The New England Revolution announced today that Charlie Davies will return for the 2014 season. Davies, 27, mutually terminated his contract with Denmark's Randers to return to MLS and the Revolution, with which he spent the latter part of last season on loan.
Davies has been enthusiastic about joining the Revolution on a permanent basis and could be a starter come opening day if he asserts himself in preseason, which begins on Jan. 25. Davies made just four appearances, all off the bench, last year. But his talent is much better than his past playing time suggests.
He was a key player in the U.S. national team's runs in 2010 World Cup qualifying, the 2009 Confederations Cup, and the 2008 Olympics. A car accident in Oct. 2009 would derail the former Boston College star's success and set him back significantly. But Davies could be in for a renaissance in 2014.
Davies' former U.S. national teammate Michael Bradley is poised to make his return to MLS, too. Bradley, who currently plays for Roma, is in the process of agreeing to a deal with MLS and Toronto FC.
“It’s a shame Bradley is leaving, but he wanted to go and we cannot keep hold of a player who doesn’t want to be here," said Roma manager Rudi Garcia. "It’s a pity and I understand he wanted more playing time, as it’s difficult to get space in our midfield. We wish him all the best in his new adventure."
Bradley sat on the bench for Roma's 1-0 win over Sampdoria today. His replacement, freshly signed Belgian midfielder Radja Naiggolan, got the start. Roma look like a shoo-in for Champions League next year and Bradley will be giving up the opportunity to play in the tournament, a sacrifice Bradley's agent said he didn't overlook.
Reports from Rome say Bradley will make over $4 million per year with this new deal. Reports also say Roma and Toronto are negotiating a $10 million transfer fee, plus the arrangement of potential friendly matches as part of the deal.
This transaction will mark the end of Bradley's eight-year European odyssey. He considered his move to Roma in the summer of 2012 to be the biggest of his career; Bradley got his start in 2004 as a teenager with the New York Metrostars and went on to play at Heerenveen, Borussia Mochengladbach, Aston Villa, and Chievo Verona.
Bradley's move to MLS, which almost perfectly parallels the blockbuster move Clint Dempsey made last summer by moving from the English Premier League to Seattle Sounders FC, is expected to encourage more American players competing abroad to look at MLS as a serious option. Rumors have said U.S. internationals Jermaine Jones, Michael Parkhurst, and Oguchi Onyewu could be looking to come play in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Toronto's splurge will almost certainly up the competition of the Eastern Conference as well as the entire league. Toronto also recently signed MLS journeyman Dwayne DeRosario and Brazilian virtuoso Gilberto to new deals. Reports also say that Toronto will sign Jermaine Defoe from Tottenham on Monday.
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