Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley will retire at end of season

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The captain is hanging up his cleats.

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Toronto FC captain and club legend Michael Bradley announced on Tuesday that he will be retiring from professional football at the end of the season.

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“On January 13, 2014, I sat at a press conference and said that I had never been ‘more excited, more determined, and more motivated for any challenge in my entire career.’ I meant every single word,” Bradley said in a news release. “For the last 10 years I have spilled my blood, sweat and tears trying to help this club be the best it could be. 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.”

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Toronto FC has just one game remaining this season, this Saturday against Orlando City SC at BMO Field. With a record of 4-10-19, TFC will finish last in MLS and miss the post-season for the third straight season.

Bradley was acquired as a Designated Player in Jan. 2014 and became a mainstay in the Reds midfield — and at times defence — for the next 10 seasons.

His biggest accomplishment was leading the team to the its first and only MLS Cup in 2017, when the Reds defeated the Seattle Sounders 2-0 in the final. Under Bradley, TFC made the MLS playoffs five times while also capturing the Supporters’ Shield once and winning the Canadian Championship four times.

Bradley made his 300th appearance in all competitions for Toronto FC earlier his season, becoming the second player in club history to reach that milestone. He also scored 19 goals in his 308 appearances and is the only TFC player who has played every minute of every playoff game in club history.

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“Over the past decade with Toronto FC, Michael Bradley has become a club legend,” Toronto FC President Bill Manning said in a statement. “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 also had a long career with the U.S. Men’s National Team, for which he was capped 151 times over 13 years.

“We want to congratulate Michael on a historic career for both club and country. As a member of Toronto FC, Michael served as the captain and driving force of the most prolific period of success in our club’s history,” Toronto FC GM Jason Hernandez said in a statement. “For 10 years, Michael committed himself to striving for greatness with TFC and was a central figure in many of our greatest triumphs as a club. We want to take this opportunity to thank Michael for all that he has done for our club and our city.

“His legacy, both on and off the field, will be cemented in our club’s history forever.”

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Originally posted 2023-10-17 18:04:59.