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Jun 4, 2014

Bob Bradley: Lack of respect for U.S.

United States midfielder Michael Bradley discusses his role with team USA in the upcoming World Cup and his decision to leave Europe to play in MLS.

United States midfielder Michael Bradley felt Arsenal made a mistake by signing Kim Kallstrom in January instead of him, his father, former U.S. coach Bob Bradley, told Slate.comwho said Americans are disrespected in Europe.

During the January transfer window, Arsenal were looking to add a midfielder at the same time the 26-year-old Bradley was looking to leave Roma.

The Gunners went with Kallstrom, 31, on loan from Spartak Moscow, but the Swede played just three games for the London club. Bradley, meanwhile, completed a transfer to Toronto FC of MLS.

And Bradley's father, now the manager of Stabaek in Norway, blamed Arsenal's decision on a bias among European clubs against American players.

Kim Kallstrom's not a bad player, but I think Michael feels pretty strongly that he's better, and so Arsene Wenger must not feel that way.

Bob Bradley

"I think American players and coaches have to fight really hard for respect," Bob Bradley told Slate. "In January, Arsenal were looking to add a midfielder and they chose Kim Kallstrom.

"Kim Kallstrom's not a bad player, but I think Michael feels pretty strongly that he's better, and so Arsene Wenger must not feel that way, and [Arsenal chief executive] Ivan Gazidis must not feel that way.

"So sometimes, no matter what you do, you don't get the respect you think you deserve."

The younger Bradley, who has made 85 appearances for his national team, issued similar sentiments at a media event in February.

"There's no doubt that, as Americans, we continue to have to fight for respect and we have to continue to show that we have players who can play at the highest level," Michael Bradley said.

"You would have hoped that now what's gone on, whether it's in Major League Soccer or the national team or with certain individuals over the past 10, 15, 20 years would have done more for us, but the reality is that at the moment there's still a little bit of a feeling that if you can have an American or an Argentine, they're taking an Argentine."

Arsenal, whose largest shareholder is American Stan Kroenke, currently do not have any Americans on their squad, though Germany-born Gedion Zelalem, 17, may be eligible to play for the U.S. national team.

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