Anybody worried about Michael Bradley’s playing time at AS Roma?


U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley continues to rehab in efforts to get back on the field for Serie A club AS Roma.

Should we all kick up some fret, worry and concern about Bradley’s current, inactive status significantly reducing his playing time going forward at Roma? It seems like a legitimate talking point as it relates to the United States national team; Bradley has long been the glue-man in Jurgen Klinsmann’s lineup. No one is more irreplaceable, as we’ve seen over and over during the affable German’s time in charge. The team’s passing through midfield and defensive organization in the middle third suffers greatly in Bradley’s absence.

But ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman had it right Monday when he talked about why any concern over Bradley stagnation or rust or whatever is wildly premature. If we’re talking about developing young players ahead of Brazil 2014 then, yes, we are up against the shot clock; in that case, the World Cup is just around the corner.

But if we are talking about proven talent recovering from a relatively minor ankle injury (“minor” in the bigger picture, that is), then there is ample time. We are seven-plus months out of the May training camp that will serve as the final World Cup cram session for Klinsmann’s three-year build-up to Brazil.

Here’s what Twellman said Monday:

If it’s January, and Michael Bradley is not playing, guess what? He’s moving.  He’s shown that in the past. … Michael Bradley will know, in his mind – he’s is a coach’s son – he will make sure he is playing at the best opportunity he has, before that World Cup comes. And if it’s not Roma, he has no problem moving on. I have no concern about Michael Bradley at all.

Twellman also referenced talk of a summer move. That was the reported bid from Sunderland – but given the high instability of that situation, aren’t we all glad the U.S. midfielder didn’t get stuck in that circus?

Here is the moment, Taylor speaking on Bradley, from ESPN FC:

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
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Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.