Michael Bradley may have just signed a four-year deal with Italy’s AS Roma, but he’ll be making his club debut on some familiar grounds.
The 24-year-old Princeton, NJ native and former New York soccer star returns to the tri-state area when his new club pays a visit to Red Bull Arena Friday, July 27, in a friendly match against El Salvador. Roma kicks off its U.S. tour at Wrigley Field on July 22 and pays a visit to Boston's Fenway Park on July 25 against Liverpool FC before closing out the tour in New Jersey.
Bradley’s professional career has landed him in various spots around the world, starting with New York in 2004, before landing in the Netherlands from 2005 – 2008 and Germany from 2008-2011 (with a loan to Aston Villa during 2010-11 in there as well). Then it was off to Italy, where he signed with Serie A's Chievo leading up to the 2011-12 season.
Now, fresh off his signing with Roma, Bradley is excited for his new club’s U.S. tour.
“As always, this tour of the United States is something to look forward to,” he said during a media conference call Wednesday. “And for me, the opportunity to play in cities like Chicago and being in New York or New Jersey, places that are very special to me, that makes it all the better.”
That trip to New Jersey will not only include a visit to Red Bull Arena, but also the opportunity to play in front of some familiar faces.
“To be able to play for Roma in front of family and friends, that doesn’t happen every day,” Bradley said of his New York/New Jersey homecoming. “To have that chance is something that I’m really looking forward to.”
Bradley first played at RBA during the 2011 season when the U.S. National Team fell to Ecuador 1-0 in an international friendly. Prior to that match, he summed up his visit to New Jersey in a way that only a hometown guy can.
“There’s always something about being back in New Jersey, you know?” he said in September 2011, one day before the team’s match against Ecuador. “Timmy Howard and I were talking about it on the bus on the way here, joking with a few of the guys as we were driving on the Turnpike over here. It’s home.”
Get tickets now to the July 27 match between AS Roma and El Salvador by visiting Red Bulls Ticket Central or calling 877.RB.SOCCER.