Michael Bradley - MLS Cup 2019

Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley: You can't be afraid to speak out

Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley made headlines several weeks back, expressing his outrage over George Floyd's murder and voicing support for widespread protests calling for racial justice and equality. He even chimed in on political matters, calling for change, which resonated with the veteran holding 151 US men’s national team caps.

Bradley, during a recent Footy Talks episode, opened up about why he’s never shied away from voicing his opinion. In simple terms, Bradley’s never bought into limiting himself to soccer talk.

“I’ll start by saying that in many ways that I don’t think my opinion or what I say counts for anything more than my neighbor walking down the street,” Bradley said. “I give my opinion, I have strong opinions, I try to read and to watch and to listen. I try to educate myself on football, but also on things that are going on around the world. I think the more knowledge you can have, the more perspective that you can have, your ability to have real conversations with different people is that much greater.”

The 32-year-old also addressed the MLS is Back Tournament, which gets underway for the Reds on July 10 (8 pm ET | ESPN, TSN) against D.C. United in Group C. After recovering from a serious ankle injury, TFC’s captain is primed to again feature. He’s only missed two games, with the layoff due to COVID-19 ensuring his absence from the XI was far briefer than initially anticipated.

“In some ways it feels like five years and in other ways it feels like a week,” Bradley said about his recovery. “That speaks to how crazy of a period it’s been, not just for me but everybody all across the world. As I said, I feel good, I feel reenergized. I can’t wait to again get back on the field and be able to play and compete and enjoy that part of it, because ultimately there's nothing better.”

Bradley also addressed his longevity and when his playing career could come to a close. He turns 33 later this summer, and signed a new TAM deal with Toronto this past offseason. The midfielder, who’s approaching 200 regular-season appearances in MLS as coupled with nearly a decade overseas, isn't too focused on such long-term thoughts.

“There's no doubt that I love to play and I’m going to continue to do everything to be able to play and compete at a high, high level for as long as I can,” Bradley said. “But at the same time I’m human and you have to start to think about things down the line, you have to have a little bit of a plan. For me, in the short term, in the medium term, I love to play too much to be making any real plans for after."

For more from Bradley, check out the entire clip above.


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