Michael Bradley: Toronto FC, USMNT legend to retire


Michael Bradley, who stands among the greatest American men's soccer players of all time, will retire after the 2023 MLS season. The news, announced Tuesday afternoon, will conclude his illustrious 20-year career.

Bradley’s farewell match will occur on Decision Day this Saturday when Toronto FC host Orlando City SC (6 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).

"On January 13, 2014, I sat at a press conference and said that I had never been ‘more excited, more determined, and more motivated for any challenge in my entire career.’ I meant every single word," Bradley said in a release.

"For the last 10 years I have spilled my blood, sweat and tears trying to help this club be the best it could be. There were some incredible days – moments that will stay with me for the rest of my life – and some bad ones too. But I never stopped giving everything I had. Thank you to all my teammates, coaches, and everyone inside the club. Thank you to the fans for the unforgettable nights at BMO Field. This city and this club will always be home."

The 36-year-old midfielder, Toronto FC's longtime captain, has played in 287 MLS games. He is also third all-time in US men's national team caps with 151.

Bradley's professional career began in 2004 with the MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls), signing a Project-40 contract with MLS at age 16. He later spent nearly a decade competing in Europe, initially joining Eredivisie side Heerenveen in 2006 before stops in the Bundesliga (Borussia Monchengladbach), Premier League (Aston Villa) and Serie A (Roma and Chievo Verona).

Bradley's second MLS stint was the most memorable, joining Toronto in 2014 as a Designated Player and helping steer them to a historic treble in 2017 – MLS Cup, Supporters' Shield and Canadian Championship – alongside fellow stars Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore. His 308 all-competition appearances are second-most on the Reds, trailing only Jonathan Osorio. Across 12 MLS seasons, he tallied 17 goals and 41 assists.

With the USMNT, Bradley played at the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups and won two Concacaf Gold Cups (2007, 2017). He scored 17 international goals and trails only Landon Donovan and Cobi Jones in the program's appearance chart.

"Over the past decade with Toronto FC, Michael Bradley has become a club legend," club president Bill Manning said in a release. "As captain in over 300 games, Michael has raised many trophies along the way and has represented this club in the best possible way. His accomplishments with TFC will live on forever and all of us at the club thank him for the memories."

A box-to-box midfielder, Bradley played for different periods under his father Bob for both club and country. He was born in Princeton, New Jersey and began his youth career in Chicago while playing for Chicago Sockers FC. Bradley later spent four semesters at the now-defunct U-17 Team Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida before turning pro.