Bradley heading to Aston Villa on loan

Michael Bradley (

After weeks of speculation about where Michael Bradley could wind up, the U.S. national team midfielder is heading to England to play for a team with plenty of American ties.

Bradley is heading to English Premier League side Aston Villa, sources confirmed to SBI on Saturday.

Bradley leaves Borussia Moenchendgladbach after two and a half seasons and the loan to Aston Villa, first reported by German media on Saturday morning, is sure to be followed by a permanent move away from the German club in the summer. He will have one year remaining on his contract with Moenchengladbach when the season ends.

Bradley had been targeted by English club Sunderland, but Darren Bent's surprise transfer move to Aston Villa put that move on hold. While several other European clubs, including Galatasaray and Palermo, were interested in buying Bradley outright, the loan move to Aston Villa should allow Bradley to boost his stock ahead of this summer's transfer season. It was a scenario I laid out in my recent Fox Soccer piece on Bradley's club status.

Joining Stuart Holden and Jermaine Jones as fellow American midfielders who have made the move to England in the past year, Bradley will join an Aston Villa side with Americans Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan (currently on a short loan with Hull City) and Eric Lichaj, as well as American owner Randy Lerner.

What do you think of this development? Love the idea of Bradley playing in the Premier League? Relieved he didn't go to Galatasaray?

Share your thoughts below.

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114 Responses to Bradley heading to Aston Villa on loan

  1. Eric says:

    Great, now he can piss of Houllier as well.

  2. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    F. YES.

  3. Stephen M says:

    From a USMNT perspective, best move I could hope for.

  4. jlm says:

    OH NO!!! Houllier HATES Americans. Bradley is doomed.

    That was tic. People need to get a grip… Coaches/owners are not out to get Americans

  5. bizzy says:


  6. ryan says:

    If he plays, great move. I’m pleased the Gala move didn’t go through. They’re a quality side, but the Turkish league won’t provide a large enough challenge day-in and day-out. If he plays well, we should expect a move to a bigger German side or an English side in the summer. That would be the ideal result.

  7. Luke says:

    Love the fact that he’s going to EPL, especially with Villa! However, I’m a bit concerned with how he will fit into their lineup after the purchase of Bent…

  8. vik says:

    In general no, but Houllier really went crazy with Lichaj. Probably less to do with being american, and more about Houllier just needing a scapegoat.

  9. Omar Little says:

    Very relieved; was not looking forward to seeing him in Turkey. I think he can be a good fit at Villa and help them creep up the table. It will just be interesting to see how many opportunities he gets to prove himself.

    Anyone know how crowded Villa’s central midfield is right now? Will it be hard for him to crack the XI?

  10. Jack says:

    I am SO SO SO happy that he is 1) going to the EPL and 2) to a team that I actually like. I’m a bit concerned about his playing time, but Michael Bradley has successfully fought his way onto the field for all of the clubs he’s been a part of (granted, AV is a whole other level), so I’m not going to get too worried. I think that AV could definitely use his defensive capabilities.

    And now he and Lichaj can hang out and be intense and intimidating together…

  11. KevinMinogue says:

    Great move for Bradley. He’ll get four months of top competition, and in the process will be auditioning for a potential permanent place with Villa or another EPL side. Much better than a sale to Galatasaray

  12. The Pikey says:

    This is clearly only because Bob Bradley is his father and forced AV’s American owners to make the move. And once Michael is a regular starter for AV we can be sure that Bob Bradley forced Houllier to to play him.

    All you Bradley haters are morons.

  13. jpc says:

    what are the chances he plays Tuesday against Man U?

  14. Tom in KY says:


  15. KEvin_Amold says:

    Hou’s the Boss?

  16. bottlcaps says:

    Yeah! but the owner is an American. I think that Houllier will not be around next season, and if AV fall back into the relegation zone, he will be out quicker.

    There must be an option-to-buy for a certain amount appended to the loan agreement. I cannot see M”Gladbach “giving” Bradley away through a loan agreement, doesn’t his contract expire at the end of the season, and becomes available on a free transfer?

    Either way AV will get a bargain, and it is a real good opportunity for Bradley!

  17. hello says:

    maybe you can crawl into a hole and die :p

  18. Jamie Z. says:


    If this is an April Fools joke, I’m going to strangle you.

  19. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Bent is a forward. Why would it matter?

