Serie A Adventure: Q & A with Michael Bradley
When Jurgen Klinsmann released the U.S. roster for the upcoming MNT games against Costa Rica and Belgium, fans may have been surprised to see Michael Bradley not on the list. The midfielder has been a constant presence throughout his national team career, but Klinsmann left Bradley off the roster along with a few other names as they sorted out their club situations. While the MNT has been in camp in Carson, Bradley has been busy himself and yesterday he finalized a move to Chievo Verona in Serie A. ussoccer.com caught up with the midfielder as he gets ready to start a new chapter in his club career.Â
ussoccer.com: How did the opportunity come about to join Chievo, and what ultimately led to you choosing to join the club?
Michael Bradley: â€œWe had heard for a few weeks that they were interested in finding a player in my position. They had watched me over a period of time and gotten to know me as a player. My situation was such that I was looking for a new challenge, and at the end of the day the people at the club showed a great amount of interest and that they were committed to bringing me to the club. I had discussions with the coach, the sporting director and the president, and I had a good feeling about what they are trying to build here. Iâ€™m excited to be a part of it, and Iâ€™m looking forward to the challenge of playing in Serie A for Chievo.â€
ussoccer.com: What excited you about the prospect of playing in Italy?
MB: â€œFrom the time I was little, I always paid close attention to Italian football and Serie A. The league is one of the best in the world and one of the most competitive. When I was looking to change and thought about things, the idea of coming to play for a club like Chievo in Italy was an exciting one. For a midfielder who plays in my part of the field, there are a lot of positives. Itâ€™s a place where my qualities will fit in well, and at the same time there is lot to improve on and become a better player.â€
ussoccer.com: What have the last few days been like since you made the move?
MB: â€œWhen I got word that they had agreed on the terms, I got on a plane to Italy a few hours later. I didnâ€™t get to the hotel until past midnight, and the next morning we started with all the medical evaluations and everything checked out. That process takes most of the day, and at the end I signed the contract. I got a good nightâ€™s sleep that night, and, in the morning, I was able to train twice with the team. That is always great; itâ€™s the light at end of tunnel that when youâ€™re done with all the paperwork, you can get going with what you like to do most - training and playing. That part was exciting.â€
ussoccer.com: Youâ€™re getting ready to start on learning your fourth language. Does anyone on the team speak English?
MB: â€œA few speak English, which is always nice when you get started. The challenge will be for me to get going with Italian as quickly as possible. The guys were very welcoming and were willing to help any way they could.â€
ussoccer.com: What are your initial impressions of the team?
MB: â€œWe can have a good team this year. Thereâ€™s a good mix of veteran players who will provide experience, and some young talented players. The mentality seems really good, which is important in any team. Because of the strike there were no games last weekend, and you can feel that everyone is really excited to get going.â€