>Monday Lunch: Bradley’s Move a Great One, Jozy Moves as Well

Posted: January 31, 2011 in english premier league, la liga, mls
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By Evan Ream

During the course of his career, Michael Bradley has faced almost no competition for playing time. At every club that he has been at, he has clearly been the best player at his position and thus the default starter. Until now.

With the news officially broken earlier today that Bradley will be loaned to Aston Villa FC of the English Premier League for the rest of the season with a club option to buy, Bradley will face his stiffest challenge yet. Villa, who finished sixth last season but sit in just 13th place with 14 games remaining, have a stacked midfield. Villa already have Stiliyan Petrov and the newly signed Jean Makoun, who play the same position as Bradley, and one would think are the first choice players at the moment. This is of course part of the reason I like the move.

 

Bradley will finally get day in day out competition for a starting spot, which is so important for a player as competitive as he is. Furthermore, though Villa have underachieved so far this season, the team is loaded with talent and a team that is capable of being competitive every week; something that Borussia Monchengladbach was not. Villa are still alive in the FA Cup and therefore Bradley will likely be able to see some playing time with 15 matches remaining.

 

No American has ever had a career progress this far this fast. From becoming an everyday starter in MLS at age 17, to scoring 18 goals for SC Heerenveen at age 20, then starting in the Bundesliga at 21, Bradley has come a long way in a short time. At just 23, he will be in contention to play at one of the better teams in the EPL, something that has never been said about a USMNT player before.

 

This Saturday, Aston Villa FC play host to Fulham FC in what is a must-watch fixture for USMNT fans. We should all tune in to see if Bradley can make the successful jump to the Premier League against Clint Dempsey’s Fulham.

Jozy Altidore to join Bursaspor on a six-month loan

Jozy has confirmed via Twitter that he will join Turkish Champions Bursaspor for the next six months. Bursaspor aren’t a traditionally strong Turkish club, having won just their first title last year, but despite being knocked out of the Champions League already, they sit in second place this season.

 

Bursaspor list just two forwards on their current roster; something that USMNT fans should revel at as Jozy will likely find playing time here. Though the Turkish Süper Lig isn’t nearly the same quality as La Liga, Altidore should be able to play much more than he had been. Looking forward to the Gold Cup, it is good that USA’s only proven forward will likely now get consistent playing time instead of just riding the pine for a great team. Should Altidore help lead Turkey to the league title (which is very possible as they are only two points out of first place with one more game played than the league leaders), he could parlay that into more playing time at Villarreal or a permanent move to another club. We must remember that Jozy is still 21 years of age and needs time to develop; this is a great move to help him do just that.

 

When looking at these two moves, I can’t help but think that both of these players are taking positive steps in their career and positive steps for the USMNT to ensure that both them, and the USMNT will be successful in the near future. I can’t help but love both of these moves.

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