  20. Scott says:

    Can’t quite tell if this is serious or not. Surely not. Haha?

  21. Eric says:

    Early Groundhog day present.

  22. freddie footballer says:

    He’s got a great agent. I mean, in order to go from Galatasaray (rumored) to Aston Villa is quite the turnaround. Here’s to his growth and success in the EPL!

  23. RedLine55 says:

    it was a well-played tactic, that is for sure.

  24. tnnelson says:

    I had hoped for a while that Villa would get him. i’ve wanted a reason to watch them for while but with Lichaj being scapegoated for one poor performance, there’t not much for us Americans to watch other than Friedel saving their sorry a$$e$ every week. this should be exciting and I imagine he should fit right into a starting role when he gets there.

    this brings up the question, how good should USA’s center midfield be ranked internationally? Stuart Holden has solidified his place as one of the better box-to-box mids in the Premiership, Jones has shown he is more than capable of dealing with the speed of the league and should prove to be a top mid soon enough, and if Bradley can do the same, that would be an alarming amount of talented box-to-box mids/number of American field players in EPL total ratio. I also think Edu could step right into the starting spot at most EPL squads outside of the top 5

  25. bottlcaps says:

    My bad. Bradley’s contract runs til 2012. It makes more sense now!

  26. Jamie Z. says:

    As much as I have been fantasizing about this move, as both a Villa and USMNT fan, I had all but dismissed it after Houllier bought Jean Makoun earlier this month. Along with Makoun, we have captain Stilyan Petrov, Nigel Reo-Coker, Robert Pires, Fabian Delph, Stephen Ireland (who appears to be on his way out), as well as some youngsters in Barry Bannan and Ciaran Clark who can fill the role. Bradley will have competition, for sure, but if he is given a fair shot, I think Bradley could be a fantastic presence in the middle of the park for Villa. He brings to the table attributes which could set him apart from the others.

  27. Illmatic74 says:

    For a while they were in a relegation battle in that case you should be playing the best players possible an inexperienced 20 year old is not the best option in that situation.

  28. Aaron in StL says:

    Great move. A loan is probably the best possible scenario for him at this point. Assuming he shows well he should be able to command the transfer fee Gladbach are looking for. Awesome schedule coming up:

    Feb 5 – Fulham
    Feb 26 – Blackburn
    March 5 – Bolton
    April 16 – West Ham

    He’ll get to go against 3 starting (if Specs holds on that long) ‘Merican CMs relatively soon.

  29. KevinMinogue says:

    Not sure about Edu, and Bradley and Jones have a ways to go yet in terms of establishing themselves, but you’re right. In terms of the USMNT core playing at the top levels of European socccer, this is probably the best I’ve seen us in a long, long time. The midfield looks well-established for the next couple of cycles, now it’s just a matter of our young forwards and defenders on the same level.

  30. Sonicdeathmonkey says:

    Where is Josh D. and the others, who just yesterday were giving Ives snarky comments about his “Bradley looks destined to go to England” article? Hmmmm….?

  31. alex says:

    I was wondering the same thing…

  32. Pat says:

    Woot! I was totally not excited about him going to Turkey. Now I have another reason to watch more EPL

  33. otergod says:


  34. SBI Troll says:

    Haters gonna hate. Now time for Bradley to take on those Mancs on Tuesday!

  35. canchon says:

    This is a great move for MB90 if he gets a chance to play: he can get increased visibility and move to another EPL team in the summer transfer window (or get bought outright and cement his place in the Villa midfield).

    However, if he sits on the bench for 4 months, he would have been better off playing at BMG. It’s a bit of risk – but Bradley has shown that he works the way up the ladder, so it’s worth taking.

    And…it’s great for USMNT fans who are saved from having to look at grainy internet streams to see Bradley in action in the Turkish league.

  36. DC Josh says:

    This is a good move for Bradley. A loan at this point is better than a transfer. I’d still like to see him at Palermo or a better German club. He does have competition in the midfield at Villa. I don’t know what their starting lineup has been lately, but I see Downing, Ashley Young, Albrighton and Petrov all ahead of him. I could see him taking over Petrov, who I think plays in the middle, while the other players are offensive-minded. He hopefully breaks through and impresses, then moves on in the summer. I really don’t see Villa getting into Europe this season. The top is too thick with better clubs.

  37. Gacm32 says:

    F yeah!! I absolutely love this move. Almost perfect scenario, he has an opportunity to win a starting role almost instantly.

