Sources have apparently confirmed to MLSSoccer.com that Michael Bradley, the most important figure to this year’s World Cup bid, will stay put at Roma during the January transfer window.
(Aside: how cool is it that we can now say “this year’s” World Cup? We are now officially into the World Cup year, you know?)
Reports had Bradley, the fourth man in a stately, talented three-man midfield at the Stadio Olimpico, perhaps merging into the order at Fulham, Cardiff or Southampton. We talked here about the plusses and minuses of the potential move into Craven Cottage, where Bradley would have the bonus of linking up for a couple of months with Clint Dempsey. (Giving us the bonus of having a real reason to watch Fulham, where the soccer this year has been fairly hard on the eyes, and not much on the success factor, either.)
If he’s staying in Italy, U.S. fans can only hope that Bradley will get more playing time in the second half of Italy’s Serie A campaign. The best possible Michael Bradley is one who is playing regularly – which seems unlikely unless one of the three men in front of him are sold or injured.
His five starts for Roma over the last few months (plus six appearances off the bench, including a few of nominal minutes) is OK. But given the difficult U.S. draw, Jurgen Klinsmann’s team needs everyone at razor-sharp level. Little else will do.