In a fast moving story, more news has arrived as Michael Bradley’s impeding transfer to Toronto FC is edging ever closer.
Bradley, who was named in Roma’s initial squad for their Coppa Italia quarterfinal with Sampdoria on Thursday but then pulled out, has apparently agreed personal terms with Toronto and is just waiting for the two teams to iron out the transfer fee.
It has also been revealed that several other Serie A clubs, plus teams in England and elsewhere in Europe, had wanted to buy the 26-year-old midfielder but Bradley has a burning desire to “help the growth of American soccer.”
(MORE: Michael Bradley included in AS Roma squad for cup tie vs. Sampdoria… has he pulled out?)
This is all coming from an Italian based agent, Alberto Faccini, who spoke to Italian radio earlier today. Here are the highlights of what Faccini had to say:
“Things have worked out well,” the American’s representative told Radio Radio. “Michael made this choice and closed the deal with Toronto in just two days. There is a very important project there for him at Toronto, who have made an investment that is one of the most expensive in recent years.
“For Michael this was a difficult step to take but the choice was dictated by some market movements. Without waiting for January 31, he chose to follow this path also to help the growth of American soccer. There were many offers for him, also in Serie A, from clubs like Verona and Bologna. But Micheal chose to return in the States after 10 years in Europe. It was a tough decision, but one made with the heart. Roma wanted him to stay but it was his choice to move to Toronto.”
Done and dusted? Not quite yet, but it seems as though a few formalities of crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s is all it will take before Michael Bradley is seen wearing the red jersey of Toronto FC and playing back in MLS where it all began.
We will have more reaction, news and analysis at ProSoccerTalk, on this monumental transfer for Toronto and Major League Soccer.
After 45 minutes of their respective CONCACAF Champions League knockout-round quests, things are going unnervingly well for the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls.
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If you’ve watched Major League Soccer teams try, try and try again — only to eventually fail in spectacular fashion — in CCL over the years, you might say things are going a little too well.
There’s still another 45 minutes to be played on Thursday — plus the return legs next week — but both the Sounders and Red Bulls hold 1-0 halftime leads, and the vitally important away goals which come with it. Nicolas Lodeiro’s 45-yard, first-time lob of the Santa Tecla (El Salvador) goalkeeper in the 15th minute has already been eternally etched into the memories of Sounders fans.
Just 15 minutes later, Daniel Royer perfectly executed the diving header and got on the end of Bradley Wright-Phillips’ curling ball into the box to Jesse Marsch’s side ahead of Honduran side CD Olimpia.
MADRID (AP) A Spanish judge has charged Villarreal defender Ruben Semedo with attempted murder and ordered him to be temporarily detained without bail.
Court officials in Lliria say on Thursday the Portuguese player is also charged with assault, robbery, illegal detention, and illegal possession of firearms.
Semedo testified before a judge on Thursday, and left the court in handcuffs.
The 23-year-old Semedo was detained early Tuesday, accused of tying up, assaulting and threatening another man last week. Authorities say he and two other men allegedly held the victim captive while they robbed his apartment.
Semedo’s agents told Spanish media the player denies any wrongdoing.
Villarreal on Tuesday said it was investigating Semedo and would take appropriate disciplinary action.
Villarreal signed Semedo from Sporting Lisbon last summer for a reported fee of $17 million.
Perhaps Sunday’s League Cup final had already reached the forefront of their minds, but Arsene Wenger admonished his players, whom he said were “complacent, not focused” and “had no ideas” for much of Thursday’s Europa League defeat, at home, to Swedish side Ostersunds.
[ MORE: Premier League TV schedule | Man United vs. Chelsea ]
The Gunners advanced to the round of 16 on the back of their 3-0 first-leg victory last week, but Wenger was understandably displeased by the effort he saw and expressed such feelings in no uncertain terms, before quickly easing up and praising the fact they were able to pull back a goal against the current fifth-place team from Sweden — quotes from the BBC:
“We were not at the races in the first half,” said Wenger, who saw his side booed off at half-time and full-time. I think in the second half it was much better and we should have scored a few goals.
“In the first half, we were in trouble and in danger because we were complacent, not focused and were open every time we lost the ball. We had no ideas with the ball and that’s why we were in trouble.
“We responded very well because we did the job to qualify, but that’s what we have to take from the night and that’s all.”
With Arsenal now trailing fourth-place Chelsea by eight points (and seven back of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur), winning the Europa League might just be the Gunners’ last chance at qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Borussia Dortmund striker Michy Batshuayi says he was subject to racist chants from Atalanta fans during a Europa League game in Italy.
The Belgium international, on loan from Chelsea, tweeted:
Dortmund advanced to the round of 16 by drawing 1-1 to beat Atalanta 4-3 on aggregate on Thursday.
The game was played at Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia because Atalanta’s home stadium is unsuitable for UEFA games.
There have been several incidents of racism at Serie A matches this season.