  38. SBI Troll says:


  39. OmarVizquel says:

    I didn’t read that article. To be honest, all Ives and the rest of the US soccer media have done is relay rumors about Sunderland, Gala, Palermo. I don’t recall one mention of Aston Villa, so I’m not sure Ives now reporting on something some other media outlet broke vindicates him as the all-seeing sage of US soccer.

    Ives has built a great online community and hub here (and I’ve been around since almost the beginning of SBI) — but he’s hardly doing Woodward/Bernstein-type reporting.

    (SBI-Wow, wouldn’t expect this from you. I didn’t “relay the rumor” about Sunderland, I broke the story on Sunderland’s interest, which was then picked up across Europe. I did pass on reports of Galatasaray and Palermo never claimed those as mine, simply keeping my readers informed. Aston Villa did emerge as a surprise destination, but I was able to get it confirmed from MY sources and have reported it. That’s reporting. You clearly have me confused with some other people with flimsy websites who simply rehash everything on the web, but I’ll put my sources and reporting up against anybody’s in the business.)

  40. OmarVizquel says:

    How many games until Mikey picks up a red card?

  41. Jamie Z. says:

    Not to mention Dempsey with Fulham.

  42. OmarVizquel says:

    (Just kidding. I wish him well. Hope he scores against Man U., his former favorite club.)

  43. alex says:

    Petrov is Villa’s captain, and if Bradley was acquired with a view to replacing him, it won’t be until Petrov moves on or retires. I’m concerned about his playing time, honestly, because they generally play with two central midfielders, and while Petrov is the only real lock, they just splashed millions of Euros on Makoun. He also has to compete with Delph and Reo Coker in that spot. I’m not saying I don’t think he can do it; I think his style really fits the EPL well and I really think he’ll do a good job in the league. Is Villa the perfect place for him? Time will tell. One thing is for certain, and that’s the incredibly stiff competition he’ll be facing just to play. Some player thrive under that kind of pressure, though, and that’s the kind of player Mikey strikes me as. I have high hopes for him at Villa, but his immediate impact may not be as much as some of us are hoping it will be.

  44. Jamie Z. says:

    Downing, Young, and Albrighton aren’t competition — they’re wide players, something Bradley very distinctly is not. Villa’s central midfielders include Stilyan Petrov, Nigel Reo-Coker, new signing Jean Makoun, Robert Pires, the currently injured Fabian Delph, and youngster Barry Bannan. I’m not going to count Stephen Ireland because he’s been an unmitigated disaster. Petrov is captain and talisman when he’s fit, but I would be curious to see how Bradley links up with him. Reo-Coker and Makoun worry me most as far as competition for a place is concerned, but if Bradley can emphasize his grit and tenacity in the center of the park, I think he has a good shot to establish himself in the lineup.

  45. Ken says:

    Let’s hope he can get some games to prove himself.

  46. Lawrence says:

    EPL – Bradley, Holden, Jones, Spector
    Bundesliga – Clark, Beasley
    SPL Rangers – Edu
    Belgian Anderlect – Kljestan
    Sweden – Bedoya
    Denmark – Feilhaber

    Although Clark looks to be a converted CB now, and Spector just recently moved to the midfield. And I am not sure if Beasley should even count.

  47. Lawrence says:

    EPL – Dempsey (duh!!! lol)

  48. bottlcaps says:

    I seriously doubt that Bob Bradley could force Randy Lerner to do anything. Furthermore, any playing time MB gets, he will have earned. I do not think Houllier will play any favorites, especially with an American.

    On the other had, Bradley could have played for Rushden and Diamonds and still make the USMNT because he has a very big “in” with the coach! :-)

    But I do think that BB did influence/offer advice to MB in his choice of clubs.

    Getting EPL playing time will go a long way to improving MB game, and , ultimately, improve the USMNT, which is a big win for BB.

  49. eric says:

    Astomericilla ?

  50. bottlcaps says:

    This is why it is called the crazy season. Nobody, but nobody, really knows what is going on. When a club “accepts” a transfer price, it merely confirms what the club will accept for a transfer. In addition, when a player agrees to the personal terms, all he is doing is saying this is what I want.

