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Soccer’s global market; where value, Michael Bradley and Geoff Cameron meet

Jul 17, 2012, 11:25 AM EDT

dollar sign

I happened to be writing something about Geoff Cameron when I first saw Michael Bradley’s sale price to Roma, $4.5 million.

So my first thought on the matter wasn’t actually about Bradley; it was about how the global player market may be far-reaching in geographic terms, but it’s so inextricably connected in a dollars and cents sense.

My thought: “If Michael Bradley is worth $4.5, then why would MLS balk at any price in the $2.5 million neighborhood for Geoff Cameron?”

Presumably, Stoke City is asking the same thing.

(MORE: What Michael Bradley’s move means)

Cameron wants to go. The English Premier League club wants him. Where the offers and counter offers stand, only the principals truly know.  But  the Houston Chronicle’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz, who has dutifully tracked the Cameron transfer push and pull from the start, says Major League Soccer’s most recent counter-offer approached $3 million.

If Bradley’s price is a measuring stick, that looks a little high.

Bradley has risen beyond his former labeling as “solid international talent.” He’s Grade A stock now, not an international superstar just yet, but an upper echelon international, one who fetches interest from a blue ribbon club (Roma) in a blue ribbon league (Italy’s Serie A).

Cameron has proven himself to be among Major League Soccer’s top center backs. But he has yet to stake solid claim in a starting spot internationally, and that puts him miles behind Bradley. (So does the fact that it’s Stoke City, and not a power tie club like Roma, now in transfer window pursuit. No offense to Stoke; Roma simply sits higher on the club soccer totem pole.)

I suppose you could turn it around. If Cameron at around $3 million represents a truer market value, then Bradley at $4.5 million was a bargain bin price, and Roma just got away with a huge summer steal.

  1. papabear13 - Jul 17, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Wasn’t Tim Ream in the $3 million range when he went to Bolton? I think he’s a much better comparison for Cameron than Bradley. I hope Cameron gets his shot (even though it sucks to lose him) and I hope it all works out, but I don’t think MLS is that far off base. I think Roma just got themselves a hell of a deal.

    • deffrets - Jul 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      Bolton have completed the £2.5m signing of American defender Tim Ream.

      The 24-year-old trained with both West Bromwich Albion and Bolton last month during the off-season in the MLS, where he played for New York Red Bulls.

  2. meeremia - Jul 17, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Isn’t Chievo getting more than $4.5 million, though? I was under the impression they were getting a player (or 50% of his rights) in return as well.

  3. mkbryant3 - Jul 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    I’m just a bill, I am only a bill.

  4. joeyt360 - Jul 17, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    MLS also figures that, as a single-entity, they have a little extra negotiating power. It’s never an emergency sale with MLS, they’re trying to position themselves as never being a ‘motivated seller.’

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