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

Sep 24, 2013, 9:48 PM EDT


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:

  1. mdac1012 - Sep 25, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    We need Bradley to be in top form come the WC. Wherever he is playing he needs to be getting regular minutes.

  2. twayward - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    we need michael bradley in top form, bottom form, any form. bradley is indispensible. whether he’s playing for roma reserves or elsewhere, bradley starts. that’s it.

    • mdac1012 - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      Bradley starts if he is healthy, but we need him in top form if the USMNT plans to make any noise in the WC. The only way to get in top form is regular playing time, whether it’s Serie A, EPL, MLS, whatever, he needs to be playing.

  3. hildezero - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    I don’t watch Serie A, so I can’t say that I’m really concerned, but I actually wouldn’t be. Bradley is a great player that’s just injured. That’s all. Roma knows it, so I think once he heals up, the coach will give him a chance for some playing time perhaps as a starter. Good luck MB.

  4. braxtonrob - Sep 26, 2013 at 4:38 AM

    He can sit on a couch between now and then for all I care; if he’s not on the field for the US next summer, I’m going to form a mob and find out where Klinsmann lives.

  5. tottiroma10 - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Roma fan here – Bradley will probably not be a starter for Roma. Roma’s midfield has solidified in his absence with Strootman, Pjanic, DeRossi and Totti all playing in top form. DeRossi and Pjanic have both improved remarkably this year. DeRossi is in the best form of his careers after an especially lackluster season and Pjanic’s defense has improved significantly. My guess is he will be the first or second person off the bench (depending on tactical need), and get the occasional start due to injury/fatigue or when Roma has a midweek game for the Coppa di Italia.

    Roma does have a really thin bench so he should cobble together some playing time due to injuries in the midfield. The new coach is really big fan of the current 4-3-3(1-2) format, so I do not see him playing 5 midfielders, especially with Florenzi, Ljajic and Gervinho playing in top form up front, and they still have Destro coming back in November.

    Also with Roma’s hot start, it’s now unlikely they sell DeRossi or Pjanic in the January transfer window to open up a spot, but you never know as both will be pursued heavily. However, Roma is trying to lock down Pjanic for three more additional years (signed through 2015).

    After the Napoli game, we will get a better idea of his playing time. It is possible he requests a transfer in January, but given Roma’s lack of depth, it would be hard for them to sell him, especially given Bradley’s range in the midfield. Bradely may be a victim of his own talent in that Roma just cannot sell him but he is just a nod under DeRossi, Strootman and Pjanic and since Roma did not make either of the European competitions he needs Roma to make a run in the Coppa di Italia for more playing time.

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