    This gives other clubs more exacting information than what the press and a clubs pr people float around. This is why there are a lot of “swoops” as soon as the “real” transfer price and the “real” personal terms are known..more clubs seriously enter the process. It is apparent that when a club accepts a transfer price, it applies to everybody, not just a single club. And when a player accepts his personal terms, it is possible that this is what the player will demand from any club he joins.

    Most clubs that are interested in Bradley, will have been in contact with his agent and will get the lo-down of the real offers from him alone, not the press. So while there might be a lot of press attention from one club, another may have been close to making a deal all along and will solidify that deal as soon as it can.I think this is true in a lot of sports. A player is not technically a free agent, BUT, they can usually control their future, and if there is a desire to play in a certain league and there is interest, a good agent will make it happen.

  51. Khill says:

    As much as I like him playing in the EPL, I think that he’s gonna have a hard time getting minutes. I hope I’m wrong because he’s a battler but I don’t see him getting time for quite a while.

  52. vjk says:

    I would’ve welcomed the move to GS… though they’re in a rebuilding phase it seems, I’m a huge fan of the Turkish giant and would love to see Arda Turan and Bradley bring GS to European competition glory

  53. Dave says:


    I have to add this though: I think Bradley is a lot better as a box to box midfielder than Reo-Coker, Delph, and Bannan. Stephen Ireland plays a completely different role on the pitch, and Robert Pires is old.

    Makoun is certainly a legit d-mid, but if Bradley has proved anything in Europe and with the US National Team, it’s that he is effective playing 2 way football. He can be the destroyer, but he is also effective moving forward (I know I’m preaching to the choir here).

    My point is that although Villa has some good talent at midfield, it’s certainly realistic to think that Bradley could move up the ladder and serve a substantial role. Especially in light of the fact that Villa’s midfield isn’t exactly fitting together in harmony at this point.

  54. Blake McVey says:

    Well, since you all asked, here’s how I see Villa’s midfield over the next few months. Makoun will get a lot of time, as he’s one of the January signings and is highly regarded (though he did pick up a minor injury the other day against Wigan), Petrov has had some injury concerns this term, but has been back recently. I think his best role was the other day when he came on for about the last 35-40 minutes of the match–he’s old and slow and with a rest for the first part of the match he’ll be better late in the game to keep things calm. Bannan gets time too, but he is very young, and just now getting experience. Delph has potential and is highly thought of, but he reaggrevated a long term injury on his first game back–we haven’t seen him since. Pires is old and a one off–I think Houllier did him a favor by signing him. He just today scored his first goal and I don’t expect many more. So that leaves Reo-Coker as one of Bradley’s biggest competitors for a spot. Reo-Coker is a nice battling player who is technically poor with an even poorer shot. In addition I think he’s on his way out in the summer, so if Villa is interested in Bradley as a prospect, I think given all the information above they will likely give him a legitimate shot to play.

    That’s my two cents.

  55. Phil says:

    shocked. Houllier must not realize Junior an american since all he does is sh*t on the other yanks in his locker room. Hope MB speaks German…

  56. Phil says:

    why not count Beasely? hot or cold runs of form aside, he’s far too talented a player to dismiss and still young enough to contirbute.

  57. bigcatasroma says:

    Villa has a pretty stacked midfield, and didn’t they just sign Mikoun? Petrov, Downing has been playing some in the middle, and Reo-Coker are all there. I suppose Bradley would take Reo-Coker’s spot, and force Downing back out wide, where they have Young and Albrighton. It’s not terrible, because Bradley will get some pretty good competition, but he’s by no means assured of any playing time. I would have like to see him go to Palermo; I would like to see Americans head to either Spain or Italy to test their skills in more technical/tactical leagues. As Anderson of United said, the English League is full of players just running around like chickens with their heads cut off. I hope that BB doesn’t fall into any bad habits. he needs to be USA’s tactical general on the field, while combining on-the-ball skills that he has plus the hard-tackling part that he does well…

  58. GW says:

    “But I do think that BB did influence/offer advice to MB in his choice of clubs”

    This is, of course, unethical right?

  59. Jordan Drew says:

    You dont secure a player on loan if you dont expect them to play or contribute. Simple as that

  60. Jack says:

    Agree with everything. He’s not exactly walking into an automatic starting role, but I think that if he’s anything, Michael Bradley is an incredibly hard worker–capable of thinking of nothing but soccer all of the time. He’s the type of person who will go the extra distance to carve himself a place in the team.

