Bradley at sneaky peak during Reds’ win streak
Captain doing the vital work by winning the ball back and completing pinpoint passes
Others may get the headlines but Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley is quietly compiling a spectacular MLS season.
Bradley leads MLS in ball recoveries (259) as well as passes per game (76.8). His pass completion rate of 88.2 per cent is also a league best.
Many of Toronto’s 59 goals this season started with Bradley winning the ball back and then sending it forward. He has also prevented more than a few in the Toronto end.
And the 30-year-old U.S. international captain just keeps rolling. While missing four TFC outings due to international duties, Bradley has played every minute of the 24 regular-season games he has appeared in this season.
Perhaps more remarkably, in his last 35 competitive matches for club and country, Bradley has been on the losing side just three times (22-3-10). He has played 90 minutes in each of those 35 games.
Bradley points to taking care of his body, from diet to sleep.
“The basis for it all is how much I love to play,” he said. “I love to train, I love to compete. At a certain point in a long season, there’s certain guys who mentally or physically can get worn out. I’m lucky in that regard . . . that’s not me.”
Bradley looks to help league-leading Toronto (17-3-8) take another step toward the Supporters Shield on Saturday when the team visits the Los Angeles Galaxy (7-14-6).
Toronto will be without star strikers Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore, spared the long trip to heal up from some minor injuries at home.
A win and Toronto can match its club-record six-game win streak set earlier this season. TFC has scored three or more goals in each of the games on the current run.
Toronto is also undefeated in its last five away matches (3-0-2), the second-longest road undefeated streak in club history. But Toronto has not scored in its last 184 minutes at StubHub Center where the Galaxy are 5-2-1 against TFC.
Bradley says StubHub Center is always a special place to visit.
“It doesn’t matter the season they’ve had, the form they’re in, you play the Galaxy in L.A. and it’s a big game,” Bradley said. “So we’re excited for it, very excited.”