Skip to content

Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe unveiled at Toronto FC

Jan 13, 2014, 12:12 PM EST

Roma Bradley Soccer AP

US Men’s National Team midfielder Michael Bradley and England striker Jermain Defoe were unveiled as Toronto FC’s newest signings on Monday.

Defoe made his way to Canada after scoring a trademark scrappy goal for Tottenham in their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday. Following today’s unveiling the striker will see out the winter at Spurs before returning to Toronto at the end of February to begin his term in Major League Soccer.

Defoe was joined on the podium by Bradley, who put on the A.S. Roma shirt for the final time as an unused substitute in last Thursday’s 1-0 win over Sampdoria in the Italian Cup. One day later he was sold to MLS for $10 million, making him the biggest incoming transfer fee in league history.

“I can tell you I have never been more excited or more motivated for any challenge in my entire career,” said Bradley, who joins Defoe as a Designated Player.

Tim Leiweke, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, put the signing of Bradley into context: “To acquire a star midfielder like Michael Bradley, seen by many as the top American player in the world, alongside a premier striker in Jermain Defoe, makes this a groundbreaking day for Toronto FC and for Major League Soccer. We have worked hard this offseason to deliver a winning team to our fans and I would like to thank AS Roma and MLSE ownership for their commitment and support. This is an exciting day for Toronto FC fans and we can’t wait to start the season.”

Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko added to the excitement: “This certainly goes down as a tremendous day in Toronto FC history and goes a long way towards delivering on our promise to our fans of building them a winning club. We had a number of goals heading into this season that included building this club with both a short- and long-term vision for contending for playoffs and championships, while also being recognized and competitive internationally. Adding star players like Jermain and Michael, and partnerships with world-class clubs like Tottenham Hotspur and AS Roma, will help us a great deal in reaching those goals.”

(MORE: U.S. Soccer fans critical of Michael Bradley’s move to MLS: get over yourselves!)

(MORE: On U.S. player destination debates, all these conversations are different)

(MORE: Where Bradley’s signing falls in all-time MLS significance)

(MORE: What Toronto’s starting lineup might look like with Defoe, Bradley)

(MORE: Why Bradley is worth the money for Toronto FC)

  1. slclions - Jan 13, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Toronto till I die Toronto till I die, I know I am I think I am Toronto till I till….today was a good day for us Reds, hasn’t been easy saying that the last 7 years…come on you Reds!!!

  2. mdac1012 - Jan 13, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    It’s debatable if these were good career moves for DeFoe and Bradley but what’s not debateble is that they were great moves for Toronto and the league. Defoe is only 31 and still a dangerous striker who could have hooked on with another Premeier League team if he had wanted to. Bradley is only 26, the heart of the USMNT and in his prime. Toronto is going to be a must see team next year……whoever thought that was going to happen?

    • el timo - Jan 14, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      Followed Dempsey up to Toronto last year to see him play his first since returning. Liked TFC’s spirit, but pained to see lack of quality. Defoe, Bradley, DeRo together can lift those nameless cogs to glory. Don’t tell my wife, but just bought two season tickets. Come on you Reds!

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Week 17: PL Saturday recap