Saturday, January 29, 2011

NEWS WATCH - Michael Bradley On Loan to Aston Villa

The Michael Bradley transfer wheel-of-fortune has finally come to a stop and the ticker's stopped on "Aston Villa". After rumors of fellow English Premier League side Sunderland didn't pan out and then the near certain contract with Turkish powerhouses Galatasaray (although conflicting reports say Fenerbahce were the Turkish club bidding for his services) also didn't come to fruition we'll bite on the report that Baby Bradley is moving to Aston Villa.

Good move for Bradley as he abandons the basement dwelling Borussia Mönchengladbach in the German Bundesliga for the, er, greener pastures of English strugglers, Villa.

A few years back Fulham became the preferred destination for Americans across the pond (Clint Dempsey, Brian McBride, Eddie Johnson, even Kasey Keller for a spell), but now American owner Randy Learner has built quite the contingent of Yanks at Villa Park.

Bradley will join U.S. legend, keeper Brad Friedel and American youngster (and heir to Frankie Hejduk's throne), defender Eric Lichaj. (Villa also owns USMNT backup keeper Brad Guzan's contract, but he's on load to Hull and looking for a permanent move).

Michael's move to Aston Villa puts the young midfield in a much higher profile league in England and, if successful, this will be a huge boon for his ability to contribute to the National Team. As for concerns with Bradley making space for himself at Villa (especially after manager Gerard Houllier booted Lichaj deep down the bench after just one poor performance), Sports Illustrated head soccer writer, Grant Wahl said on Twitter,
"Those concerned about Michael Bradley playing time at Villa should know: Like Dempsey, Bradley has earned playing time at every club with every new coach."
We wait, with great anticipation, to see Michael Bradley make his mark in England with Aston Villa.

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