[USA MEN] U.S. national team players were up early on Monday to make the rounds of morning talk shows to promote the MLS season. Back in the league for the first time since 2005, Michael Bradley said on ABC's Good Morning America that MLS is getting better every year, making the opportunity to play for Toronto FC too good to pass up. But at an media event later in the day at Red Bull Arena, he admitted U.S. players still had to fight for respect abroad.
"Soccer in this country is growing," he said on GMA with Omar Gonzalez. "The league is getting better. You see it every year. There is more excitement, there is more tension."
Asked at an MLS media event later about Americans not getting opportunities at big European clubs or in the Champions League, Bradley admitted the respect was still not there.
“There’s no doubt that as Americans we continue to have to fight for respect,” Bradley said at Red Bull Arena. “We have to continue to show that we have teams and players who can play at the highest level. You would've hoped that now what’s gone on with Major League Soccer, with the national team or whether it’s certain individuals over the past 10-15 years would've done more for us. But the reality is at the moment there is still a little bit of a feeling that if you can have an American or an Argentine, you’re taking the Argentine. Some people can look at that as feeling sorry for yourself, but that’s the reality.”
That reality will be on display in the Champions League on Tuesday as the round of 16 kicks off with a Manchester City-Barcelona tilt loaded with Argentine stars.