    And, yeah. Villa’s midfield isn’t exactly ironclad at the moment, particularly its defensive element.

  61. He wouldn’t have gone on lone there if he ‘s not going to pay. Villa’s not going to pay his wages for him o sit around and he wouldn’t leave BMG unless he thought he would play..

  62. SwerveZ says:

    You know what this means, right? Bob Bradley will get the Villa coaching job!

  63. Eurosnob says:

    That’s exactly what I thought, but joining Aston Villa still beats going to Galatasaray.

  64. SdbransonUSA says:

    Beasley hasn’t regularly played in years. I think the ship has sailed on his National team career.

  65. Jack says:

    Grant Wahl mentioned on Twitter how this is an example of a good agent using the media as his tool. He built up some hype with Gala’s offer, and then Villa came in late to snatch him up.

  66. Dancy says:

    If it goes well this means that Bradley may actually develop into a player that deserves to start every game at center midfield for the US four years after being handed the roll. If it goes poorly we will be subjected to an even louder and more ignorant chorus of how unfair the world is to US players, X coach hates US players, and/or Bradley is on a crap team that doesn’t deserve him.

  67. Jack says:


    Someday, maybe people will actually take a good look at the games he has played in and appreciate what Bradley has contributed to the USMNT instead of crying nepotism every time he gets a start. Maybe.

  68. jig says:

    good post

  69. jig says:

    or maybe houllier just wants to put good players on the field.

  70. Shilio says:

    Good move, but this still doesn’t turn him into the creative playmaker USA has lacked for years…

  71. Alex says:

    And maybe someday people will learn how to spell “role”.

  72. afrim says:

    you guys who are super pumped up about this move clearly dont know Villa’s roster, their captian ,and who they spent big bucks on this transfer window. Petrov and Makoun are locks at CM

  73. Khill says:

    Mikey is nothing but quality. Gets stuck in, distributes pretty well in linking the backs to the forwards, and even gets on the end of it when he ventures into the box. He deserves every start he gets with the nats.

  74. Aaron in StL says:

    And you seem to clearly not know about their manager… Any player could ride the pine on a whim.

  75. Sleepy says:

    Does seem like the Gooch to Milan move all over again.

  76. away goals says:

    Not the case at all. Villa are dealing with some injury concerns in central midfield, so it makes sense to pick up a solid player on loan.

    They get depth for the price of wages. No reason to buy someone outright if they only need short term cover.

    Hoping that’s not the case here though. Or if it is, that mb plays his way onto the field anyway.

  77. aristophanes says:

    haha excellent

  78. Jamie Z. says:

    That’s a moot point. I don’t think anybody is expecting him to be a “creative playmaker”. You can still do a lot of good on a soccer pitch without being Andres Iniesta.

  79. Jamie Z. says:

    Yeah, exactly. With all that in mind, I think my attitude toward this move is best described as “cautiously ecstatic.”

  80. Jamie Z. says:

    I know plenty about Villa’s roster, their captain, and who they spent big bucks on in the transfer window. Makoun certainly isn’t a lock — he’s played one match thus far. Petrov is a mainstay, when he’s fit, but that is hardly a certainty these days. I agree Bradley will have some fierce competition, but Bradley has never bowed to the odds before. To have such a black & white attitude about his prospects is misinformed.

  81. Jamie Z. says:


  82. Kol says:

    so since Bradley is called MB90 which im guessing is because he goes the whole game. Holden should be referd to as SH90+I work so hard in games and practice that I get fitness injuries, ie:chelsea game and the first USMNT camp he was called into where he was trying so hard he injured himself, all injuries were thigh strains, plus he runs the entire game.

    That is why he is referd to as MB90 right? Because his dad never subs him out? zing?:)

  83. Warren says:

    So instead he plays a 19 year old who gets red carded today and immediately publicly forgiven by Houllier – I guess easy to do since Villa won anyway.

    I’m not sure they play same position but still…makes you wonder.

  84. Bill says:

    I am just glad that I can watch more of him on TV. He probably would have done better with a transfer and contract extension in Turkey. But, whatever. He will be on FSC.

  85. Rob says:

    Why, if this is a done deal, hasn’t AV posted this transfer on their site? This is still only a rumor, or it is not finalized. Turkish papers still say he is going there. Hopefully AV has gotten him, but this is not a done deal. Sky sports says the deal is being worked out, still.

