[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Roma confirmed Thursday night in a press release that it had sold Michael Bradley to MLS for $10 million.
The deal, which paves the way for his signing by Toronto FC, sets a record for a fee paid by
MLS for a player. The fee paid for Clint Dempsey, signed by the Seattle Sounders, was reported to be $9 million. The fee is also the second highest fee ever
paid for an American player after the $13 million Sunderland spent last summer on Jozy Altidore, acquired from AZ.
In the early years of MLS, the
league would occasionally pay big money for players -- $4 million for Mexican forward Luis Hernandez (Tigres to LA Galaxy) and Argentine-Ecuadoran Ariel Graziani (Morelia to Dallas Burn) -- but it largely shied away from shelling out for players until the signing of David
Beckham got the DP ball rolling.
Robbie Keane joined Beckham at the Galaxy in 2011 for a fee estimated at $5.25 million. Transfer activity
picked up in 2013 as the Sounders signed Obafemi Martins from Spanish club Levante for $4 million, while 2013 Newcomer of the Year Diego Valeri joined the Portland Timbers in a permanent transfer for a fee in the neighborhood of $3 million.
Until the signing of Bradley and Dempsey by MLS clubs, all the
highest fees paid for Americans were by European clubs.
Highest Transfer Fees, American Players:
million Jozy Altidore (AZ to Sunderland, 2013)
$10 million Jozy Altidore (New York Red Bulls to Villarreal, 2008)
$10 million Michael Bradley (Roma to Toronto FC, 2014)
$9.7 million Clint Dempsey (Fulham to Tottenham, 2013)
$9 million Clint Dempsey (Tottenham to Seattle Sounders, 2013)
$6 million Eddie Johnson
(Kansas City Wizards to Fulham, 2008)
$6 million Maurice Edu (Rangers to Stoke City, 2012)
Maurice Edu (Toronto FC to Rangers, 2008)
(Fees are estimates.)