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Apr, 15, 2006

Bradley to make first start for Dutch club Heerenveen

Teenage American midfielder Michael Bradley is set to make his first appearance in the Dutch First Division since leaving Major League Soccer, less than three months since being sold to Dutch club Heerenveen.

According to a source close to Bradley, the 18-year-old midfielder will start on Sunday for Heerenveen against AZ Alkmaar, the second-place team in the Dutch First Division.

Son of Chivas USA head coach Bob Bradley, Michael Bradley emerged as a solid player last season for the MetroStars. He started 30 matches for the team in a defensive midfield role and impressed enough to draw interest from several European clubs, including Heerenveen, which paid an undisclosed transfer fee to Major League Soccer for his rights.

The MetroStars, now known as the Red Bulls, selected Bradley with the 36th pick in the 2004 MLS Draft. Injuries kept Bradley from playing as a rookie but he emerged in 2005 as a key figure in midfield. He started a team-best 30 games for the MetroStars in 2005, notching a goal and four assists.

Ives Galarcep covers MLS for ESPN.com and is a writer and columnist for the Herald News (N.J.). He can be reached at Ivespn79@aol.com.

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