    (SBI-Are you really in denial? It’s done, not a “rumor”. Whenever a player moves there is plenty of paperwork and final steps to wrap up, but once a deal is agreed to it’s done. If you think anything is a rumor until you see a player holding a jersey then I suppose it’s a rumor, but as far as MY reporting is concerned, it’s a done deal.)

  86. Warren says:

    MB’s a 5m euro transfer fee player, up from ~3m when he left Netherlands for Germany.

    2 1/2 years ago.

    MB’s progressing for sure, but…remind me what Bent’s fee was again or what the asking price on Torres is? OK goals scorers are at a premium, but.

    Anyway, all you who think anyone with a B in their last name can’t be criticized. MB should do well in EPl and maybe can boost his value by summer when the sale closes, let’s all hope. Both the realists and the infatuated.

  87. Jamie Z. says:

    That’s what people said about Jozy’s loan to Xerez.

  88. RangerSG says:

    Ding. I agree. Though there, more than 1 source thinks Xerex took him to keep Altidore away from a promotion-chase rival.

    I’m more pleased by this given there’s an option to buy. That seems to indicate AV really does want him. That said, there’s not many worse managers to play for in the Premiership than the one he’s getting…

  89. b says:

    “And now he and Lichaj can hang out and be intense and intimidating together…”

    Hah, that’s true, when I first saw Lichaj against South Africa I thought his intensity was similar to Bradley’s.

  90. b says:

    At the time I thought Donovan resting was a good idea but now I wish he had gone to back to Everton, we could have six USMNT midfielders (Dempsey, Holden, Spector, Jones, Bradley, Donovan) in the Premier League right now!

  91. b says:

    Wow, four American teammates in a row.
    If he’s playing I’ll be watching.

  92. Paula says:

    “And now he and Lichaj can hang out and be intense and intimidating together…”

    Heh. Best summary of the loan so far …

  93. RangerSG says:

    Not in the least. Gooch was a major player on a minor team that went on a dream move.

    MB is going from A Top 5 league, where he’s played week-in, week-out (short spell in the doghouse to start season not withstanding), to THE top league…and a team at a similar position. He isn’t going way out of his league in terms of competition, either in terms of opponents he’ll be facing or squad strength to earn a spot.

    I don’t like this is playing for Houllier. But if he goes, then this is close to an ideal place to land.

  94. RangerSG says:

    Also, I’ve heard more than 1 rumor of Petrov being on the “out” side of the revolving door.

    It’s silly season. We’ll know soon what really happens.

  95. Xavi says:

    Not to get too picky but the creative playmaker on Spain and Barca is Xavi not Iniesta, though he is certainly capable of it.

  96. Jamie Z. says:

    As a Villa fan, I really hope that isn’t the case. I love the possibility of seeing Americans playing in the EPL and for my especially for my favorite team, but I don’t like what Houllier is doing with the club. Petrov has been the steady heartbeat of that Villa team over the past several years.

  97. GW says:

    Makes you wonder about what?

    Does Houllier hate Americans? Kind of weird when your owner is one. Houllier isn’t in Mourinho’s class; he can’t afford to go around telling the owner to **** off.

    Has it ever occurred to you maybe Lichaj just isn’t ready yet?

    Ever since Houllier made a bunch pf changes, Lichaj being one of them, Villa have been doing quite well. Even if Houllier hates Americans with a passion, it would be hard for Lerner to argue the with the results.

    And I assume Houllier had to approve Bradley’s loan move. Pretty strange for a violent anti-American to bring in more of those Americans, the son of the USMNT manager no less, don’t you think?

    Of maybe it’s a plot to hurt the US by destroying MB’s career? Sit him down for the rest of the season and make him play for the reserves?

  98. GW says:

    Hopefuly they won’t be doing it on the reserve team.

  99. Villain-from-Texas says:

    I’m a Villa fan, and I can tell you that many other fans are stoked about getting MB. Even before today, I’ve read posts from many Villa fans who wanted to get MB. He is thought of highly.

    As for our depth in the midfield, yes, we have a lot of midfielders on the books. ButMB will get his chance.

    First, although we got Makoun, we also bid on Charlier Adam. So Houllier clearly wanted to bring in two new midfielders this window, suggesting that he isn’t wedded to over overly enamored of any of our current midfielders.

    Second, Reo-Coker isn’t going to be sticking around. His contract is up in the summer; he was offered a new contract early this year, but he turned it down.

