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Michael Bradley says MLS, USMNT schedule conflict is a “lose-lose for players"

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The United States Men's National Team captain is not at all happy about having to miss matches. Michael Bradley is currently in Seattle preparing for a MLS match instead of leading his country in crucial friendlies in preparation for Mexico in October. His absence from the national team is not by his choice, and he's frustrated with the league's unwillingness to accommodate the FIFA international calendar.

Major League Soccer's schedule is the different from almost every league in the world. While most European leagues are just beginning their seasons, MLS is in the midst of its stretch run. Meaning vital matches are being played. What makes matters worse, is that the league refuses to recognize international breaks like most others do. Toronto FC requested that the USMNT captain skip the first of two friendlies in order for him to play against the Sounders and U.S. Soccer agreed.

Bradley spoke with Matt Pentz of the Seattle Times during the USMNT's win over Peru on Friday night and expressed his displeasure at having to miss the match.

"I never want to miss anything for anyone," he said, tearing his eyes away from the halftime show. "The most frustrating part of MLS at the moment is that we still, in a lot of places, play through FIFA dates."

The league putting players in the position to miss important international matches is just not a good look. It's a scheduling conflict that commissioner Don Garber must seriously consider evaluating. It's not fair to the player, the respective national team, or the supporters who pay for the tickets.

Bradley is also frustrated that the fans don't understand who actually makes the decisions on what games he does or doesn't participate in.

"People have to understand that nothing is ever my decision," Bradley said. "These things get discussed and decided at the highest level between the ownership at Toronto FC, the league office and U.S. Soccer."

The American midfield General believes that the decision by the league to ignore FIFA dates is nothing but a detriment to players and in no way helps them.

"It's a lose-lose for players," Bradley said. "As a player, you hope at some point the league will make the decision to stop playing through the international dates."

The MLS calendar has been a hotly-debated topic for years and something that the league has always held firm on. With one of the most respected players in American soccer speaking out, hopefully the decision makers take notice and finally address this problem.