Monday Lunch: Michael Bradley to A.C. ChievoVerona?

Posted: August 29, 2011 in professional sports, soccer, sports, usmnt, yanks abroad
Tags: , , , , , , ,

By Evan Ream

Greg Seltzer of No Short Corners (who are usually right about these sorts of things) is reporting Michael Bradley is all set for a €3.5 million move from Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany to A.C. ChievoVerona in Italy. According to the article, Bradley agreed to personal terms on Friday. All that is left is for the deal to be finalized. To Americans, Chievo is somewhat of an obscure club; no one really knows much about them over here. Is this a good move for Michael Bradley?

Chievo are not a traditional Italian powerhouse. They play in Serie A along with Inter, Milan, Juventus and Roma, but don’t have any of these teams’ accolades or history. A quick look at their past five seasons shows nothing but mediocrity. Chievo’s best finish in five seasons was 11th place last year; they were relegated in the 06-07 season and spent the 07-08 season in Serie B. Michael Bradley isn’t really moving up from Borussia Monchengladbach. This is somewhat of a sideways move. Chievo aren’t any better than Monchengladbach it seems, just in a different league.

It has always been a dream of Michael Bradley’s to play in Italy, but not for Chievo. Michael and his dad, Bob, would watch hours of game tape of the old 1990s A.C. Milan sides that dominated Europe. The Bradleys always respected the tactical side of the game, thus a move to the league considered the most tactical in the world makes sense. But why Chievo?

If Seltzer is correct, A.S. Roma, who are now owned by an American, were in the bidding for Bradley as well. Why wouldn’t he go there? True, Bradley will most likely be a first choice starter for Chievo as soon as he gets there, but it’s not like Roma are “stacked” in the midfield. They have Danielle De Rossi, the Italian International, at one center midfield spot but no notable players at the other one. Bradley may not have started straightaway, but he could have worked his way into the lineup at a more prestigious club.

There are many worse places that Bradley could have ended up than Chievo. The deal isn’t finalized yet, so he could still end up somewhere else, but for all intents and purposes we should consider him a member of this squad. I believe the best-case scenario for Chievo is to improve on their 11th place finish from last year and possibly sneak into the Europa League at 7th place. Last year, Chievo were only 12 points out of a Europa League spot, just a four game difference. The best-case scenario for Bradley would be to play well enough that he attracts a move from a much bigger club. This is very possible considering he is just 24 and as an American wouldn’t be too expensive of a buy.

So is this move a good move? I would say it’s an average move. Maybe Bradley won’t be as good as he could have been with a move somewhere else, but he definitely won’t be rotting away on a bench somewhere. No matter what happens, we can say with full confidence that this is a better move than the one to Aston Villa.

  1. NDB says:

    Why is this move a better move than Villa?

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