'I love it here' - Bradley hopes to remain with Toronto FC for 'a long time' as contract negotiations loom

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The U.S. national team midfielder aims to stay with the club after his contract expires this offseason
The U.S. national team midfielder aims to stay with the club after his contract expires this offseason

Michael Bradley says he hopes to remain with Toronto FC for "a long time" as the U.S. men's national team midfielder moves closer to offseason contract negotiations.

The 32-year-old, who has made 23 appearances and scored three goals this season, originally joined Toronto FC from Roma in 2014, and has since led the club to two MLS Cup final appearances, winning the title in 2017.

TFC have also won a Supporters' Shield, setting the league record for points in 2017, as well as three Canadian Championships.

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But, heading into the offseason, Bradley's status with the club is uncertain. The midfielder, the league's second-highest-paid player behind only Zlatan Ibrahimovic, will make $6.5 million this year, the final year of his deal

Still, he hopes to stay on with Toronto FC going forward, a feeling which TFC's supporters seem to support after recently unveiling a pre-game tifo depicting Bradley that read, "Your City. Your Legacy. Our Captain Forever."

"My position is I love the club, love the team and love the city," Bradley said, according to TSN. "And I've never felt more at home anywhere in my life than here, in every sense — in a sporting sense, in a family sense. That part, that's an incredible feeling.

"When you walk out on the field the other night and see a banner like that, it gives you goosebumps. It's another reminder of how lucky I am to be here to play for this club, to captain this club ... So I'm not going to talk specifically about contracts or negotiations or anything in that way because I said at the beginning of the year that I didn't want anything taken away from the team and the focus of what we're trying to do.

"Everything will get sorted out in the right time. But again, I love it here. I've loved every second here and I certainly hope that I'm going to be here for a long time still."

Toronto FC signed Jozy Altidore to a new three-year deal in February, tying the U.S. national team forward to the team for the foreseeable future.

However, the club did take strides towards ushering in a new era this past offseason as TFC couldn't come to terms with club legend and former MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco, who departed on bad terms to join Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal.

The club and Giovinco have since mended their relationship, with the Italian forward returning to BMO Field to take in a match this summer, while also signing his replacement in Spanish midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo.

The playmaker has provided 11 goals and 11 assists this season as Toronto FC sit fourth in the Eastern Conference.

TFC will face the Montreal Impact on Wednesday in the first leg of the Canadian Championship final before taking on Los Angeles FC this weekend in MLS play.

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