Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bradley says MLS is 'no longer a place to end your career'

Micheal Bradley, Tim Cahill and Omar Gonzalez came to visit today and all three were making the right noises about MLS.

Bradley was insistent that MLS is no longer a place where players come to end their careers. Having joined Toronto FC at 26, 10 years after playing for the MetroStars, Bradley said that the quality of the league is now starting to match the rest of the world. Saying that he wanted to build something in the sportscentric Canadian city, Bradley said that, although he may have unfinished business in Europe, MLS is the place for him right now.

He noted how all the strong international teams have a core group of players in their domestic league, something MLS has done ahead of the World Cup in Brazil this summer.

Although pushed a little on preparations for the World Cup, conditions in Brazil and their international careers, what came across was how impressed they were with the growth and direction of MLS.

Talking about the star power of David Beckham and Thierry Henry, Cahill commented on the organizational strengths on the league and how the structure is key to continued development. He mentioned the excitement of being part of a group that is building the league and taking the world game to a place of its own in the US where it doesn't need to compete with other sports.

Ahead of the season's start on March 8, the players raved about the soccer specific stadiums helping to build rivalries and create match-ups that fans can't wait to see.

Gonzalez said while he's going to be disappointed to leave the Galaxy for a month during the World Cup, that playing for your country supercedes everything, and that the league is now strong enough to hold its own even if the stars are off for a few weeks.

Roll on the new season as there are now plenty of players here in MLS that will feature in Brazil - a trend that looks set to continue as the league grows.