    Third, Petrov is hardly a mainstay at this point his career. Houllier likes him just fine, but Petrov was MON’s player.

    Fourth, Downing isn’t a central midfielder. He has been used this recently, but only because we have been in a pinch. He won’t stand in MB’s way. Our best lineup includes Downing on left, Young in the hole, and Albrighton on the right.

    Fifth, anyone worried that MB will get the same treatment as Lichaj—get over it. They’re different players, and Houillier will treat them differently. If he didn’t want Bradley, we wouldn’t be getting it.

    In sum, as a Villa fan and as an U.S. fan, I’m absolutely stoked about this deal. I’ve hoped for a while that we could land MB, and am hopeful that it will work out well. I’d love to see it made permament.

  100. GW says:

    First of all this is a loan so it’s pretty hard to compare it to Bent’s situation.

    There is a lot more that goes into fees than whether or not Player A is better than Player B. so using that to rate MB’s progress is a little iffy.

    Jozy was signed for 7.4 million Euros the most ever for an American from MLS. Is he a better player than MB or Clint Dempsey?

  101. Keith G. says:

    So glad he is going to Aston Villa and not Sunderland, and especially not Galatasary. This will be a great move for him if he ca jump right into the starting 11. Aston Villa is a team that should be in the top 7 with the players they have. The team is a team that should be competative in the Europa League, so if they can get on a winning streak and make it in, they should do good, and that will help Bradley and Guzan if still there and with Friedel gone, they will grow as players.

  102. GW says:

    “may actually develop into a player that deserves to start every game at center midfield for the US four years after being handed the roll.”

    Four years ago, Benny F was being paid by but not playing for Derby County, Edu was playing for Toronto FC, Stu Holden was playing left wing for Houston, where Rico Clark was playing D mid, Freddy Adu was being paid by but not playing much for Benfica, as was JF Torres at Pachuca and Jermaine Jones was still German.

    Care to tell me who MB, who had just scored 16 goals for Heerenveen, which I believe is still a single season record for an American in a top ten European league, so unfairly displaced for the job?

  103. GW says:

    Holden is consistently ranked with Donovan as among the fittest US players,one reason why both have impressed so many in the EPL.

  104. Rob says:

    Fine it’s a done deal. I was just stating what I have read from other sites. Not calling you out Ives.

    (SBI- Fair enough Rob, but when you write what you wrote in the comments section of my very report stating the deal is done it’s kind of tough to not take it as you questioning my report. It’s all good.)

  105. rob says:

    Yes sorry about that. I was writing on a mobile device and didn’t mean for it to read so abrasive

  106. Dennis says:

    I love it. Villa is a strong team and Bradley will have to work hard to get and retain a starting role. When he does play, he will face some very good teams. The expectations are that he will have to compete hard both on the weekends and during the week in training. I think he is up to the challenge and the pressure will force him to improve over the next 4 or 5 months.

  107. Patrick says:

    You think the haters are looking for facts?

    Rule #1–Don’t feed the trolls.

  108. Rob says:

    And now it is official. Bradley is up n AV’s website!!!

  109. r.benjamin says:

    Good move for Bradley. The best way for him to take it to the next level. Even if due to the competition it takes until the fall to get the auto start.

    Good for USMNT in 2014 as well.

    Question though.. If he gets spot mins through May. Does beverage every gold cup match if Holden and Jones are playing well..

  110. GW says:

    “Petrov has been the steady heartbeat of that Villa team over the past several years.”

    The key phrase there is “past several years”. The impression is Houlier is looking to chart his own path not O’Neill’s

  111. It’s a great opportunity for Michael, and I think he might be able to make a real contribution with some tough tenacity. Villa isn’t but a couple wins off the relegation zone, and they need to slug out the results to keep them clear. Bradley seems like he has the right mentality.

    And if he starts, and helps deliver results, he’ll do so in front of a massive TV audience. Of course that’s a double edged sword.

    A couple things trouble me, though:

    (1) Why is he surplus at Borussia? Was it really a personality conflict, or something else?

    (2) Why couldn’t Ireland find his groove at Villa? Steven was truly excellent at City before the empire change.

    Anyway, no doubt myself and millions of US soccer fans will be pulling for Bradley to shine.

  112. jknoll says:

    I believe it was sarcasm that the Pikey was trying to convey. Maybe he should use a smiley for you next time:)