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Klinsmann says Bradley, Dempsey moves “huge” for American soccer

Jan 15, 2014, 11:38 AM EDT

Toronto FC Introduce Jermain Defoe Getty Images

The Associated Press is reporting that Jurgen Klinsmann’s pretty jazzed about the return of Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey to Major League Soccer.

Now, do you buy it?

Speaking from US camp in Sao Paolo, Klinsmann called the moves of Bradley to Toronto and Dempsey to Seattle “huge” for American soccer and part of his previously stated desire to see MLS as a one of the top leagues in the world. From the report:

Although Klinsmann indicated in the past he would rather see top American players testing themselves in top leagues overseas, he said Tuesday a stronger MLS benefits the national team.

“We said a couple of years ago that we wanted to be one day in the top 10, top 15 in the world,” said Klinsmann, a German who moved to California in 1998. “We have to develop better players, we have to develop better coaches, and it’s not going to happen overnight, but we will keep working and the MLS is helping us a lot.”

There are myriad political reasons for Klinsmann to endorse the moves even if he isn’t happy with them, and we know that he’s said he wants US men’s national teamers playing in the best leagues in the world. Yet it’s not the biggest leap to say his excitement for the Bradley move, at the very least, is real.

Yes, Bradley was training and getting some time on the pitch with AS Roma and surely a Defoe-style “announce transfer now but move for MLS season” would’ve worked better, but the midfielder was going to be the odd man out in Roma.

What do you think? Real, political or how much of a mix?

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