TFC Captain, Treble-Winner Michael Bradley Announces Retirement
One of Toronto FC’s all-time greats will be hanging up his boots for good this weekend.
Club Captain Michael Bradley, 36, has announced his impending retirement, calling curtains on a 19-year-career that saw him venture between North America and Europe, donning the armband for both Toronto FC and the US men’s national team.
The veteran midfielder – who has so-often filled in the TFC backline when called upon – spent the last ten years of his career with Toronto FC. He arrived from AS Roma as a designated player before helping the side to its historic 2017 MLS Cup win in a year that also saw him hoist the Supporters’ Shield and the Voyageurs Cup.
The TFC leader has made just north of 300 appearances for TFC, and while the club certainly finds itself a a low mark in team history, it’s fair to say Bradley has given them his all and then some.
“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,” said the player himself.
Bradley secured nine trophies for donning the armband: an MLS Cup (2017), a Supporters’ Shield (2017), three Eastern Conference championships (2016, 2017, 2019), and no less than four Canadian Championship titles (2016, 2017, 2018, 2020).
Bradley also agreed to take two pay cuts during his final years at TFC, opting to decline the pursuit of more lucrative deals elsewhere to keep his family rooted in the city he had called home since arriving in 2014.
He’s expected to make his 309th and final appearance for the side on Saturday, having registered some 19 goals for the club.
“Over the past decade with Toronto FC, Michael Bradley has become a club legend,” adds TFC President Bill Manning. “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.”
Bradley’s career began in Chicago for USL side Chicago Sockers FC, inking a Generation Adidas (then called Project-40) contract with MLS ahead of the 2004 SuperDraft. Signed by MetroStars, his stock quickly rose before a move to Dutch side SC Heerenveen in 2005. After three years there – with a head-turning 21 goals in 69 appearances – he jetted to Germany to sign with Borussia Monchengladbach.
Three years and 76 appearances later, he embarked on a loan to Premier League side Aston Villa before inking a deal with Serie A side AC Chievo, landing with Roma one years later. Featuring regularly and garnering 46 appearances, it was then when Toronto FC landed the midfielder – and the rest was history.
On the international level, Bradley captained a US men’s national team that he was part of from 2006 all the way to 2019, making an incredible 151 appearances, tallying up 23 assists and 17 along the way – including a worldie against Mexico right in the Azteca.
The Toronto FC Captain will be bidding farewell to fans this Saturday as Toronto FC closes its season at home against Orlando City.