What Michael Bradley's move to MLS means?
By Johnathan Neumann
I would like to get started by saying that I really admire what Clint Dempsey has done, and what Michael Bradley is reportedly on the verge of doing. Before I get into the meat of the MLS portion of this article, I would like to take a second to examine what this means for those two individually.
In a World Cup year, they absolutely need as much first team football as possible. I just feel that this could have been achieved in a more competitive environment. In Dempsey's case, he could have just walked back to Fulham in the top flight and accepted the fact that he fits in better with the Cottagers, even though he didn't have a bad year with the Seattle Sounders. He could have played against Premier League competition for an entire year leading up to the World Cup and undoubtedly been in great form.
Bradley's case is a little more interesting in that he has been a contributor for Roma, who have only just suffered their first loss of the current season. He could stay and fight for his place when new signing Kevin Strootman arrives, which obviously is not optimal. A more applicable solution would be to go to one of the many European suitors that have been after him. PSV and Sunderland being the two that stick out.
Obviously, with the recent developments, both of these USMNT standouts will be playing in MLS. While there are many cases saying that playing in MLS doesn't really mean you can't be a leading contributor for the national team, it just makes sense to challenge yourself against the best. That being said, it seems like this is a done deal. From a MLS standpoint, this is absolutely fantastic news for the league. The MLS is starting to draw some real talent, with Jermaine Defoe, Michael Bradley coming over and possibly Jermaine Jones as well. Those seemingly unrealistic expectations of being one of the world's best leagues by the year 2020 may not be that far off base after all, especially in the eyes of their own country.
It remains to be seen if the MLS can build their recent publicity into real network success in terms of viewers, but it has to be said that they are doing a great job of at least trying. Now, if only they can ditch the scheduling issues this league could start turning some heads in the near future.