neighborhood of $6.5 million -- about five times what he was believed to be making at Roma.

Dempsey immediately became the highest-paid player in MLS when he made guaranteed income of in excess of $5 million in 2013.

The situations of both players are strikingly similar.

Both are ambitious players who sought to make it to the top of European soccer. Both came close -- Tottenham, for Dempsey, and Roma, for Bradley -- though neither club was in the Champions League this season.

The careers of both players didn't exactly stall, but the writing was pretty much on the wall.

For Dempsey, it came as Spurs aggressively pursued new signings on the transfer market last summer after its fifth-place finish.

Only days before Dempsey's shock move to MLS, new Roma coach, Frenchman Rudi Garcia, praised Bradley as "a great ambassador" for American soccer in Europe and "a very important player, that's for sure" after the MLS All-Star Game in Kansas City.

But bad luck hit Bradley when he slipped and turned his ankle badly on the wet grass before the Costa Rica World Cup qualifier in September. Without him, Roma raced out to a big lead in Serie A, and young Dutch signing Kevin Strootman settled into midfield.

Defending champion Juventus has since overtaken Roma, opening up an eight-point lead with Sunday's 3-0 win in a match that saw Bradley remain on the bench. With Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan on his way to Roma this week on loan from Cagliari, Bradley just moved one spot down the bench.

Dempsey, who had left Fulham for Tottenham in 2012, could have played for other teams in the EPL, but it would likely meant a move for him, his wife and two children out of London.

At 26, Bradley is four years younger than Dempsey, but he's been in Europe eight years and Roma is his fifth European club. Bradley and his wife, Amanda, a former University of Rhode Island tennis player, have a 1-year-old son with the very Italian name of Luca.



With American wives and young children, family considerations are important, and the decision to return to MLS becomes an easy one when teams like Seattle and Toronto suddenly open the faucet and start offering big money no European club will ever match.


2 comments
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: January 9, 2014 at 12:45 p.m.
    Dempsey is highly overpaid while Bradley brings a more compelling game-set to the pitch.

  1. Allan Lindh
    commented on: January 9, 2014 at 3:35 p.m.
    Dempsey is more limited, without skill players around him -- like in Seattle -- he flounders. Bradley is a strong mid-fielder, more capable of shaping play, he'll bring some order and strength to a weak Toronto side.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
USL Roundup: Floods leave Austin stadium under water    
Bad weather that hit the Southwest caused havoc around the USL. The game between the Aztex ...
NASL Roundup: Cosmos break open spring race    
The New York Cosmos opened up a six-point lead in the NASL's spring standings with a ...
Video Pick: Own goals don't come sadder than this     
Pavel Krmas, a 35-year-old Czech defender playing in his 151st and final game for Freiburg, scored ...
What They're Saying: Christie Rampone    
"I didn't get an email or a phone call. I'm so old that I got a ...
Key games on tap in Europe this week     
The title winners in Europe's major leagues have been decided, but there are still plenty of ...
Europe in a Nutshell: Curtain comes down on 2014-15 season     
The earth as Leo Messi's soccer ball. Clubs say farewell. And a rough week for Lazio. ...
What They're Saying: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez    
"We didn't talk about spirituality. We talked about dollars and cents, and where it could get ...
ICYMI | MLS: Form counts for nothing; Wondo gets 100    
Do not ever think of betting money on MLS as form counts for nothing as evidenced ...
U.S. Abroad: Bornstein adds new chapter to legend    
Jonathan Bornstein is writing one of the great stories in the history of Americans abroad. No ...
NWSL Weekend: Chicago pulls ahead    
The Chicago Red Stars opened up a four-point leads in the NWSL when it won their ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives