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Toronto FC captain, longtime USMNT midfielder Michael Bradley to retire

Xinhua News Agency / Getty

Toronto FC captain and 151-time United States international Michael Bradley has announced he's retiring upon the conclusion of the Major League Soccer season on Saturday.

Bradley spent the last 10 seasons in Toronto, lifting the MLS Cup as captain in 2017.

"On Jan. 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 statement.

"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."

Bradley's career began in MLS with the MetroStars in 2004 and took him across Europe with stops at Heerenveen in the Netherlands, Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany, Aston Villa in England, and Chievo and Roma in Italy. But the Princeton, N.J., native made his biggest impression in Toronto, where he cemented his status as the team's midfield general. He helped TFC win nine trophies, including an unprecedented domestic treble in 2017, and scored 19 goals in his 308 appearances to date.

But TFC slipped from their perch under Bradley's watch. In 2018, the Reds became the fourth MLS team to miss the playoffs as defending champions. They've also fallen short of postseason berths in each of the last three seasons.

Bradley held a similar role on the United States men's national team, holding down midfield and even scoring a memorable equalizer in the group stage of the 2010 World Cup. His goal against Slovenia helped the United States reach the round of 16, where it eventually lost to Ghana.

Bradley also started in all four of the U.S.'s fixtures at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The 36-year-old will bid farewell in TFC's season finale on Saturday at home against Orlando City SC.

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